Ideas for Ellen Forney “Marbles” posting

Use these ideas, or choose another approach, for this week’s posting on Ellen Forney’s “Marbles.”

1.) Forney talks a fair amount in her interview with Lambda Literary about why she chose the graphic novel and memoir forms to tell her story. Choose a quote from her interview, and apply it to a specific set of frames from the book to explain why you find the graphic novel and memoir formats to combine well (or poorly) to tell her story.

2.) We’ve talked a fair amount about literary realism and how an author might distort medical reality in order to tell a story well. Forney goes to great lengths to make her story medically informative as well as personally expressive. Find a set of frames where Forney is either very true to medical realities¬† without losing a sense of personal reality (you might compare her version of instability with that of Harper in Angels, for example).

3.) To what extent does Forney position mental illness as not entirely an illness? That is to say, what frames show her doing things better due to her “disability,” and when/how does she balance her desire to conform to societal norms with her own desire for expressive individuality? Choose a set of frames that show her struggling with this issue and explain how they impact you as a reader.

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