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My initial response to the idea of doing drama based on mental health was that I would have to put in a lot of hard work

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Introduction

SESSION 1 - Themes and Issues My initial response to the idea of doing drama based on mental health was that I would have to put in a lot of hard work. The idea of doing improvisations based on mental health has, in the past, proved difficult for me as I have become too comfortable doing comical performances. At the same time I was looking forward to learning more about mental health and getting a better understanding of the different types of mental health problems people face. Girl Interrupted was a film adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's memoirs of her time in a Psychiatric Hospital in the 1960's. It's a book that's asks what it's really is to be 'mentally ill'. It is based on a true story and tells not only Susanna's story but also the stories of the other girls in the ward, who she comes to befriend. In my opinion it dramatizes mental illness enormously. It is a very dark film with a few moments of humour but it mainly focuses on Susanna's struggle with an illness (that if it had not been clearly stated as borderline personality disorder, viewers would have assumed was 'gone-off-the-rails-a-bit' disorder) and of her dangerous relationship with sociopath Lisa. ...read more.

Middle

Susanna committed herself into Claymore because she attempted suicide. You assume that most of the other patients did the same. Girls are allowed their own rooms, or rooms that hold two, but it is very different to the institute in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, where the men must all sleep in the same room. They can be individuals. They can wear their own clothes, they have a television and they go on day-trips. They have art and music lessons to stimulate them. Lisa is the only person that doesn't get some of these privileges. Valerie is kind and almost motherly. She doesn't give up helping Susanna, even when she is racist to her. When Mac tries to escape he is forced to be the victim of a full frontal lobotomy because he attacks nurse Ratchet and becomes too much hassle. This took away all his personality which made him so individual, he was just a vegetable now. Nurse Ratchet had no right to do this but she wrongly decided to play God. Lisa on the other hand, wasn't punished as severely as this at all and she continuously ran away and was responsible for Daisy's suicide. The end of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a big climax of everything that Nurse Ratchet has tried to suppress throughout the film. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's pathetic." It's enough to send Lisa into a fit of tears, which is a first in the movie. She sits in a crumpled heap on the floor and you realise Susanna has defeated her demons. I think that in the scene at the end, where we watch Susanna paint Lisa's nails (Lisa's in the isolation room under four-point restraints), Susanna is as much thanking Lisa for the good she did as she is saying goodbye. Lisa sobs, "I'm gonna miss you, Suzie Q"--but Susanna's reply is a firm reminder that Lisa is not really crazy. She has what it takes to get out. She's not helpless. She knows how to work the system. As she sighs in assent, Lisa's teary eyes turn away from Susanna to gaze off into her own thoughts. Lisa is reflecting on the life she's chosen for herself. Perhaps this is the first time she's facing the fact that it's not somebody else's fault she's confined to a mental institution. Therefore, in turn, it won't be somebody else's credit when she's released. Lisa's fate is in Lisa's own hands. The last scene shows Susanna leaving the institute in the same taxi that took her there, she is no longer chain smoking, and she is cool, calm and peaceful. It's a happy ending. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Charli-Max Baldwin 10M ...read more.

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