Girl, Interrupted

by

Susanna Kaysen

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A charismatic ex-drug addict and wild-eyed sociopath, Lisa is proud of her rare and dangerous diagnosis and constantly engages in behavior which shows off her lack of empathy, social awareness, and regard for consequences. Lisa frequently escapes the psych ward for a day or two at a time, and though she is always caught, the stories she tells about her time on the “outside” always enchant and inspire the other girls on the ward. Lisa becomes a friend and a kind of mentor to Susanna, who sees Lisa as a guide through the complicated and isolated world of McLean.

Lisa Quotes in Girl, Interrupted

The Girl, Interrupted quotes below are all either spoken by Lisa or refer to Lisa. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Girl, Interrupted published in 1994.
Chapter 17 Quotes

“We'll find you a new [boyfriend] in the cafeteria," said Georgina. "I’m sure Wade knows somebody nice.”

"Let's forget it," I said. The truth was, I didn't want a crazy boyfriend.

Lisa looked at me. "l know what you're thinking," she said. "You don't want some crazy boyfriend, right?" I was embarrassed and didn't say anything. "You'll get over it," she told me. "What choice have you got?" Everybody laughed. Even I had to laugh.

Related Characters: Susanna Kaysen (speaker), Lisa (speaker), Georgina (speaker), Wade Barker
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Girl, Interrupted LitChart as a printable PDF.
Girl, Interrupted PDF

Lisa Character Timeline in Girl, Interrupted

The timeline below shows where the character Lisa appears in Girl, Interrupted. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Fire
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
...the crying hasn’t stopped, Susanna begins to ask around about who’s crying. A patient named Lisa, who knows everything about everyone, tells Susanna that it’s Polly who’s been crying. As Polly... (full context)
Chapter 5: Freedom
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
Lisa has run away again, and all the women on the ward are sad, since it... (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 Lisa comes out of seclusion two days later, her long nails have been cut down to... (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
Susanna asks one of the nurses whether Lisa is being doped up with meds, but the nurse refuses to discuss other patients’ medication... (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 a month or two, Lisa begins spending more time away from the TV—primarily in the bathroom. Susanna notices that Lisa... (full context)
Chapter 8: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
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Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...in aluminum foil, and Daisy “fondle[s]” the chicken throughout the rest of her father’s visits. Lisa believes that Daisy and her father have an incestuous relationship. Every morning, Daisy goes to... (full context)
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Nobody on the ward has ever been inside Daisy’s room, but Lisa is determined to get in, and tells Susanna that she has a plan. Lisa loudly... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Lisa enters Daisy’s room after offering Daisy the laxatives, while Georgina and Susanna watch from down... (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
Georgina asks Lisa why Daisy does this, but Lisa answers that she doesn’t know. Polly asks about the... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...week, Daisy announces boastfully that her father has purchased an apartment for her for Christmas. Lisa gossips to the other girls, claiming that the apartment is a “love nest.” Georgina asks... (full context)
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...apartment. The girls clamor for details, but the head nurse insists that they aren’t important. Lisa points out that yesterday was Daisy’s birthday, and all of the patients share a moment... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Prelude to Ice Cream
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...Being restricted to the ward was the baseline of “privilege,” and frequent runaways such as Lisa often lingered at this level. The next step was “two-to-one,” which meant that two nurses... (full context)
Chapter 16: Another Lisa
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
One day, another Lisa arrives. The girls call this new Lisa by her full name, Lisa Cody, to distinguish... (full context)
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After Lisa Cody gets her diagnosis, the two Lisas begin acting out more and more. Everyone realizes... (full context)
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Lisa wants to find a way to get rid of Lisa Cody once and for all.... (full context)
Chapter 17: Checkmate
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Susanna, Lisa Cody, Georgina, and Lisa sit on the floor in front of the nursing station smoking... (full context)
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Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Lisa and the other girls implore Susanna to get rid of her boyfriend and “get a... (full context)
Chapter 20: Security Screen
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Susanna, Lisa, and Daisy are sitting in their usual spot by the nurses’ station, sharing a cigarette.... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...from the nurses’ station and offers to send an aid to open the window in Lisa’s room. Lisa says she’s not interested in having her window opened. The nurse tells Lisa... (full context)
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Valerie calls for an aide to open Lisa’s window, but Lisa insists Valerie do it herself. Lisa again threatens to call her lawyer... (full context)
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...screen. The whole process is hard work and takes about three minutes. Valerie returns from Lisa’s room after a few minutes and informs Lisa that her window is now open. Lisa... (full context)
Chapter 21: Keepers
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...years old. Valerie was tall, with tapered legs and arms, and looked a lot like Lisa. Valerie was good at curling herself into corners, and often was the one to help... (full context)
Chapter 22: Nineteen Sixty-Eight
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
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...reflected in Seale’s—she, too, is bound, gagged, and tied down weekly for her electroshock sessions. Lisa, however, is angry at Cynthia for making such a comparison. Lisa points out that the... (full context)
Chapter 23: Bare Bones
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...because of her “noble bearing.” Torrey is an amphetamine addict, and is the only person Lisa respects, because of the fact that they both shoot up. Every few months, Torrey’s parents... (full context)
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Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...diversion so that only one nurse will be able to take Torrey in the taxi. Lisa throws a tantrum, successfully diverting the nurse’s attention—but then Valerie is selected to take Torrey... (full context)
Chapter 25: Calais is Engraved on My Heart
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...really seems to have spent her life “locked up in a closet eating Cheerios,” as Lisa begins to believe. (full context)
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...is taken away to maximum security, and her name is removed from the chalkboard. Georgina, Lisa, and Susanna tell the nurses that they want to visit Alice, and the nurses allow... (full context)
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...fact that Alice professed to be getting better when she was clearly in deep distress. Lisa posits that everything is relative. (full context)
Chapter 29: Topography of the Future
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One night, Susanna returns to the hospital from one of these dates and tells Lisa and Georgina that she has received a marriage proposal, and has said yes. Lisa asks... (full context)
Chapter 33: Farther On, Down the Road, You Will Accompany Me
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A few years after Georgina left Massachusetts, Susanna ran into Lisa in Harvard Square. Lisa introduced Susanna to her child, and both women marveled at how... (full context)