Ask Again, Yes Themes & Motifs

Mary Beth Keane
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Mental Illness

Anne Stanhope's mental illness occupies a large part of Ask Again, Yes and it's what sets the plot in motion. Keane does a careful job of depicting mental illness in a way that helps readers empathize with her characters. She makes it clear that many people in the novel misunderstand Anne Stanhope. Additionally, Anne Stanhope is frequently mistreated based on these misunderstandings, which only makes her issues worse. For example, after she wields a gun in a deli, EMTs force pills in her mouth and try to make her answer questions. "They were idiots, she thought," Keane writes (57). They had no brains for nuance. They had no conception of a way of thinking that was different than their own." Anne's medication makes her feel funny and so she stops taking it. Later, Anne feels dehumanized by her experience in the mental hospital where she is...

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This section contains 2,205 words
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