Final Equus Essay (William Lake).docx - William Lake Professor Floridia Final Equus Essay Sick in the Head According to Whitaker Mental illness has been

Final Equus Essay (William Lake).docx - William Lake...

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William Lake Professor Floridia June 29, 2018 Final Equus Essay Sick in the Head According to Whitaker, Mental illness has been on the rise for decades, and it is thought that the number of Americans that are currently affected by some form of it has almost doubled since the year 1987 (23). This is largely due to the fact that what we now know today in terms of how to recognize and treat different forms of mental illness as opposed to years prior when research and documented incidences was limited is much greater. It is because of this lack of information that doctors and medical professionals alike had trouble diagnosing and treating cases involving severe forms of psychological problems in earlier years, and many people suffered from lack of proper treatment. In the play “Equus”, by Peter Shaffer, the parents of a young, mentally ill boy by the name of Alan Strang are at a loss of how to handle their child’s strange and clearly deranged behavior as it begins to turn sexual and violent towards animals. The parents turn to a psychologist by the name of Martin Dysart in hopes of finding a cure to end the madness that they assure the doctor is plaguing their son. Despite the parents good intentions in finding help for their child, it is because of events during Alan’s upbringing as well as their involvement, both negatively and positively, that contributed to his ill state. After analyzing the main character in Shaffer’s “Equus”, it can be understood that Alan’s mental illness resulted from a combination of Zoophilia, having an Oedipal relationship
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with his parents, and being subject to a damaging amount of religious influence as well as a repressed childhood. The development of Alan’s psychological problems resulted in abnormal thought processes and fixations, which included but was not limited to divergent sexual desires considered far different than that of what is deemed normal and accepted. Most humans are born with an innate desire for love and affection shared with that of the opposite sex, and most importantly the same species. However, it is not to say that some individuals will not end up finding comfort in taboo sexual relations despite the natural inclinations of their genetic makeup. Zoophilia is a term used to describe a type of paraphilia involving a persistent sexual interest of humans in animals, and it is this type of compulsion that Alan exhibited. Williams and Weinberg argue that this development of emotional bonds and intimate relations with animals is largely due to predisposing factors such as adolescent age, male gender, and the availability of animals (1). This is relevant
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