The Coming-of-Age Theme in She`s Coming Undone and Girl

The Coming-of-Age Theme
in She’s Coming Undone
and Girl, Interrupted
Use of Setting and Techniques
Group Members on Coming-of-Age
 Rasheeda Phillips
 Sarah Raymond
 Saria Druan
 Kayla Ten Cate
Coming of Age and Crisis in SCU
 Dolores had to overcome all horrible events
of childhood (rape, mother’s problems, dad
leaving, etc.)
 Self esteem
 Grandmother’s pressure to be a lady and
Coming of Age and Crisis in GI
 Accepting her problems and admitting she
had one.
Overcoming the Crisis in SCU
 Hospital and psychiatrist work.
 Maturing
Overcoming the Crisis in GI
 Therapy with Valerie and Dr. Wick
 Friends’ support (stood up for her)
 Journal
Similarities in Coming-of-Age Theme
 Both overcome problems in hospital therapy
 Both had friends’ support
 Parents not so much help/cause of problems
Memorable Coming-of-Age
Quotations and Moments in the Works
 GI-at end when Susanna talks to Tobey. “I
tried to kill myself.”
 SCU-writing letters to grandma
 Jack had an affair with her mom
 Mr. Pucci before he dies, tells D @ love, able
to accept marriage and love from Thayer.
Group Members on Television
 Rebecca Mitchell
 Molly Moskal
 A.J. Maljevic
 Amy Fredrickson
Television Programs in SCU
“Queen for a Day”
“Tic Tac Dough”
“$64000 Question”
“Winner Take All”
“The Ed Sullivan Show”
“Love of Life”
“Three’s Company”
“The Twilight Zone”
Specific Televisions in SCU
 Dolores’s first memory is of the delivery men
moving in the first T.V at 4 years old
 For her 15th birthday, Dolores’ mother bought
her a T.V, but then cut the cord so she would
go to the doctors.
 T.V set in her apartment not shared with
Dante; he thought that it was mind-dulling
 Dolores, at the end of the book, bought a big
screen T.V with satellite dish from settlement
check; she ends up returning the T.V
Role of Television in SCU
 Escape into illusionary world for Dolores
 Comforter in hard times
 TV raised her
 Watched it at pivotal moments in her life,
such as when her Mom died and Neil
Armstrong landed on the moon.
Television in GI
 Main T.V. is usually seen in the film in
Claymoore in the social room.
 T.V. in Daisy’s apartment, which is turned on
when Susanna and Lisa arrive.
Use of Television in Pivotal Scenes in
 T.V. is the window to the outside world.
 Shows the draft of Toby, Death of MLK,
opening of Disneyland as well as the Wizard
of OZ
 The T.V. is used to show the sequence of
time. (Montage)
Purpose of Television in the Two
 The T.V is used to show important information
as well as keep a timeline of current events
during the time period of both Girl, Interrupted
and She’s Come Undone.
 T.V acts as a comfort to both Dolores and the
girls at Claymoore. It keeps them connected
to what’s happening in the “real world.”
Group Members Music and Art
 Emily Lincoln
 Stacy Striekauskas
 Meghan Fluckinger
Music in SCU
 Respect
 Mocking Bird Song
 Worm’s ~ song that Jeannette and Delores
used to sing
Importance of the Song She’s Come
 Delores was able to express her feelings
through songs.
 She had a rough life and was confused and
found a way out through songs.
Music in GI
Played twice at both turning points in story line.
End of the World
It showed when daisy committed suicide and song was relevant.
How To Fight Loneliness - Wilco
It's All Over Now Baby Blue - Them feat. Van Morrison
03.The Weight - The Band
Got A Feelin' - The Mamas & The Papas
Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers
Comin' Back To Me - Jefferson Airplane
Angel Of The Morning - Merrilee Ruch & The Turnabouts
The Right Time - Aretha Franklin
The End Of The World - Skeeter Davis
Downtown - Petula Clark
Original Motion Picture Score (tracks 11 - 29) - Mychael Danna
Importance of the Painting GI
Looking off to side being distance from the
world around her. Maybe she feels lost or
confused about where’s she supposed to
be in life.
