The presentation of mental disturbance in modern Scottish literature

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The subject of madness features throughout world literature, but the literature of modern Scotland appears to be especially preoccupied with it. This paper gives a brief overview of the ways in which madness is represented in modern Scottish literature and the different artistic functions it performs. It will consider the subject on a thematic basis. First, there are accounts by writers who have experienced mental turmoil themselves. Second, there is the theme of the ‘Narrative of personal crisis’ which depicts in fictional form an individual's journey through madness. Third, there is the theme of the ‘Gothic or divided selves’. The fourth theme is that of the ‘Female voice’ and the last is that of ‘Outsiders and holy fools’, whose existence is to unsettle the beliefs of a wider society.

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