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dc.contributor.authorLattas, Dimitra Zoe
dc.date.accessioned2019-08-08
dc.date.available2019-08-08
dc.date.issued2019-02-28
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2123/20860
dc.description.abstractThis thesis explores the testimony of someone who hears voices, and analyses how it is framed discursively within a co-authored life-writing format. There is a long history of reports of voices appearing within a person’s mind and without an apparent speaker. Each culture and time has had a somewhat different interpretation of this phenomenon. For the most part it has been considered an abnormal experience; something to be held either in awe or in dread, as mysticism, shamanism, demonic possession or, more recently, as mental illness. In Western modernity, there is debate on how to explain and respond to these experiences. Most contemporary understandings have been confined to scientific and medical interpretations of voice hearing, in which it is treated as auditory hallucinations, symptomatic of psychoses, often diagnosed as schizophrenia and thus in need of treatment under the careful watch of psychiatry. More recently, however, the routines of medical diagnosis and treatment have been disputed by the Recovery Movement, the Mad Studies Movement (LeFrançois, Menzies & Réaume, 2013) and the Hearing Voices Movement (McCarthy-Jones, 2012; Romme & Escher, 1989). The Hearing Voices Movement founder Dr Marius Romme likens the cultural status of the voice hearing community to that of the pre-1960s homosexual community, whose normal human experiences were classed as deviant, and whose social oppression was justified through the discourse of mental illness. Here, Henry’s narrative is considered in the light of such claims of normality and abnormality. A critical light is shone on the assumptions underpinning recovery philosophies, and the discourse of mental illness more broadly. Henry is the son in the “Father and Son’s Journey” in this text, and his struggle for agency as a voice hearer and author within the seemingly positive discourses of recovery in that co-authored text appears paradoxical. His troubling experience, referred to as his “Demons” in the title, is one of hearing voices, and his struggle for agency has to do with the status and meaning of that experience. This thesis explores the possibility of a new narrative, one that emerges in a comparison of hearing voices with more familiar and socially accepted cognitive processes, including those of dreaming and thinking. My multidisciplinary approach recognises that hearing voices is not universal, and not without its dangers, but it encourages a shift towards a consideration of the phenomenon as a variation on some very human states of mind. It hopes to increase the chances of voice hearing reports being accepted and embraced as rich sources of meaning, both for literature and for any health professionals who might be invested more in the talking (and listening) cure than in the pharmaceutical cure, which aims at eliminating the voices altogether.en_AU
dc.rightsThe author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.en_AU
dc.subjecthearing voicesen_AU
dc.subjectschizophreniaen_AU
dc.subjectHenry's Demonsen_AU
dc.subjectmental healthen_AU
dc.subjectArendten_AU
dc.subjectMad Studiesen_AU
dc.titleParadigms of Hearing Voices in the Narrative of Henry’s Demons, A Father and Son’s Journey Out of Madness: Hearing Voices as a Human Experienceen_AU
dc.typeThesisen_AU
dc.type.thesisMasters by Researchen_AU
usyd.facultyFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Literature, Art and Mediaen_AU
usyd.departmentDepartment of Englishen_AU
usyd.degreeMaster of Arts (Research) M.A.(Res.)en_AU
usyd.awardinginstThe University of Sydneyen_AU


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