A Sense of Direction: The Phenomenon of the Authentic Artistic Choice
Phillip, a young man of 18, confined to a psychiatric hospital because it is believed he murdered another youth at the age of 13, sits in a neck brace due to self-inflicted injuries sustained in his violent, hallucinatory reenactment of the abuse his father wreaked upon him. His mother, Clora, visits and offers to share a cigarette, a social ritual that allows them to connect when words do not reach across the divide between them. Getting ready to depart, she says, “One last puff”(Farrell 2001: p. 49). She raises the cigarette to his lips. He takes a drag. Clora starts to pull the cigarette away. Phillip reaches up to grasp her hand, closes his eyes and brings the cigarette back to his lips.
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