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Incarceration in the Views of Kaysen and Abbott - Essay Example

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Summary
Incarceration is defined as the manner of putting an individual into captivity. The goal of incarceration is to punish and control an individual in doing unjust acts. It has three main goals which are “incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation”…
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Incarceration in the Views of Kaysen and Abbott

Download file to see previous pages... Susanna Kaysen was the author of the book Girl, Interrupted, which was published in 1994. The book was about her life while she was confined within the premises of McLean Hospital. She was incarcerated in the hospital because she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. During her time in the hospital, Kaysen felt being deprived of the freedom she once had. She felt that she was placed in a “parallel universe that is unconnected to the outside world”. She felt helpless being a patient in McLean Hospital because they may be able to have all the time they need, but the irony is that they are also captives of time. As patients, their lives were governed by the rules of the hospital. Their self-determination was removed from them, allowing the hospital to drive their faith and protection. Also, they were checked by the hospital staff every 15 or 30 minutes, which interrupts them in whatever they are doing. Also, the experience to be alone, unlike in the outside world, means being deprive of freedom and put into the seclusion room. Also, in the beginning, she compared the hospital entrance similar to a prison, and that patients were locked in their rooms like prisoners. Furthermore, the hospital staff resorted to medications in order to control and refrained them from misbehaving. However, at the end, Kaysen “accepted the fact that she is mentally ill,” and that her stay in the hospital will eventually shed light on her illness and recovery (Klemens 2-4; Kaysen). On the other hand, Jack Henry Abbott wrote In the Belly of the Beast, which was about his life in prison. During the 20 years that he was incarcerated, he described his experience as a terrifying one. Aside from his childhood experiences, he was incarcerated in Utah State Penitentiary and was sentenced to serve for 19 years in a federal prison. Throughout these years, he had experienced eating cockroach in order to survive, beaten physically and verbally, and injected with drugs to calm or control them. Moreover, he cited that there was an impartial treatment between races which was exemplified by the officers. Also, murder was inevitable inside the prison, even though there were guards inside the premises. He stated that most of the time, the guards allowed riot inside the prison for them to avoid being harassed by the prisoners. He saw the American penal system as a corrupt one which made the prisoners lived by the rules of it. Furthermore, he was also in solitary confinement, where he dwelled into the nothingness of the world that needs to “justify himself as a mortal being” (White House 32-33; NY Book Time; Abbott). However, Susanna Kaysen and Jack Abbott are two individuals who are of two different backgrounds who battled against their incarceration experiences as being described in their books. Susanna Kaysen was from a well-off family and was also well-educated. Prior to her admission to the McLean Hospital, she had a bright future ahead of her because of her education and simply because she belonged to an affluent family. However, at the age of eighteen, Kaysen decided to kill herself, and for this reason, she was sent to McLean ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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