Chapter 8 Notes from I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Joanne Greenberg
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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Chapter 8

Jacob and Esther get the monthly letter from the hospital reporting Deborah's move to the Disturbed ward. Worried, she writes to Dr. Fried, and Dr. Fried warns them not to let their fear interfere with Deborah's treatment.

At Deborah's session, Dr. Fried points out the trend that whenever Deborah reveals one of her secrets to the doctor, she escapes to Yr in fear. Deborah sees the doctor's point, and so she explains that "one day [she] was walking home from school and Lactamaeon came to her and said, 'Three changes and Their Mirrors, and then Death.'" Part 1, Chapter 8, Pg. 58

Deborah had figured out what the changes and their mirrors were, and she explains to Dr. Fried that the first change was the nightmare that she had before her first surgery as a five-year-old. Her dream had told her that she would be as strong and healthy as the red flower in the pot on the windowsill. Beyond the window, the sky turned from blue to gray and a rock thrown from outside the window broke the flower pot. The red flower lay among the broken pieces of pottery with its roots exposed. The mirror of that change came when she was older. She was walking home as a teenager and she saw a broken flower pot lying on the sidewalk with its red flower spilled amid the pottery fragments.

The second change was when she was at camp for the first time and she told on a girl who had said that she couldn't walk with them because she was a Jew. Because Deborah didn't know the girls very well, she got their names confused and told on the wrong girl. That night at the campfire, a counselor had warned the campers about the girl who told lies and used her religion as a way to make people feel sorry for her. After that, Deborah was an outcast at the camp, and Yr came to her to replace the friendship she lacked. The mirror of that change came years later when she was in a crowded car with people her own age and she'd heard Anterrabae calling to her to join the world she belonged to. She made them stop the car and let her out so that she could go find where she really belonged.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 4

The third change had been when her family moved to an apartment in Chicago. Her mother expected the change to be for the best, but Deborah's illness grew worse in the city. The mirror of the change was when Deborah had been walking home from a doctor's appointment only to realize that she'd lost a day. She was running from something unknown and a police officer stopped her to see if she was okay. She'd known that the changes and their mirrors had come, and so she was at peace because she knew that death was nearby. That was the night she'd tried to slit her wrists and been caught by her mother.

After Deborah's explanation, Dr. Fried points out that Deborah has found somewhere other than Yr to belong now that her sickness has been acknowledged. In her illness, Deborah has found a group to belong to on the D ward.

Hobbs is a new intern on the ward, and the women harass him constantly because they can see his fear. They can tell that he is one of them who hasn't been locked up yet, and so they torment him.

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