Mental Health of Anons

Rinchen Lama

Eng. 102

Prof. J. Polish

21st Nov. 2017

Mental Health of the Anons

The play Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka is an insightful piece that shows the life of refugees from different places in the U.S. The play is simple at first glance and depicts a heroic journey of Anon, a young refugee from a war torn country, but as you dive deeper it becomes clearer that it is in fact a play that addresses the problems that immigrants face. According to UNHCR there are about 20 million people classified as refugees (http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/refugees.html, 4th Nov. 2017). These refugees have various mental health issues which are very often overlooked because of the lack of resources and knowledge to recognize them. Because of this, many refugees suffer from very dangerous mental conditions. As a result of such uncared and untreated mental condition, Anon, who seemed to be very healthy and had a very strong will to survive, could in fact have developed a mental illness and the entire play could have been his imagination. Although the play in itself is fictional, the characters in the play slightly hint that Anon could have had some mental issues.

The first hint that the play is Anon’s imagination is seen when Naja enters from the ocean as a surfer. Although making Naja a surfer makes us think that the scenario is legit, it is clear that that is not the case as Naja talks about telepathy and at the end of the conversation Naja and Anon dive into the ocean. The scene clearly shows that the very beginning of Anon’s adventure in the place, which is not his home, could simply be his imagination. An article on Mental Health of Refugees by WHO says, ”..many children may be unaccompanied. They have special needs. If these needs are not met, serious mental health problems are likely to occur” (http://apps.who , 4th Nov. 2017). It is not uncommon to find signs of depression and frustration among refugees, especially children. As said above, Anon could have been a very similar victim of mental problems and could have suffered long term problems like schizophrenia, depression and frustration specially because he was from a war-torn place.

A study done by a team of psychiatrists from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland on Combodian teenagers who had been held in refugee camps when they were 12 or younger, still suffered a range of psychological problems when they were 20 or younger (http://www.nytimes.com , 22nd November 2017). Anon could have been one of these children. Although he suffered the same conditions as them or maybe even worse, his mental wounds remained untreated and resulted in things that were far worse. But this could also be true for so many other refugee children. The children under the study were only a fraction of a much larger group. Anon, was only a representation of the many children whose mental health remain neglected.

 

In the play Anon displays many things that are unusual like hearing voices, talking to people that aren’t really there, illogical thoughts and violent speech or action. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder whose symptoms match very closely to the behavior displayed by Anon. Although delusions and psychosis are major symptoms of schizophrenia, other symptoms can include false memories, paranoia and hallucinations (www.nytimes.com , 21 November 2017). A study done on schizophrenia titled Social adversity during childhood increases schizophrenia risk concluded, “The study found that the more social adversity “harzard ratios” that a person experienced, the more likely they were to develop schizophrenia later in life” (http://www.schizophrenia.com, 21 November 2017). Hence it is possible that Anon, who went through so much struggle very early in life could have been sick this whole time. This also leads us to believe that although not all, major portions of the play could simply be Anon’s imagination.

To conclude Anon, our hero, who is on a quest to discover himself and find his mother in this foreign land unknown to him is struggling not only against the harsh conditions that have been displayed in the play but is also fighting the psychological trauma. He is a survivor of a war but he is still a fighter in the battles in his head. He is a representation of everyone who survived only to fight more battles, all the refugees, the children and the parents. His role through the play is to attract the attention of people towards those who need help, not only financial but also social.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work cited

 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Refugees.” UNHCR, 4 November 2017,

http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/refugees.html

 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Health Organization. “Mental Health of Refugees” 1996

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/41825/1/9241544864_eng.pdf

 

Goleman, Daniel. “Terror’s Children: Mending Mental Wounds” February 24, 1987

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/02/24/science/terror-s-children-mending-mental-wounds.html

 

The New York Times. “Symptoms of Schizophrenia” February 17, 1981

http://www.nytimes.com/1981/02/17/science/symptoms-of-schizophrenia.html

 

Schizophrenia.com. “Social Adversity During Childhood Increases Schizophrenia Risk” September 01, 2005

http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/002356.html 21 November 2017

 

Was Anon Dreaming? Final paper

Nagat Almatare

English 102

Professor

                                           Was Anon Dreaming?

 

In the play “(Anon(ymous),” Anon had to leave his native home with his mother because of war. Anon and his family tried to escape from war and death, but ironically, Anon drowned in the water when the family was on the boat leaving their land. However, Anon’s mother still had hope in her heart that her son might be alive somewhere. As Anon lived running from one place to another, he kept on wishing to go back home because none of the places he had visited felt like his birth home.

