On a cold winter day in 1983, a concerned social worker paid a call to a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania and found a five year old girl hidden in a second floor storage room. The child, whose name was Susan, was stuck into an old chair with he r arms tied above her head so that she could not move. She was dressed in only a few filthy garments, and her arms and legs were like matchsticks- so
thin and weak that she could not use them. Due to domestic issues Susan was taken to a children’s home in a nearby city shortly after her birth. Susan’s mother was un able to pay for her care, so the child was moved from one’ stranger’s house to anothe r for a period of several months. Finally, not yet six months of age, Susan was brought back to live with her mother and grandfather.
At this point, Susan’s mother kept her in a room that resembled an attic, provi ding almost no attention and just enough milk to keep her alive. Because of the grandfather’s continuing hostility, Susan stayed in that room, with essentially no human contact, fo r five years. Susan did not speak, smile, laugh, or even show anger.
Keep in mind this case study and answer the following:
• Susan did not display any social characteristics that are commonly associated with
human beings. How do you see the impact of this isolation on personality building of
• Critically analyze the reasons behind su ch apathetic condition of Susan. (5)
• Do you think “Susan was an object rather than a person”? Justify with strong argument. (5)
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