The Theme of Mental Illness in "The Woman in The Window" Written by A.j. Finn

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About this sample


Words: 1277 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: May 7, 2019

Words: 1277|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: May 7, 2019

Mental illness can affect a person's family member, friend, loved one or colleague at one point of their life. Mental illness has been a struggle in many people's life, some being more of a problem than others. Anna Fox in the novel The Woman in the Window written by A.J. Finn, is a woman who struggles with several different mental illnesses. The novels protagonist Anna is treated to feel different because of her mental illness, this shows how each of the relationships in her life are treated differently, through her family, friends and herself.

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Anna is a middle aged woman who struggles with several different mental illnesses being agoraphobia, severe anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. With all of these mental illnesses she also has an alcohol addiction. Anna is a mother to her daughter Olivia and an ex-wife to Ed. Anna had a very unique relationship with her family. Olivia and Ed made Anna feel like she was normal but were aware of what was said around her. On the night of Halloween Anna and Ed get into an argument about their daughter Olivia's weight “I’ll have a word with Ed. But when I do, he’s defensive. “It’s the one night of the year she gets to eat candy for dinner,” he says. “I don’t want her getting in trouble.” Silence. “With the dentist?” “With her weight.” He sighs.” This argument between both Anna and Ed gets heated pretty quickly over Olivia’s weight. Ed tries not to argue with Anna knowing that it will only make her anxiety worse and will start to stress more. Throughout the novel The Woman in the Window Anna is battling with an alcohol addiction. “I drain my glass. “I think that’s enough for tonight.” “Anna.” “Ed.” I can almost hear him breathe “I’m sorry we’re not there with you.” This conversation between Anna and Ed show that they care for one another and that Ed is trying to help Anna with her alcohol addiction without pressuring her too much and being sensitive and cautious around her knowing that if he says the wrong thing it could cause bigger problems for both of them. Anna then explains to her therapist Dr. Fielding that her and Ed have been arguing more about Olivia and her mental health, “You say that you and Ed argued about Olivia yesterday. Are these conversations helpful?” Anna admits to Dr. Fielding that her and Ed keep arguing about her mental health and addiction, how it is affecting Olivia and Ed. Anna's relationship with her family can be easy at times but then complicated. Her mental illness and alcohol addiction affects her relationship with her ex-husband Ed and daughter Olivia.

Throughout the novel The Woman in the Window there are many characters who come and go. Anna soon then develops friendships with her tenant David and the woman across the street Jane Russell. Anna struggling with her mental health and addiction comes in between her friendships. Anna has a crush on her tenant David calling him ‘cute’ and ‘sweet’, their friendship then becomes stronger. Anna shares that her and David have slept together, because she is an alcoholic she is unsure if she actually slept with him or if she just made this up in her head while she was drunk. Later on, this makes Anna's relationship with David awkward and uncomfortable, of her not being sure what actually happened. The woman across the street Jane Russell is who Anna would watch from her Nikon camera when bored “I sip my wine, wipe my lip, raise the Nikon again. Look through the lens. She looks back at me. I drop my camera in my lap.” Anna invades Jane’s privacy, but since Jane knows that she struggles with mental illness and is an alcoholic she chooses to ignore the problem and does not make it a big deal. If Anna had not struggled with this illness and addiction, Jane would have reacted differently and choose to acknowledge the problem. Throughout the novel Jane is more fragile of the words that come out of her mouth and the tone that is used, she is constantly treating Anna like she is a child and engages with Annas addiction instead of helping her. Halloween is the one night of the year that causes Anna bad anxiety. Since she has been diagnosed with agoraphobia she is not able to go outside without having a panic attack or passing out. On the night of halloween, when she could not open the door to give out candy to the children, they laughed at her illness “There they are, clustered in the streets like marauders, laying siege to my home, their shadow endless in the dying light. I bat at the glass. One of them points at me, laughs.” The children in her area laugh at her face instead of keeping it to themselves. Anna’s relationship with her tenant David, neighbor Jane and the children in her area can be very complicated. This being either Anna’s addiction coming in between a friendship, being treated as a child or laughed at for her illness by children.

As known Anna has several types of mental illnesses and an alcohol addiction. This affects her relationship with herself and how she is treating her mind and body. Anna has a choice to choose if she wants to help herself or not, but she does not want too. From start to end of novel The Woman in the Window, Anna’s drinking gets worse putting herself in danger, “The definition of insanity, Fox Wesley used to remind me, paraphrasing Einstein, is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different result.” Anna realizing the definition of insanity, she questions if she is going insane since she follows the same routine everyday hoping for something new to come out of it. Anna feels that this definition resonates with her life and questions if she wants to change it and help herself. Tracking Anna’s drinking it becomes worse and more dangerous for her, “Something’s happening to me, through me, something dangerous and new. It’s taken root, a poison tree; it’s grown, fanning out vines winding round my gut, my lungs, my heart.” Anna starts to notice that she is changing in a dangerous new way, thinking that it could be caused by her drinking. Anna has a history of mixing her medication and alcohol together and being irresponsible with her health. Mixing prescription medication and alcohol can make a person become more ill and can cause an overdose. Anna is constantly taking her medication at random times, skips days, takes to much or mixes it with alcohol. She knows that it is unhealthy and can lead to health risk and an overdose but still does it anyways. She does not respect her mind or her body treating it as if it were garbage. Anna does not care for herself, and does not want to change either. She knows what she is doing can lead her to a dangerous life but still does it anyway. Anna is very irresponsible and does not have respect for her mind, body and life.

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To conclude, Anna Fox in the novel The Woman in the Window written by A.J. Finn struggles with various mental illnesses and an alcohol addiction. She is treated to feel differently because of this, she struggles to maintain a proper relationship between family, friends and herself without her mental health and addiction getting involved, treating Anna differently. Mental illness is still feared and misunderstood from so many people, this will only vanish if there is no divide between people who suffer with mental illness and people who do not.

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The Theme Of Mental Illness In “The Woman In The Window” Written By A.J. Finn. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 22, 2024, from
“The Theme Of Mental Illness In “The Woman In The Window” Written By A.J. Finn.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2019,
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