It is interesting how people run away from war because their fear of death. However, we all know death can follow us in, and to, any part of the world. Anon had traveled from one place to another looking for his mother, so why did the author, Iizuka, wrote that Anon drowned and then found his mother without making it clear how he did? In this play, Iizuka the author not give a clear conclusion to the play which raises many questions. For instance, was Anon dead and seeing the next world? Was he alive but dreaming as in a comma? Or was all this just a dream because of what he had gone through in his journey of running away from a war? This paly arouses these and more questions because of the way it ends. Its vagueness allows readers to think whatever they want about Anon and how the story ends.

For me, the play reminds me of Shakespeare’s works and how his work was looked down upon because its controversy and many times unpopular endings. For instance, in one of in Hamlet, readers get frustrated by Hamlet’s delay in eliminating Claudius. However, as explained by Sihyun (2017) “a psychoanalytic reading of the play may provide the necessary means, as through Hamlet’s seemingly inexplicable behavior can be rationalized”(p. 2). In the play, Hamlet’s father’s ghost visits the castle, and his suspicions are confirmed. The Ghost complains that he is unable to rest in peace because he was murdered. Claudius, says the Ghost, poured poison in King Hamlet’s ear while the old king napped. Unable to confess and find salvation, King Hamlet is now consigned, thus, his soul goes before going to Heaven and walk the earth by night. He entreats Hamlet to avenge his death, but to spare Gertrude, to let Heaven decide her fate. In the end of the play, I didn’t understand why Hamlet stabs Claudius with a poisoned sword and then pours poisoned wine down the King’s throat. Before he dies, Hamlet declares that the throne should now pass to Prince  of Norway, and he implores his true friend Horatio to accurately explain the events that have led to the bloodbath at Elsinore. With his last breath, he releases himself from the prison of his words: “The rest is silence.”

In many cases readers expect a conclusion on what they are reading, but sometime unknown conclusion can keep us thinking to create our own play. When the rest are in silent was unknown conclusion that kept the audience high expectations to think, what will happen next? Who will die again? Similar questions that people would ask about Anon to what will be next. What is the ending of the story? What this all a dream?

Anon explored different places like when the white rich family rescued him and the rich family’s daughter felt that she owned Anon because of her rich father who owns land and mountains. Anon felt that was never his home so he left, kept on traveling to find what he calls “home”. Anon’s mother in the play worked for a sewing factory where the white rich family came and told her that they have rescued a boy from drowning in the water, but that boy ran away because he wanted to go home, the place of his birth. Anon’s mother felt that it might be her son that drowned and it was definitely Anon. I read an report article about dreams by (Nielsen1,2 and Stenstrom1,3) ” recent studies5 suggest that dreams only rarely portray complete

Episodic memories, that is, reproductions of ensembles of places, actions and characters; such memories occur in a mere 1.4% of reports. Isolated fragments or features of episodic memories are more common, however. The reproduction of isolated spatial or temporal features of memories occurred in 28–38% of reports in one study; 65% of dream elements were linked to features of waking events in another study5. In very emotional dreams such as nightmares caused by traumatic experiences, dream imagery can become highly episodic.”

So was Anon dreaming? The memory selection task measures the ability to distinguish between memories that relate to ongoing reality.

In conclusion, plays can also have a clear story with a closure ending, but in the play “(Anon(ymous),” we all can make own conclusion and think of our own way we see the play going towards. For me, all the adventures of the play had sounded that it could’ve been a dream. So, this was my own conclusion of Anon, What might be yours?

The Interview

The Interview

Three potential candidates attend a panel interview for a position at Mella Co.
The interview takes place in the company’s high-rise conference room that features a grand display of graffiti and murals of historical black figures. Seated around the large conference room table is Head of HR, IMANI; Director of West Indian Affairs, JEVAUN; and VP of Urban Development, D’ANDRE.

ENTER MARQUIS, 24, handsome fair-skinned biracial (Jamaican/English) man from Brooklyn, NY. Has a B.A in New Media. Head full of dreads neatly cornrowed, wearing a crisp white button down black slacks and dress shoes.

MARQUIS
Morning all (with a pleasant smile)

The panel nods with a smile at MARQUIS as he takes a seat.

ENTER KATY, 24, pleasant looking white woman from Manhattan, NY. Has a B.A in Business Administration. Shoulder-length blonde hair in a neat bun, wearing a pale blue blouse and black pencil skirt and appropriate black work pumps.

