Reading Through Madness: A Narrative Comparison of Plath and Hornbacher
This thesis will compare the private journals of Sylvia Plath to the memoirs of Marya Hornbacher, tracing the similarities in rhetorical language between the two narratives. The similarities between the two authors show the presence of both mania and depression on a literary level. While the thesis is not arguing whether or not these experiences of mania and depression are medically or scientifically validated, it is arguing that there are numerous, traceable, and identifiable characteristics that span across madness narratives within the specific cultural framework of a woman's experience. A close analysis of the private journals of Plath shows a cognitive narration of the experience of having manic and depressive episodes. This thesis argues that both texts show discreet, linguistic indicators of depression and mania and that these experiences construct causality for both the author and the audience out of disorder and chaos, but doing so through a distinctly female point of view. By comparing similarities in metaphors, adverbial intensifiers, and second person narration, readers are able to get a sense of what it is like to experience life as a female with a mental illness. Therefore, these traceable, identifiable rhetorical and literary features of madness are essential to the validation of the self of both the author and the reader, making the study of madness narratives invaluable for understanding the female literary mind.
Knott, Sophronia. (December 2017). Reading Through Madness: A Narrative Comparison of Plath and Hornbacher (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6478.)
Knott, Sophronia. Reading Through Madness: A Narrative Comparison of Plath and Hornbacher. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, December 2017. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6478. August 17, 2022.
Knott, Sophronia, “Reading Through Madness: A Narrative Comparison of Plath and Hornbacher” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, December 2017).
Knott, Sophronia. Reading Through Madness: A Narrative Comparison of Plath and Hornbacher [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; December 2017.
East Carolina University