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Compare and Contrast between 2 Books: Ten Days in a Mad-House and Voluntary Madness - Book Report/Review Example

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Name Class Professor Date Compare and Contrast Between Two Books: "Ten Days in a Mad-House" and "Voluntary Madness" The theme of the books of Norah Vincent’s Voluntary Madness: Lost and Found in the Mental Healthcare System (2009) and Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-house (1887) revolves around the investigation and reporting of the abuses and neglect in mental asylums during their respective times whereby the authors narrate their first hand experiences…
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Compare and Contrast between 2 Books: Ten Days in a Mad-House and Voluntary Madness
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"Compare and Contrast between 2 Books: Ten Days in a Mad-House and Voluntary Madness"

Download file to see previous pages She recalled that “in November 2004, just as I was finishing my book Self-Made Man, I checked myself into a locked psychiatric ward ina hospital” (Vincent 3). She first checked in at Meriwether- a public health care institution located in New York City then moved to Midwestern mental health facility known as St. Lukes until finally she checked in at Mobius. In those facilities, she compiled her study through a notebook she always brought with her that recorded her memoirs when she wrote her book Voluntary Madness: Lost and Found in the Mental Healthcare System. Nellie Bly’s engagement with the mental health asylum on the other hand was a result of an undercover investigation to report the abuses and neglect at the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island for the New York World evident with her plan to “be at Temporary Home for Females…... once inside the Home, I should do the best I could to get started on my journey to Blackwell's Island and the Insane Asylum (chapter 2). The most obvious similarity between the two books is the number of days that Norah Vincent and Nellie Bly stayed at mental health institution in the research stage of their respective books. It can even be surmised that Vincent may have read Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-house because she stayed exactly the same ten days (which was also the number of days Bly stayed at Women’s Lunatic Asylum to investigate its neglect and abuses) that Bly had stayed at the Blackwell's Island’s Insane Asylum during the investigative stage of her book. The themes of the books were also the same, each narrating their respective experiences during their confinement in mental health institutions. Although the books were more than a century apart (Bly’s’ book was published in 1887 while Vincent’s book in 2009), their investigations on the mental health facilities in America were also almost the same with only slight variation in terms of the degree of neglect and the methods used to contain the patients. Bly’s account of the abuse in Women's Lunatic Asylum was more inhumane because it bordered on cruelty as the facility that she committed herself “lock people up and then freeze them” (Bly Chapter XIII). Vincent’s experience may not be as horrific as Bly’s but she equally felt the same neglect during her confinement at Meriwether mental health institution in New York. There, she felt that her mental health deteriorated because “human touch is not very often their strong suit. Nor is true empathy” that instead of getting well, her mental health turned into greater shambles (Vincent 89). The administrators in Vincent’s confinement particularly in Meriwether may no longer use physical abuse to deal with their patients but instead used drugs that has numerous side effects. She recounted “Finally, beset by attacks of crippling anxiety, I got a scrip for Klonopin. The velvet hammer. A relative of Valium and Xanax, and the best drug I know for what ails you, if you’ve given up on the rest. Just pop it and bonk - you’re out. Sweet dreamless sleep” (Vincent 7). Bly on the other hand was aghast on the separation that the inmates at Blackwell Island mental asylum were condemned to writing they “gaze longingly toward the city they in all likelihood will never enter again” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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