Summery Of Inpyarg Essay, Research Paper
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Esther and Jacob Blau drive their sixteen-year-old daughter Deborah to a mental hospital for treatment after a failed suicide attempt. Deborah, suffering from schizophrenia, retreats into a world of her own making, the Kingdom of Yr, when the real world proves too frightening and confusing. Deborah is pleased to see that there are bars on the hospital’s windows, but her parents cringe when they hear a high scream inside.
Jacob and Esther decide to tell Deborah’s younger sister Suzy and Esther’s parents that Deborah is at a convalescent school. Meanwhile, Dr. Fried contemplates taking on Deborah’s case despite her busy schedule. She loves working with patients because they can examine sanity in a way that sane people cannot. As she muses that the world outside is often sicker than the world inside a mental hospital, she recalls treating a patient named Tilda in Nazi Germany.
In Yr, Deborah named herself Januce. She accidentally wrote this name on one of her school papers, a grave mistake because it revealed a clue of Yr’s existence in the Earth world. Afterwards, Yr created the Censor to guard its secrets from Earth. During her first session, Deborah accuses Fried of wishing to make her “friendly and sweet and agreeable and happy” with telling lies. Fried explains that she does not think that Deborah’s complaints of illness are lies. She believes that Deborah is indeed sick, but not physically. She promises that hard work and good treatment can make her well.
Esther and Jacob feel as if they failed their daughter in some way. When Esther writes to request a visit, Deborah tells Fried that she will see her mother, but not her father because she fears that he might take her from the hospital out of misguided pity and love. Jacob is hurt and angry to learn of Deborah’s refusal to see him. Suzy, although she has recently come into her own, must still rearrange her social life around the whims of Deborah’s illness.
Esther tells Dr. Fried about her family history before visiting Deborah. Her father was a Latvian immigrant with a clubfoot. His anger and resentment drove him to seek an education and build a fortune in the United States. He purchased a home in a rich neighborhood where he hoped that his children would gain admittance to the American elite. However, his neighbors were rabidly anti-Semitic, so they never accepted his family. Esther’s parents disapproved of Jacob, but when Deborah was born blond and fair, the family rejoiced at its good luck. Although Jacob struggled to make a living as an accountant during the Depression, Ester’s parents lavished expensive clothing, nannies, and toys on Deborah. Esther and Jacob were forced to move in with Esther’s parents, much to Jacob’s shame and unhappiness.
When Deborah was five, she suffered from incontinence that no physical punishment could correct. It was later discovered that a tumor was the cause, not laziness. A renowned specialist performed a successful surgery, but Deborah suffered excruciating pain for some time afterwards. After the stillbirth of twin boys, Esther became pregnant with Suzy, but she tried to maintain a smooth, calm face for Deborah. Jacob obtained a lucrative account and bought a house of his own, but he later discovered that the account was based on a vast chain of fraud after a year. They sold the house, and Esther’s parents gave them their house. Meanwhile Deborah attended a summer camp for three years before her parents learned that it was rabidly anti-Semitic. The Second World War brought financial difficulties, so Jacob and Esther were forced to sell her parent’s house and move into an apartment. Deborah became passionately interested in art, so the family assumed that her sensitivity and frequent insomnia were only the signs of an artist’s temperament. Soon thereafter, Deborah attempted suicide.
Esther now feels guilty for placing Jacob second in her affections after her father. She now understands that Jacob was humiliated all those years to live off her parents’ charity. Dr. Fried assures Esther that she and Jacob should not blame themselves for Deborah’s illness. She warns Esther that Deborah is extremely sensitive to lying, so she should be careful to tell the truth.
When Deborah’s tumor was discovered, she felt violated when the doctors examined her, and enraged when they told her that there would be no pain. She tells Dr. Fried that an intern explained that they lied to her so that she would not be afraid. Deborah utters a word of Yr’s language during the session. Terrified at her indiscretion, she flees into Yr completely.