Group Members on Sixties
 Caitlin Ferraiolo
 Angela Howell
 Shannon Lusebrink
1960s: General Historical Events
Mentioned in Both Works
- Vietnam War
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- First moon landing
- Civil rights movement
- Women’s movement
- Hippie culture (drugs, sexual freedom)
- Music – The Beatles, Woodstock
Specific Historical ’60s Events in SCU
 Moon landing – the night Delores’ mom dies
 Popularization of TV
 The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
 Woodstock- Larry and Ruth
 Beginning of the environmentalist
movements- the beached whales
 Music of the sixties- RESPECT, Abbey RoadPaul McCartney being dead
Specific Historic ’60s Events in GI
 Assassination of MLK
 Draft- Toby wants Susanna to leave the
hospital and go to Canada with him.
 Hippies- When Susanna and Lisa escape, the
stay with some Hippies for a while.
 Music- “Downtown” and “End of the World”
 JFK signs
 Opening of the new Disney Land
 Homosexuality listed as a mental disorder
Relation of Time Period in SCU to
 Radical social change- goes to college
 Experimentation with drugs and sex -smokes
with Naomi, Larry and Ruth
 Sleeps with Dottie
 Mom is very sexually active (Jack)
 Television in the sixties- it is brand new,
follows her throughout her life
Relation of Time Period in GI to
 Social change- affects the way people were
viewed to have had mental illness.
 Sexual freedom- “What kind of sex isn’t
casual?” first definitions of promiscuity
 Drug use- smoked in the van, prescription
drugs in the hospital (valium)
The ’60s and the Women’s Movement
in Relation to the Themes
 Susanna is told that women now have more
 Delores’ ability to go to college
 Abortion rights- Delores gets an abortion at
Dante’s request
 Trisha Nixon- role model in Delores’ college
Group Members on Parents
 Jamie Michaud
 Vassy Verbouk
 Cassandra Shepard
 Nicole Marsh
Parents: Role of Mother in SCU and
how Dolores was affected.
 Depression and the institution
 Desperate and then the rape
 Guilt and buying food
 Her death
Role of Father in SCU and how
Dolores was affected.
 Chapter 1 Example
 Allowing Petey to fly free
 Pages 26 and 276
 The divorce
Surrogate Father in SCU
 Only parent that hadn’t left her or failed her
 Gave her a “rebirth”
 Forced her to face past
 How would she move on?
 Helped her with life
Role of Mother in GI
 Negative effect on Susanna
 Likes to ignore obvious problems
 Did not talk things over with her daughter
 Did not want to face truths
Surrogate Mother in GI
 She is a mother figure
 A good friend to Susana
 Valerie stuck by her while she was in
Group Members on Institutionalization
 Katie Pfau
 Samantha Cairl
Institutionalization in SCU
 Dolores was put in against her will
 Was a inpatient for the first 4 years, and an
out patient for the last 3.
 She received injections
 Dr. Shaw was considered to be the only
parent that didn’t leave Dolores.
 Didn’t keep any diaries or journals.
Role of Therapy in SCU
 She expressed her true feelings
 Dr. Shaw had faith in Dolores and believed
that she could get better
 Preformed a “rebirth” experience
 Dolores did a lot of visualization
Institutionalization in GI
 Susanna signed herself in, but believed that
her parents put her there.
 Kept a journal and expressed her feelings
and ideas.
 Made friends with the other patients
 Spent only a year and a half at Claymoore
 Never had any injections.
Role of Therapy in GI
 Susanna talked to Valeria and expressed how
she felt.
 She would talk to Dr. Wick towards the end of
the movie, to express her feelings
Comparison of Institutionalization in
the Two Works
 Dolores had injections while Susanna had to
take sleeping pills
 Dolores had to put into a straight jacket, while
Susanna never had to
 Dolores didn’t get visitors while Susanna had
her parents and Toby come to visit.
 Dolores never snuck out, while Susanna
escaped with Lisa to go and visit Daisy.
 Dolores was there for 7 years, while Susanna
was there for a year and a half.
Comparison of Therapy in the Two
 Dolores was friends with Dr. Shaw from the
beginning while Susanna had a working
relationship with Dr. Wick.
 Dolores began recovering right away, but it
took Susanna a while.
 The therapy helped Dolores realize why she
was there, while it took Susanna a while.
