Girl Interrupted Essay, Research Paper
21 November 2000
Have you ever watched a movie and then found out it was created from a book? That?s what happened to me, I saw the movie Girl Interrupted, starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. I then heard that it was made from a book itself. So for this assignment, I decided to read the book and compare and contrast it from the movie.
The movie, Girl Interrupted is about an eighteen-year-old girl, named Susanna Kaysen. She spent two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clients-Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles. The movie clearly defines the worlds perceptive of a mental hospital, and what goes on there. The yelling, screaming, and carrying on with the patients and nurses, is all of what is perceived to happen at a psychiatric hospital. In the book, its more in detail, the words carefully chosen, effectively creates a mental picture as you read the book.
Susanna was put there on request by her doctor, to rest, and to get better mentally. She was hallucinating, and was depressed and suicidal at times. There isn?t much difference between the movie and the book. I was expecting there to be a world of difference, but there wasn?t. In the movie, there was racial difference, where as the head nurse in the book was small and white, and in the movie, it was Whoopi Goldberg, now everyone knows she is big and black. The detail that was in the book wasn?t necessarily shown in the movie. The story line was the same, in the book and in the movie.
The story of Girl Interrupted, was basically this, its about a girl who is admitted into a psychiatric hospital. It?s about all the things she experiences there and the people she meets. While reading the book, you the reader, really get a sense of how someone in that situation is feeling. Where as in the movie, you couldn?t really get that feeling. There were no big differences, in contrast between the movie and the book. To compare, the movie and the book, they both used the same names for the characters, as expected. They both give you a lot of detail as to what goes on in a psychiatric hospital. I learned more from the book, as what goes on in a mentally ill person?s head. There is a lot of interpersonal dialogue, in the book. Meaning, that Susanna whom is the main character, talks to herself a lot in the book. So that, the reader gets a feel for what is going on inside her head. Whereas in the movie, there was hardly any of that, it was more visual, not so personal.
I learned a lot from the dialogue that Susanna expressed. She talks about, as a mental patient, which has attempted suicide, takes medication, and has hallucinations, what she feels and what goes through her head. Reading this book definitely gives you an idea of what it?s like to be in a hospital like that. It?s scary and lonely, but you are there for a reason, and no one can make you get better, except yourself.
In the movie, the story is culturally updated, which is to be expected. Yet, in the book, it?s relevant that it?s in the 60?s. This story is hard to compare and contrast with a book and a movie. It?s on a very complicated subject that includes an extreme amount of detail. The detail is provided in the book, yet a lot of it is cut out of the movie.
Not only is the story about the life of mentally ill women, but it discusses the importantness of recovery, and how living at a psychiatric hospital is very emotionally distressing. Recovery is one of the things that while at a hospital, the nurses and doctors focus on.
To be honest, I read the entire book, and watched the movie, but to compare and contrast it is very difficult, if not impossible. While trying not to make this out to be a book report. Since my major includes Psychology, I decided to read this book. It improved my knowledge of a lot of things that the movie didn?t do. I learned how deep a person with a mental illness thinks. Everything about them is deep, and intense. Most people are afraid of someone with a mental illness, and reading this book makes you more aware of what they go through, and why they are the way they are.
If I had to read the book or watch the movie, I would much rather read the book. The book was in my opinion, much better than the movie, only because you could use your own perception and visuals of it. Yet, since I saw the movie ahead of time before I read the book, it kind of defeated the purpose of my reading it. But I am glad I did, because it opened my eyes to a lot of things, and to how much I would love to help those people.
I think this assignment, was a really good idea, whether the students liked it or not. I know a lot of them didn?t do it, or didn?t do it like they were suppose to, but I am glad I read this book. Also, to be honest, I hate reading, it?s a hassle to me, but once I started reading this book, I couldn?t put it down. It was a really good book, and I would recommend it to anyone.
In Conclusion, whether this assignment was done correctly or not, I am proud of myself that I actually completed it. For me to actually read a book was a challenge in itself. But I am glad I did it, and I did try to do the best I could in comparing it, but it is one of those books that was a lot like the movie, yet just with more detail. I didn?t want to make this sound like a book report. I loved the movie and the book, anything that will open your eyes to something new, is definitely worth trying. I?m just glad that I read this book, and I will definitely read something else, that is in comparison to the book I read.