Deborah meets Carla, another patient on her ward. Carla’s mother shot Carla, Carla’s brother, and then herself, but Carla survived. Inside the mental hospital, Carla and other patients are free to call themselves “crazy.” Yri language describes Deborah’s pain and suffering more accurately than Earth language. Nevertheless, at Dr. Fried’s urging, she struggles to describe her feelings in English. When Suzy was born, Deborah horrified the family by declaring that the wrinkled, red, baby was ugly. Her family has stood aloof from her since that day while they all loved Suzy, beautiful and carefree, unconditionally. When she started school late, her classmates stood apart from her as well. Deborah feels that her mother had recognized the “fatal taint” in her and tried to ameliorate it by taking her classmates out on an excursion. As she recounts the anti-Semitic taunts of her neighbors and peers, Deborah is grateful for Dr. Fried’s expression of indignation.
Later, the gods of Yr shout that Deborah is not “one of them.” When Deborah slashes her arm with a piece of tin, she is moved to the Disturbed Ward, where she is pleased to find that all pretensions to normalcy are absent. She begins telling Dr. Fried about Yr. At first Yr was a comforting haven, but it has become a source of pain, fear, and tyranny. Afterwards, Deborah suffers a psychotic episode, so the staff places her in restraints. Deborah explains to Dr. Fried that the gods of Yr told her that Three Changes and Their Mirrors would precede her Death. As Deborah recounts three separate incidents in her life, later mirrored by three other incidents, Dr. Fried suggests that Deborah has created a meaningful connection between these events in order to understand and survive in the confusing, inexplicable real world.
The patients on Deborah’s ward single out a particular attendant, Hobbs, for abuse. The patients understand that Hobbs fears their insanity because a seed of it exists inside himself. Meanwhile, Helene, a volatile patient, violently attacks Deborah. As in the real world, the attacker receives more attention that the victim. Earlier, Helene showed Deborah a picture of a college classmate. Deborah realizes that Helene attacked her in order to erase that moment of vulnerability.
During one session, Deborah furiously sketches a portrait of her Yri self. Dr. Fried is excited that Deborah has lost her apathy in her attempt to prove that Yr exists. Meanwhile, Carla joins the Disturbed ward because she wants to stop hiding her “insanity.” The other wards are too invested in keeping up the appearance of normalcy. They learn of Doris Rivera, a patient who became well enough to leave after three years at the hospital. The gods of Yr shout that Deborah can never go out into the world again, so Deborah suffers another psychotic episode along with a number of other patients. Carla says that they were all afraid of the threat of having to be well that Doris Rivera represented. Deborah curses Carla, and then apologizes because what Carla said might be true.
Meanwhile, Esther and Jacob worry over Deborah’s transfer to the Disturbed ward. Suzy shouts that everyone is always worrying over Deborah. Esther visits with Dr. Fried, hoping that she will be allowed to see Deborah, although there is a rule against visits on the Disturbed ward. In another session, Deborah declares that her essence is poisonous, so she destroyed her sister Suzy. Dr. Fried suggests that she is attempting to hide from the truth of what she actually did to her family, what they actually did to her, and what she is doing to herself. Deborah confesses that she tried to kill Suzy after she was born. Her mother discovered her just as she was poised to throw Suzy out of a window. She was never punished, and her parents never spoke of the incident
After Hobbs commits suicide, he is replaced with a Conscientious Objector, Ellis. Sylvia announces that it is against the Conscientious Objector’s religion to commit suicide. Normally, Sylvia is silent, so Lee Miller hurries to inform a nurse that Sylvia spoke. Deborah admires Lee for joining reality for Sylvia’s benefit. Deborah descends into a psychotic episode as Yr’s gods declare that they will punish her with insanity if she dares to admire the Earth world.
The patients continually ridicule Ellis’s religious beliefs. Deborah taunts him with a comparison between psychotics and religious zealots. Ellis considers himself a Christian martyr. McPherson, a popular attendant who is never attacked, asks Deborah to leave Ellis alone. Deborah declares that neither Ellis nor Hobbs was different from the patients. McPherson angrily tells her that a lot of people who need, even want, help cannot afford to get it. Although she is terrified, Deborah is happy that McPherson treated her with the respect one accords an equal.
Dr. Fried states that Yr is Deborah’s own creation, acknowledging that it is nevertheless real for Deborah. Deborah realizes now that her grandfather’s bitter anger and resentment against the long-dead Latvian noblemen is part of her illness. His pride in her was also an expression of his anger and the battle with the Latvian noblemen that mattered only to him. In the United States, there were new battles against anti-Semitic Americans. The adults were amazed at her sharp wit, but children saw through it, so they tormented her. Suddenly Deborah recalls a distant memory of being cared for by a nurse. She felt that the world had gone gray. Dr. Fried suggests that she is remembering feelings of abandonment after her mother had to go away for rest after miscarrying her twin sons. Deborah experiences these same feelings and colorlessness when she suffers psychotic episodes. When Dr. Fried touches Deborah to comfort her, Deborah feels as if her touch was like lightening.
