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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Science Fiction or a Metaphor for Depression?

I recently finished The Wall . This novel was written in the 1960s by a German author, Marlen Haushofer. Said to be her greatest work, this book explores the isolation one woman faces when she is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by a wall. Her struggles to survive are documented well. This book is beautifully written. Reading it, I myself felt claustrophobic. I could empathize with the narrator, who is never named. I worried with her and loved with her. I wonder if the author did not name her purposefully so that the reader could picture themselves as that character. Also a stunning portrayal of feminism, this book paints a picture of the strength of the female spirit. All this being said, the book has been described by some as a metaphor for depression. Is it just some supernatural occurrence or is it psychological? The reader wonders why this happened, why the narrator doesn't try harder to escape her circumstances, why she accepts things as they are, etc. Several times she ponders whether or not to commit suicide. Her situation is oppressive, hopeless and she is cut off from the outside world. I think the author captured the lonely and daily despair that is depression. She made strong generalizations about society, also characteristic of someone with these feelings. Some of the most interesting quotes are below with my thoughts on each.

Have you experienced depression? What do you think about the quotes? Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you want to learn more about depression or are seeking help about it, please consider reading these books: The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy , Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Depression may seem endless, but it can be temporary. Read your way to wellness and seek out additional help if you need it!


"Sometimes, long before the wall existed, I wished I was dead, so that I could finally cast off my burden. I always kept quiet a bout this heavy load; a man wouldn't have understood, and the women felt exactly the same way as I did. And so we preferred to chat about clothes, friends and the theatre and laugh, keeping our secret, consuming worry in our eyes. Each of us knew about it, and that's why we never discussed it. That was the price we paid for our ability to love."

My thoughts- How profoundly observant of human nature. Is this true? Has everyone felt this way?

"I was very sorry for them, not because they were dead, but because they had all found so little joy in life."

My thoughts- That's a pretty ambitious and omniscient statement, lacking any evidence.

"I often look forward to a time when there won't be anything left to grow attached to. I'm tired of everything being taken away from me."

My thoughts- Personal and social responsibilities to others are tough, filled with a combination of both love and resentment.

"Loving and looking after another creature is a very troublesome business, and much harder than killing and destruction. It takes twenty years to bring up a child, and ten seconds to kill it."

My thoughts- So very true and sad this is.

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