New England Setting in SCU
 Starts in Connecticut—south east corner and
Moves to Rhode Island
Leaves New England to attend college in
Pennsylvania but returns to New England
Beached whales on Cape Cod
Rhode Island – institutionalization and group home
Vermont – pursues Dante
Rhode Island – returns there
Seeks whales in Maine
Goes on whale watch with Thayer—final scene
New England Setting in GI
 Lives in an upper-class suburb outside of
 Parents’ emphasis on prestigious New
England colleges
 Goes to Claymoore (based on McClean’s
outside of Boston) – private institution for the
wealthy (Sylvia Plath, James Taylor)
 Leaves at end of the movie for a job in
bookstore in Cambridge
1960s in SCU
 Dolores’ teen years are during the late ’60s
 When she goes off to college, it is the ’60s
 Mention of Woodstock and Hippie Movement
 Some mention of Civil Rights Movement and
Vietnam while at college
1960s in GI
 Vietnam War and the draft
 Sense of rebellion against establishment
 Robert Kennedy running for president but
 Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights
Movement – King assassinated
 Drug culture
Effect on 1960s on Dolores
 Dolores wants to go to Woodstock
 She is on the fringe of the Women’s
 Issue of abortion
 Mention of drugs while she is at Merton
Effect on 1960s on Susanna
 She is in tune with Women’s Movement – does not
want to be a housewife like her mother
She is afraid that Toby will be drafted
She says, “Maybe it was the Sixties,” suggesting that
she it was the time period, not the people, who were
Sixties: time of rebellion, unrest, alienation
Civil Rights Movement: taunts Valerie: Mangold
added this theme to the movie
DSM Manual with definitions of disorders did not exist
Lamb on New England and 1960s
 Lamb was born and has lived in Connecticut
his entire life
 He returned to teach high school at the same
high school he attended
 He graduated from UConn
 He wrote SCU at the library at UConn
 He sets all of his work in New England
 He went on a whale watch and decided to
make one central to his book
Mangold on New England and 1960s
 The setting could have been anywhere
 Filmed in Pennsylvania
 We some fall foliage in the shot panning from
the sky to the trees
 Colleges are Ivy League schools in New
England schools and Susanna’s high school
is in a wealth suburb near Boston, with
pressure to go to college—Boston is a
“college city”
Main Camera Techniques in GI
 Close-ups and extreme close-ups to show characters’ emotions:
Daisy’s control and loss of control seen in her eyes, Susanna’s
bewilderment seen in her eyes
Reaction shots to show how characters’ react to one another:
Susanna’s reaction when she signs in, Susanna’s mother’s
reaction when BPD mentioned
Montages to show the passage of time
Cutaways to provide additional information (girl playing in
opening scene, naked person outside during therapy session)
Angle shots and shot composition – placement of characters in
the frame define them and convey themes of alienation, loss of
control, and power
Partial or split lighting on faces conveys confusion, mixed
Lighting of Valerie in the final scene entering Susanna’s room
shows Valerie with bright light behind her—she is offering hope
 Lisa and Susanna at the cell window: Lisa moves into
the two-shot close-up as we see her eyes and realize
she is accepting Susanna’s offer of friendship and
Many close-ups of Susanna’s express bewilderment,
alienation, detachment
Close-up as the camera zooms in on Melvin as Daisy
is taken away in the ambulance: his sorrow and guilt
Close-up on Melvin and Susanna on the return show
their sadness
Close-ups at the windows—show characters’ POV on
the outside world—bars emphasize they are locked
up and secluded from the outside world
 Zooms in on Susanna and Lisa during the scene at
Daisy’s to show the intensity of their emotions and
Zooms in on Melvin during the rain scene
Zoom in on Lisa’s eyes at the seclusion window
Zoom in on Lisa’s eyes when she yells at Daisy at
Daisy’s apartment
Zoom in on Susanna’s in the reaction shot when she
tells Lisa to shut up after telling Daisy off
 Low angle on Daisy as she climbs the stairs
 Low angle on Lisa when she tells Daisy off—Lisa
acts powerful—but is she? Low angle conveys her
powerlessness and ugliness
 Low angle of Lisa when she leave Daisy’s house—
Lisa is at a low point
 Low angles on the characters at the booths in the ice
cream parlor—they are powerless in how society
defines them—they look distorted as they scream
back at the Gilcrests who are in high angle shots,
looking like caricatures
 High angle shots of Claymoore at cars approach
 Susanna showed in close-ups off center in the frame
 Lisa and Susanna’s positioning and the barrier of the
window and door in the final seclusion scene
Val shown in the background in light in the scene
when she comes to comfort Susanna at night
Val in the extreme long shot when she arrives in the
morning after the night Polly spends in seclusion
The bathroom scene with Daisy hanging between
Lisa and Susanna
The hallway scene with Lisa leaving and Susanna at
the top of the staircase—suggest the power of the
 Susanna talking at the beginning of the movie