Many nurses and attendants are afraid of the similarities between themselves and the patients. Deborah tries to comfort those who are frightened of her, but she only succeeds in frightening them more. Yr’s gods declares that she will taint those of the Earth world, triggering a psychotic episode. When she comes to, Helene is restrained in a nearby bed. Ellis enters the room to take Helene’s pulse. When she resists, he methodically slaps her into submission. Deborah later reports his violence to the ward staff, but no one takes her seriously.
Deborah gives Dr. Fried the name Furii, or Fire-Touch, in Yri. Dr. Fried promises to mention Ellis’s violence at the staff meeting, but she warns Deborah that she has no control over the Disturbed ward’s policy. Deborah declares that Dr. Fried’s reality is useless if it is so unjust. Dr. Fried reminds her that she only promised to help Deborah become free of her illness, so that she could fight for peace, happiness, and justice. Dr. Fried suddenly remembers that when Tilda once escaped the hospital in Nazi Germany, she returned to tell Dr. Fried that the world outside was crazier than she.
Dr. Fried demands that Deborah address her relationship with her father. Deborah confesses that she and her father share the same violent temper. Once, when a man flashed Deborah, he acted as if Deborah had attracted this perverted attention. Deborah cried out that she had already been broken and violated, so she was not good enough for a better kind of man. Her father slapped her because he secretly had entertained the same thoughts. Dr. Fried promises Deborah that after their work is done, Deborah will be free to choose between Earth and insanity.
Miss Coral, an elderly former patient, returns to the hospital. Despite her age and small stature, she can fight so fiercely that it takes several attendants to subdue her. When Lee tells Deborah that Miss Coral knows several languages, Deborah asks Miss Coral to teach them to her, and Miss Coral agrees. When Carla informs Deborah that she is moving to the B Ward, Deborah is afraid to realize that she will miss her. After Miss Coral imparts everything she knows of Latin and Greek, she informs Deborah that Ellis is fluent in Greek and that he might be willing to teach her.
Esther and Jacob finally admit that Deborah’s illness does not have a quick and easy cure. Therefore, they tell Suzy the truth. Suzy, against all their expectations, takes the news calmly. She had always wondered why the reports from the hospital never mentioned physical problems. Now that she knows about Deborah’s illness, everything makes sense. She hopes that Deborah will be well enough to return home soon.
Deborah once thought that she alone had a poisoned and poisoning substance, but now it seems that all the patients on the Disturbed ward have the same taint. Deborah tells Dr. Fried that when she was nine, Yr gave her the ability to change her form. So, when the Second World War began, Deborah became Japanese. She was disguised as an American, but she was a captured Japanese soldier. Her transformation gave meaning to Yr’s declaration that she was not “one of them.”
After the session, Deborah sense Yr’s oncoming punishment, so she asks a nurse to prepare her for restraints. Yr declares that her coming to the hospital was all part of the plan. The Third Mirror, the last deception, is yet to come. When she comes to, she is in pain due to the lack of movement and circulation in her legs. Deborah calls out for help, but the staff in long in responding. When she asked the nurse to prepare the restraints, Deborah had willingly asked for help for the first time. With the lingering pain in her legs, she considers the staff’s “help” a cruel joke, a deception. Deborah relates all of this to Dr. Fried and declares that she knows Dr. Fried plans to betray her. Dr. Fried denies the accusation, but Deborah demands proof. Dr. Fried replies that time itself will prove her loyalty.
When Doris Rivera is brought back to the hospital, screaming and fighting, Deborah bitterly declares that the hope she represented was false after all. Deborah asks Doris if the world proved too tough for her, and Doris responds with bitter, angry sarcasm that she was simply too tough for the world. Later, Deborah breaks her ankle in an accident and has to be treated at another hospital, where the staff watches her with a morbid curiosity. Deborah realizes that this is what she and other patients will have to face when they leave the mental hospital.
