jump to our homepage -  www.scybolt.comView the essay indexGeneral Information

Homework Assignment Directory

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Responsive essay to novel

            When Deborah was young, she had a very tough childhood. Unable to escape her emotional buildup, she lost control and plunged into an imaginary abyss. It was only by her own mental strength and experience, which helped her in the fight for identity and survival in the real world.

At a young age of sixteen, Deborah was brought to live in a mental hospital. Her parents purposefully tried to ignore their family’s situation, and Deborah did not really care much yet about her mental downfall. This situation didn’t make Deborah’s recovery seem anywhere soon. Deborah would have to work alone to cure herself.

After being in the hospital for quite some time, without any signs of improvement, Deborah began to realize that she acted very immature sometimes, and became ashamed and upset at herself. “I’m poisonous and I hate it” (p.169) Deborah told Furii. By saying this, Deborah obviously must have had the mental strength to be able to say this and believe it.

One night Deborah listened to the conversation in the nursing station through the pipe next to her bed. She overheard one of the nurses talk about how crazy she had acted during the day. Deborah “covered her face with her hands. It was hot with shame. She crawled a little away from the pipe so that she would be on neutral ground, and disassociated from the source of knowledge.” (p. 183) this experience caused her to look squarely at her pathetic life and realize how stupid she has acted. Once Deborah knew what she did wrong, she could counter-act her strange temper and try hard to act crazy less often. Eventually she was able to go from ward “D” to ward “B” permanently, giving herself confidence and a new hope for survival.

Deborah was told many times that the imaginary world of Yr was just in her head. She never really thought about it much until she began to wonder if there really was a real world that made sense. Once she tried to understand the real world, it began to make sense to her. “Slowly and steadily, Deborah began to see colors in the world… And in a slow, oncoming way, widening from a beginning, it appeared to Deborah that she would not die.” (p. 192) Once Deborah realized the color, dimension, and beauty of the world; she began to question the existence and quality of Yr. “Yr still gave great beauty and joy, but the beauty and joy were at the tyrant’s erratic whim.” (p. 212)

One Sunday, Deborah and Carla left the ward to go outside for a walk. “The afternoon was settling into evening and a light rain was beginning to fall, but neither of them could bear to part with this small and special mutiny against Sunday, supervision, and the world.” (p. 217) They were outside so long that they didn’t come back until midnight. When questioned after their arrival, Deborah agreed that the adventure was indeed very fun. Despite what she and Carla had done, she was treated well, giving her assurance in her doctors. Also, the whole experience caused Deborah to realize the freedom the world has to offer and gave her a new love for survival in the real world.

“Although she [Deborah] read Latin and some Greek, she had never graduated from high school and her memory of it now was almost four years old… She looked in the town papers and was surprised at her feeble knowledge of the world and it’s requirements. No job, even the simplest, was open to her… she did not have enough education to qualify for them.” (p.233) Deborah decided to take high school again to obtain her diploma. This experience qualified her for a reasonable job to begin a new life.

One of the greatest mental realizations which helped Deborah take the real world even more seriously, was the realization that the world of Yr was indeed totally in her imagination. In her imagination, the “god” of Yr “flashed by, shrieking with laughter, joined suddenly by another figure, a figure which she recognized from a distant book, one of the forgotten books in Grandfather’s study… Even Anterrabae was not hers!” (p. 252)

            By now, Deborah understood her problems and decided to live “full weight” for the real world. “She saw why she could never explain the nature of her failures to these people who so needed to understand it.” (p. 254) Now we can understand that it was only by Deborah’s own mental strength and experience, which helped her in the fight for identity and survival in the real world.


jump to our homepage -  www.scybolt.comView the essay indexGeneral Information

Homework Assignment Directory

[Reading] [Writing] [Orals] Enjoy your stay! Feel free to print out anything!