I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
The cold tone of this story starts out right in the beginning and her mother and father are quite distraught because of the daughter’s illness and the fact that they must trust the doctors; they seem to not trust anyone. They even told their own family that Deborah is at convalescent school, not a mental institution. Of course the time period of the book is much earlier than now so it is more understandable why they were upset. Hopefully parents now are less ignorant and would try and be proud of their child to willingly get help. It would be too harsh however to say that Deborah’s parents did not do the best that they could, they just did not even realize that their daughter was mentally sick. They didn’t even know that her peeing herself was the result of a tumor. I can say that the way that they treated her for that was wrong. At least they feel bad or that it is their fault. I think that much more of the blame needs to be placed on the parents, contrary of what Dr. Fried stated. It is the responsibility of the parents to protect and nurture their children, not to physically punish what it not right.
Dr. Fried is a nice women. It is interesting that she was in Nazi Germany. Deborah and her family are Jewish and I feel that this is an important tie. Dr. Fried in able to make progress with Deborah and gain her trust. Dr. Royson has to treat Deborah for awhile when D. Fried is away. He is a much colder person and seems more concerned with proving Deborah wrong than actually getting into her personality and mind frame the way Dr. Fried did. Most of the other people who work in the hospital seem like they are just there to do their job. Dr. Fried, however, seems to be genuinely concerned about her patients. For some reason, there end up being a few folks that inmates or patients constantly torment: Hobbs, who commits suicide, and Ellis, who replaces Hobbs. Deborah tells one of the orderlies that Hobbs and Ellis are just like the patients and that it were all the harassing comes from. MacPherson sets her straight by telling her that some people cannot afford to get help for their problems.
I found the other patients very intriguing. They were constantly changing, new one coming in, some getting well and leaving only to return later on. Deborah and another girl even escaped but they just walked around and went back. At least they did not receive a punishment or lose privileges. That must be the worst thing with being in a mental hospital, especially in the Disturbed Ward were there are no visitors allowed. It is strange how they interact with each other; they want any human contact, yet they are almost all afraid of it. Miss Coral was a favorite of mine in the story because she is one of the toughest and fierce. She also takes the time to teach Deborah two different languages: Latin and Greek. It is also interesting how the arrival and departure of various patients...