Girl, Interrupted

by

Susanna Kaysen

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Alice Calais Character Analysis

A new arrival on the ward who appears “normal” at first, but soon reveals that she knows almost nothing about the world—she has never tasted honey, and she has never heard of the famous French city of Calais which shares her name. After a month or so, Alice “explodes” in a fit of rage, and is sent to maximum security. When Susanna, Georgina, and Lisa visit her, they find her enclosed in a bare cell, covered in her own feces. Alice proclaims proudly that she is “doing better,” and the three women wonder, as they leave the maximum security ward and return to their own, whether any one of them could end up like Alice.
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Alice Calais Character Timeline in Girl, Interrupted

The timeline below shows where the character Alice Calais appears in Girl, Interrupted. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 25: Calais is Engraved on My Heart
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
A new name, Alice Calais, has appeared on the blackboard. As Alice arrives on the ward, the other girls... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
One morning, while eating toast with honey, Alice remarks that she has never had honey in her life. She tastes it, and remarks... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
After about a month, Alice explodes “like a volcano.” She is locked in seclusion, and the girls can hear muffled... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...but a bare mattress. The girls survey their new surroundings apprehensively as they move toward Alice’s room. (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
When the girls arrive at Alice’s room, they immediately notice that the walls—and Alice’s face and limbs—are smeared with fecal matter.... (full context)