Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – Summary

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is a semi-autobiographical account of a teenage girls three-year battle with schizophrenia. Deborah Blau, bright and artistically talented, has created a world, the Kingdom of Yr, as a form of defense from a confusing, frightening reality. When Deborah was five, she underwent surgery to remove a tumor in …

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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – Chapters 1-5

Summary Esther and Jacob Blau drive their 16-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 …

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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – Chapters 11-15

Summary After Hobbs commits suicide, he is replaced with a Conscientious Objector, Ellis. Sylvia announces that it is against the Conscientious Objectors 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 Sylvias benefit. Deborah descends into a psychotic …

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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – Chapters 16-19

Summary Esther and Jacob finally admit that Deborahs 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 Deborahs illness, everything makes …

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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – Analysis

Joanne Greenberg wrote I Never Promised You a Rose Garden to refute the simultaneously romanticized and stigmatized status of mental illness. In the late 1960s, reactions to mental illness generally fell between two polarized attitudes. One, popular with the counterculture generation, romanticized mental illness as an altered state of consciousness that was rich in artistic, …

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