Deborah confesses to Dr. Fried that she was tempted to act out “insanity” at the other hospital. Dr. Fried suggests that she would do better to help others understand mental illness. Deborah insists that her poisoned and poisoning substance only allows her to have a kinship with people who share her taint. At camp, she and another girl, Eugenia, became friends. Later, Deborah found Eugenia in the showers, naked and alone. Eugenia gave her a leather belt and asked Deborah to beat her. Deborah, realizing that Eugenia had the same taint, ran away and never spoke to her again. If the same incident happened now, Deborah would not be afraid because she’s “crazy now.” For years, Deborah knew she was sick, although everyone told her she wasn’t. When Dr. Fried told Deborah that she was sick, she proved that Deborah was saner than she thought.
When Carla returns to the Disturbed ward, Carla assures Deborah that she shouldn’t feel bad for her. She became tired because she tried to do too much at once. The gods of Yr declare that Deborah’s poisonous essence is destined to destroy Carla. Deborah continues to share the secrets of Yr with Dr. Fried, but only to hasten the arrival of the final Deceit. Dr. Fried declares that Deborah’s desire to meet her final destruction with beauty and poise is simply adolescent melodrama. Dr. Fried announces that she will be gone for the summer, so Dr. Royson will take over Deborah’s case temporarily.
Deborah is transferred to the B ward. She convinces herself that Dr. Fried is dead. Dr. Royson attempts to prove to Deborah that the language of Yr is merely Deborah’s own creation. Deborah begins to burn herself with stray matches and cigarette butts. After Dr. Halle cleans the wounds, Deborah experiences another psychotic episode. She returns to the Disturbed ward where another patient praises her capacity for violence. A doctor reassures her that she didn’t hurt anyone, however.
Deborah continues to burn herself in order to ease the pressure of the “volcano inside her.” She hides the burns so well that a doctor suggests that she might return to the B ward soon. Deborah knows that matches and cigarettes are less guarded on t he B ward, so returning there might hasten her death, so she immediately reveals her burns. Although the restrictions on cigarettes and matches are tightened, Deborah still succeeds in stealing them. When Dr. Fried returns, Deborah struggles to expl ain that she tried to work with Dr. Royson, but he was only interested in being “right.” Esther, frightened by the news of Deborah’s behavior, meets with Dr. Fried. Dr. Fried does not try to placate her with false hope. She states that she is i n high demand, so she would never take on a hopeless case. Dr. Fried hopes that Esther has a dominating, strong will to help her insist that Deborah’s treatment continue, despite her family’s objections.
Deborah’s burn wounds stubbornly refuse to heal. When Helene attacks Sylvia, Sylvia remains silent and motionless, like Deborah did when Helene attacked her. While the staff rushes to contain Helene, Deborah alone understands that Sylvia needs attention as much as Helene. She wants to offer Sylvia comfort, but she cannot bring herself to do it. When she confesses this to Dr. Fried, she reminds Deborah that the world has a host of similar moral quandaries. Deborah states that she thinks, although she doesn’t know why, that her habit of burning herself is not as serious as Dr. Fried believes it is. Deborah decides that she will not use the patients’ cigarette butts to burn herself because she doesn’t want to implicate them in her delinquency. She throws down a book of matches she stole from Dr. Fried, declaring that she will not use her either.
Deborah experiences a psychotic episode in which she writes Yri words all over the bathroom, some of them in her own blood. When she returns to consciousness, she realizes that the death she fears might not be a physical one. Deborah explains to Dr. Fried that she felt a combination of fear and anger during the episode. Dr. Fried assures her that she has a talent for health and life. Meanwhile, Deborah hears that Miss Coral threw a bed at Mrs. Forbes, one of the few staff members whom the patients try to protect from harm. Deborah, hoping to discover the reason for Miss Coral’s violence against Mrs. Forbes, eavesdrops on a conversation in the staff room. Some of the attendants declare that everyone on the ward, including Deborah, is getting sicker.
Dr. Fried asks Deborah if she thinks she’s getting sicker. Deborah complains that she is tired of thinking and explaining. She threatens to give up her treatment, and Dr. Fried tells her that the “poor little girl” can stay crazy forever. Dr. Fried again reminds her that she never promised Deborah that it would be easy. Deborah states that she doesn’t think she’s getting sicker at all. Dr. Fried repeats this assertion during a staff meeting. Afterwards, Dr. Royson states that he simply didn’t get along with Deborah. He believes that Dr. Fried should be trusted.
