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Insanity In “A Rose For Emily”

1618 words - 7 pages

The author, William Faulkner, has a collection of books, short stories, and poems under his name. Through his vast collection of works, Faulkner attempts to discuss and bring awareness to numerous aspects of life. More often than not, his works were created to reflect aspects of life found within the south. Family dynamics, race, gender, social class, war, incest, racism, suicide, necrophilia, and mental illness are just some of the aspects that Faulkner explored. In “A Rose for Emily” the aspects of necrophilia and mental illness along with the societal biases that were observed in a small-town setting are seen to be a part of this captivating story. These aspects ultimately intertwine with the idea of insanity that characterizes “A Rose for Emily.
Insanity is a medically diagnosed disease that shows that a person is incapable of acknowledging what is right from what is wrong. There are many contributing factors that may lead a person to become insane. Some of these factors include inherited traits, environmental exposures before birth, negative life experiences, and brain chemistry.Inherited traits can lead to insanity because genes that cause such disorders can be passed down amongst relatives and family members. Environmental exposures before birth refers to an unborn child being exposed to viruses, bacteria or even toxins inside the womb, that can be linked to one’s mental illness. Negative life experiences such as the loss of a loved one, experiencing financial problems and being involved in highly stressful situations can play a big role in triggering the mental illnesses or mental breakdowns. Changes in the efficiency of one’s neurotransmitters, whether sensory receptors obtain signals correctly and fluctuations in hormone balances, all affect a person’s brain chemistry and can ultimately be an active factor in causes of mental incapacities.
Insanity, craziness, madness or however you may want to call it, is not something new, this illness has been around for thousands of years. Treatments for mental illnesses have been recorded as early as 5000 BCE. During these primitive times it was believed that mental incapacities were caused by supernatural factors like a demon possessions. Also during that time period a common treatment for such disorders included a procedure known as trephining. This procedure included chipping a hole into the skull of the afflicted person. This procedure has endured through time and is still used today in a more refined way to treat medical problems like migraines and skull fractures. When dealing with mental afflictions, Ancient Egyptians recommended modern methods like engaging in recreational activities like dancing, and painting. In the past it has also been common to lock up in jails or dungeons individuals who were mentally ill and who acted out. In the 17th century drugs like laudanum, unguents, opium grains were used as sedatives to ease the torment that mentally ill individuals would endure. At...

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