Advanced Higher English Dissertation Books

but I am familiar with the other two. I think your theme of mental illness is a good one. When Sylvia Plath stuck her head in a gas oven and committed suicide, she probably could have been saved except for society's stance on mental illness in the 60s. She needed help, but it just wasn't available. In Ken Keysey's book, the protaginist had a frontal lobotomy which made him into a vegetable. Today, a Dr. would be sued or possibly face prison for performing such an operation, especially in a public hospital.

He wrote no books on mental health, but Hemingway was led to sucide by the clinicians at the Mayo Clinic. He was suferring from a persecution complex, talking about the government and the IRS being after him. After taking multiple electric shock treatments (where an electric current is run through the brain), Hemingway couldn't follow the plot of Tom Sawyer. He had lost his memory. The result was his suicide. This therapy is no longer used, but it shouldn't have been used in 1960-61. Today, drugs would be used to treat such problems.

Another book featuring mental illness is Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night.
Nicole, the wife of Dr. Dick Diver, is treated by Diver for a mental condition close to schizophrenia, brought on by her rape and continual sexual contact by her father. I imagine that in writing his famous novel, Fitzgerald looked upon some of the mental illness exhibited by his wife, Zelda, who eventually died in a mental institution, although she died in a fire, not because of medical practices which were dangerous and unsuitable for any treatment of mental disease.

There are plenty of real life experiences which were mostly disastrous because of the medical theories of the time. John F. Kennedy's sister was given a frontal lobotomy upon the advice of a doctor. She spent the rest of her life a vegetable. The bad reputation of brain surgery for fixing mental problems prompted Dorothy Parker to quip, "I'd raher have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy."


  1. 09-10-2007, 03:35 PM#1
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    Fitzgerald - Adv Higher English Dissertation help needed!

    Right. So, for my Advanced Higher English I have decided to study 'The Beautiful and Damned' and 'Tender is the Night' by F Scott Fitzgerald.

    I wanted to re-do The Great Gatsby, seeing as I'm an avid fan, but seeing as I did it at Higher, alas I cannot study it at Adv Higher :-(


    So basically, I was wondering if any of you who are familair with the two novels could help me in anyway come up with a really good question to compare the two texts?

    I was thinking something along the lines of how he portrays the complexities of marriage/relationships using different linguistic techniques etc, but I feel there is probably something I could study in far more depth that would get me a better overall grade! I've always been awful with thinking up questions like such so any help at all would be much appreciated!

    Thanks :-) x
    Her voice is full of money.

  2. 09-12-2007, 12:40 PM#2
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    How about from the point of view...comparative female characters in both works...also comparative to Zelda, Fitzgerald's unusual wife http://www.pbs.org/kteh/amstorytellers/bios.html

  3. 05-17-2008, 01:15 AM#3
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    The interior dialectic of Fitzgerald seen through his works. I know Lionel Trilling wrote an essay about it in The Liberal Imagination called "F. Scott. Fitzgerald" where he talks about Fitzgerald's struggle compared to Gatsby's, and other works. That may be interesting to write about.

  4. 05-20-2009, 07:09 AM#4
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    I have not read those novels. I wish I have. Some day perhaps. Best of luck.

  5. 05-20-2009, 07:12 AM#5

  6. 09-28-2012, 05:40 AM#6
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    Do you know what it is in those two novels that draws you to studying them? Once you get an idea of that, it becomes easier to form it into a question.

    Although I must say that some topics will have been done to depth, like the links between Zelda Fitzgerald and the women in Fitzgerald's novels. You could always argue that you don't see the parallels as being fundamental to his work. Look at some of the things we generally think about Fitzgerald and ask yourself what such thoughts bring to a study of his work.

  7. 09-28-2012, 02:10 PM#7

    Well, Kelby, seeing as this request was made five years ago, you may be a little late with that advice by a day or two.

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