What is Normal?

Student: Kathryne Mirto
Mentor: Cara Erdheim Kilgallen
Major: English

This capstone project examines what it means to be normal in western society. This project examines normalcy through the works of Sylvia Plath, author of The Bell Jar and Rachel Florence Roberts, author of The Medea Complex. The Bell Jar I was published in 1963 in America and The Medea Complex was published in 2015 in England. However both of these novels portray a young woman suffering from mental illness. Throughout this project, I consider whether mental illness does or does not affect someone’s state of normalcy. More often than not normalcy becomes the subject of disability but I am only focusing on mental illness in literature. I hope that this project is able to shed a new light on mental illness in literature and that over time more novels are written about mental illness.