Deborah suffers frequent psychotic episodes, but the staff seems to treat her more kindly. Dr. Fried says that the reason is that Deborah has lost her “stoniness of expression.” Deborah is afraid because she has often made enemies because people misinte rpreted her facial expressions. When Deborah and an attendant are walking through the cold, Deborah declares that they at least only have one kind of cold, one that a coat can alleviate. The attendant angrily denies this, explaining that the patients do not have to work at hard jobs for low pay while supporting a family. Later, Deborah decides that she will not die. Deborah realizes that being a Japanese soldier represented anger and martyrdom, the characteristics of her grandfather. Meanwhile, Deborah’s burns finally begin to heal. Carla returns to the hospital after a brief stint in the world outside.
Dr. Fried tells Deborah that she has realized something about Deborah’s confession that she had tried to kill Suzy. A five-year-old could not possibly have lifted a heavy baby out of a bassinet and held it out a window, only to draw it back in a few seconds later. Later when she notices Carla’s hands shaking, Deborah steadies them with her own hands.
Deborah goes home for a five-day visit to a warm welcome, but dealing with her solicitous relatives is exhausting. Suzy cancels an outing with her friends that she was eagerly anticipating, causing Deborah to feel guilt and embarrassment. She wonders if giving up Yr for Earth is a fair trade. The Yr of early days, before the Censor, was a beautiful haven. Only the recent Yr, full of punishment and suffering, is horrible. Esther eagerly shows Deborah’s sketches to admiring relatives, setting off an argument between her and Suzy later that night. Suzy feels neglected because she never receives such adulation, but Esther explains that it would be bragging to praise her. Praising Deborah is a plea for others to excuse her illness.
When she returns to the hospital, Deborah meets a new patient, Carmen, the daughter of a multi-millionaire. Later, on a lark, she and Carla escape the hospital to walk along the road at night. When they return, they are placed in seclusion. In the morning, Dr. Halle asks her what the escape was all about. Deborah explains that she has always been clumsy, so she admires people who are atumai, an Yri word for people who are never ever clumsy. Last night, she and Carla were briefly atumai, an exhilarating experience. Dr. Halle is pleased that they shared a fun experience, so he does not punish them by revoking some of their privileges. They learn soon thereafter that Carmen’s father took her out of the hospital. Deborah suddenly realizes that her parents allowed her to stay for a long time even when she showed no signs of improvement. Later, she learns that Carmen committed suicide after her father took her from the hospital. Deborah frightens the other patients when she states that Carmen could have made it if she had stayed in the hospital. Later, Carla tells her that she is going to try living on the outside again.
Deborah requests that she be allowed to live in the nearby town. Deborah takes a room from Mrs. King, an elderly landlady who has not lived in the town long enough to acquire the fear and contempt that most of the long-time residents feel toward out-patients from the hospital. Deborah partakes in the social life of the town, but everyone treats her with a politeness that separates her firmly from them, so she takes comfort in the laughing, humorous gods of Yr. She remembers that she had happy moments in the past that were buried over by the gloom and unhappiness of her illness. She finally admits that she created Yr and its gods herself, but she still fears that they might somehow be real. She wishes she could dismiss them whenever she wants. Dr. Fried points out that Yr became beautiful and welcoming again when she began to fight its tyranny. Meanwhile, Deborah realizes that Carla is jealous of her artistic outlet.
Deborah realizes that she cannot get a job without a high school diploma. However, she does not want to attend the local high school where her classmates will be three years younger than she. When a social worker suggests that she take classes in preparation for the GED examinations, Deborah suffers another psychotic episode. She is terrified that Yr no longer has its old logic now that she has begun to accept the laws of Earth. Nevertheless, she chooses to take the GED classes and begin building a life on Earth’s terms. She perseveres with her studies and passes the GED exam with a score high enough to gain admittance into a college if she wants to go. She calls to give her parents the good news, but their pitiful pride in her accomplishment saddens her. Walking back to the hospital, Deborah is stricken with fear and hopelessness that she will never be able to live like average people, that the wall between her and them will always be there. She suffers another psychotic episode, but when she returns to consciousness, she opens her school textbooks and tells the gods of Yr that she is going to fight for her place on Earth despite their attempts to hold her back.