Girl Interrrupter A Review

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Girl, Interrupted Writer, director, and producer James Mangold took a brave leap when deciding to direct the film Girl, Interrupted, the true story of Susanna Kaysen and her nearly two year stay in a mental institution during the late 1960s, based on her memoir by the same name. Luckily actress Winona Ryder (who worked on the adaptation and production after reading the memoir), Mangold, and producer David Wick were able to capture the idea that though Kaysen was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), there is some ambiguity in whether or not she actually is a borderline case. Given the decade that this occurs, the late 1960s, a time of extreme turbulence, and of the new adults questioning their roles in society, perhaps Susanna (Ryder), just graduated from high school with no clear future in sight, found it easier to interrupt her own life, even if it meant going a little crazy, than to grow up.

What follows is an examination of BPD and how it is portrayed in Girl, Interrupted, as well as how it might be possible (as the ilm suggests) that Susanna was not necessarily suffering from BPD, but was just going through a turbulent point in her life, being pushed to the brink of insanity, yet not knowing what brought her there. One wouldn't think that it would be possible to be misdiagnosed as having a personality disorder, and be placed in a mental institution. However with all that the young adults of the late sixties were having to live through: complete uncertainty, distrust in the government, no clear future… it was quite possible that the new science of psychiatry would mistake an uncertain and suicidal (though not unusual for the time period) teenager for a Borderline who needs the help of a psychiatric institute. In...