explaining her illness versus the ’60s
 Susanna talking at the end of the film telling
about bonding and the ’70s—Mangold said
he did not want to use place cards to explain
the aftermath and preferred the voiceover so
the films stays focused on Susanna and her
POV and reflections
 “Downtown”
 “The End of the World”
 Lighting during tunnel scenes
 Lighting when Val enters Susanna room—
there is a white light behind Val
 Dreary lighting during the rain scene and the
approach to Claymoore: sky is gray—it is also
gray in the scene when Susanna leaves and
returns to Daisy’s apartment
Symbols in SCU
Water: in whale scenes and water therapy
Flying leg painting
Gold fish—Dottie and later in Dolores’ house
when Dante visits
 Dolores’ name—means sorrow
Symbol 1: Whales
 Beached whale: identity, death and rebirth—looking into the
eyes of the whale is like looking into oneself—theme of self
identity and personal growth—Dolores needs to bury the past to
get on with the future—like the whale she is fighting the tide and
 Going into the ocean and returning back to the beach—a rebirth:
water symbolizes womb and birth—swimming back on shore is
a rebirth after being caught in the ocean wave
 Jumping whale on final whale watch at Cape–-she is the first to
see the whale release, freedom to move on—sees whale
“swimming and flying both”—”soaked in her spray””christened”—final words: “I saw”—she now sees her life clearly
 Goes to Maine to see whales but none appear—Dolores is not
yet ready to accept who she is and move on
Symbol 2: Television
False idols
Associated with her habitual eating and setbacks
Needs to give back the giant television and reject what it
symbolizes in her life
 Black and white television—Dante rejects it but it is on in the the
the scene when Dolores discovers the affair
 Dante’s new girlfriend stops to watch television with Dolores
 Television symbolizes the distinction between illusion and
reality—Dolores has to stop living in a world of illusions
Symbol 3: Cars
Car killed Bernice
The peach Cadillac: Mrs. Masicotte
Dolores meets Dante when he is washing his car
Dante buys the Volkswagen with the inheritance—
cuts the teardrop window and goofs it
Take-out food business – need a car
Taxis – ride to Cape Cod
Mr. Pucci gives Dolores a ride home
Jack takes Dolores on the reckless car ride in his
sports car to the deserted dog pound where he rapes
First-Person Narrator in GI
 We see Susanna’s confusion, view of her
parents, changing views of the characters at
Claymoore, and her interpretation of the time
period and people’s values
 We see her change based on her voiceovers
at the beginning—where she is talking about
the past—and her final words at the end,
which show her final self-awareness of who
she is
First-Person Narrator in SCU
 The story is Dolores’ life story and we see
what happens to her from her perspective
 Her changing perceptions of her
grandmother, parents, and others
 Her self-identity and journey through life is
captured in the narration
 We see her naivety – we see that she cannot
analyze all that is happening to her as a third
person narrator might
Significance of Titles
 “She’s Come Undone” plays on the radio during the
final car ride to the Cape
 “Girl, Interrupted” is the title of a painting by
Vermeer—in the book, Susanna went to the Frick to
see this painting with her teacher who seduces her in
the next scene—in the movie, Susanna says she is a
girl interrupted—her life is interrupted by her stay at
 Both title relate to the coming-of-age theme—both
characters have an “interruption” and “come undone”
in their teen years before they can move on to
adulthood—their past will haunt their adult lives but
they gain perspective on what happened to them and
use it to become stronger people
Vermeer’s Painting: Girl, Interrupted at
the Frick Museum in NYC
She’s Come Undone
Undone ( The Guess Who )
She's come undone
She didn't know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
It was too late
She's come undone
She found a mountain that was far too high
And when she found out she couldn't fly
It was too late
It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
She wanted truth but all she got was lies
Came the time to realize
And it was too late
She's come undone
She didn't know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
Mama, it was too late
It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
Too many mountains, and not enough stairs to climb
Too many churches and not enough truth
Too many people and not enough eyes to see
Too many lives to lead and not enough time
She’s Come Undone
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
(Doe-doe-doe-doe-doe doe un doe-doe-doe un doe-doe-doe)
(Doe doe-doe-doe-doe un doe-doe-doe doe-doe-doe)
(Doe doe-doe-doe doe doe-doe-doe doe doe)
It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
She didn't know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
It was too late
She's come undone
She found a mountain that was far too high
And when she found out she couldn't fly
Mama, it was too late
It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
(No no-no-no-no-no no)
(Doe doe doe-doe)