Reflection Paper: “Girl, Interrupted”
Based on the movie and real life, do you think we need other people to help us understand and solve our problems? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Without the presence of other people, there would be no social point of reference as to what would be considered “normal”. In order for an abnormality to exist, be it physical or psychological, there must be a widely accepted concept of “normalcy”. If a certain individual is said to be suffering a problem (in this case, mental or social), it implies that there is some sort of deviation or inhibition of a societal “correctness”. The only way to determine this correctness is by comparing the so-called problem with social norms, defined by the majority of the social group to which this individual belongs. Society is not constant. There is no universal set of social rules that exists independently in all people, so people must make generalizations of “proper” functioning in other people they can observe. In other words, yes we do, but only if one would define “solving problems” as adhering to a specific society’s understanding of normalcy.
Out of all the characters, which one can you relate to?
Susanna. Susanna is a pseudo-suicidal, sometime-delusional, indecisive, under-achieving, and self-deprecating young woman. I can say that I was all of these things not so long ago. I say pseudo-suicidal because I know she didn’t really want to die. If she had really wanted to, she would’ve poisoned herself with something more potent. She would have cut deeper. But it isn’t about wanting to die. It’s more about having a reminder to yourself that there will always be a way out if ever you really wanted to quit. This would be considered “crazy” to most people that don’t understand what it’s like to feel trapped and powerless in world they did not choose to be a part of. But I get it. There’s a certain relief, comfort, elation even, of having the power to decide to play by the rules...
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