KATY
Good morning everyone! (with a full smile)

JEVAUN stifles a chuckle as IMANI shoots him a sharp look before looking at KATY as she takes a seat.

IMANI
Good morning

D’ANDRE nods with a slight grin.

ENTER TERELL, 26, hard but attractive looking man from Queens, NY. Has an A.S in liberal arts. Neat and tapered dark caesar, wearing a red Polo sweater, black jeans, and black ACGs.

TERELL
What’s good y’all.
(Proceeds to give D’ANDRE & JEVAUN daps, and gives IMANI a deep nod)
Sis.

IMANI
Morning (nodding back to TERELL)

TERELL grabs a seat as KATY gives him a slightly incredulous look.

MARQUIS leans across KATY to give TERELL a fist bump as they nod at each other.

TERELL reaches out to KATY to shake her hand. She hesitates at first but accepts it.

IMANI
Okay, let’s get started.
D’ANDRE, KATY, TERELL, thank you all for coming.
If you’ve never participated in a group interview before, it can be quite awkward at first.
We are aware of that. Being that we’re still a developing company, we are using this process to efficiently fill positions with qualified people. I encourage you to speak freely, but with consciousness that another candidate will have to answer as well.

JEVAUN
In other words, try fi keep yah answers dem brief.

KATY squints at JEVAUN but doesn’t say anything, while the other two candidates nod.

D’ANDRE
Let’s jump right in.
What do you know about this company?

KATY
I’m aware of how popular your organization has become. Mella’s revenue has grown by 27% over the last year, mainly due to how much you appeal to ethnic groups.

JEVAUN
Oo you ah talk bout ethnic, yuh funny.

KATY
Umm, thank you?! (with an awkward smile)

TERELL rolls his eyes.

TERELL
Y’all are revolutionary. Black folks ain’t never had a mainstream company they could vibe with that ain’t tryna sell them clothes or Hollywood dreams. I feel y’all.

MARQUIS
I agree entirely. Your company has a culture that resonates with me, and I believe, the entire black community. Education is important, and the type of education that you are giving inner city youth and their parents stuck in the black hole we call the hood, is invaluable.

TERELL
For sho. I’ve seen some things… It changes you. You gain a perspective of life that can harden you.
Mella allows you to take a step out of the hood even if you’re still chillin on the couch.

KATY
I can’t say that I can relate. I came in knowing that I may be a bit out of place. However, it never hurts to have some diversity in your company. Especially when the right individual can appeal to a wider range of people. I have experience in marketing as well as public relations and I believe I can help company branding.

D’ANDRE raises an eyebrow.

IMANI
Oh really? What do you feel is lacking in our branding? Diverse faces?

KATY
Well… Yes. I love the message Mella is looking to spread. I think it would be beneficial to humans of all races. I can be more than just a token, I am highly qualified and…

JEVAUN
Qualified?! My girl you nuh undahstand a word mi ah seh since yuh comyah.

IMANI clears her throat.

KATY
Erm… I, uh…

MARQUIS
If I may. I think there’s a huge misconception that seeing a bunch of dark faces on an ad means that it lacks diversity. Black people span nations and are so underrepresented in some countries that you’d think we don’t even exist there. An Afro-American, Jamaican, and Nigerian are all from very different cultures. I love that Mella tries to bridge the gap between each to foster a community that will uplift us all.

TERELL
Word! How many white people you see on these shows. Talkin bout, I’m this that and the third? I get it, I mean, you get an Irishman, an Italian, an Australian and a Dutchman and boom, diversity, right? To us, we just see wypipo. Ain’t nothing wrong with having something for ourselves.
MARQUIS

MARQUIS
This company gives the world a chance to get to know and love us. As more than just melanin.

TERELL
Facts!

D’ANDRE smoothly applauds.

D’ANDRE
Well said, my brother. We here at Mella are looking to create an image of what we could be without losing the soul and the very essence of what we are. What makes us, us.

IMANI
Speaking of image… KATY, have you ever considered a perm to give your hair some sort of volume or texture?
The policy of our company requires employees to keep a professional look in line with our culture.
The texture of your hair is too… Eurocentric.

D’ANDRE
It would also help if you could consider some tanning salons.

KATY looks absolutely horrified.

KATY
My hair and skin color has nothing to do with my qualifications and my ability to do the work required of me! I am an excellent market researcher. I have recommendations! I…

JEVAUN
Ah whoaleap ah otha people wi can pick weh can do di work. Why wi fi pick you?

KATY

TERELL snickers.

MARQUIS
He asked why should they choose you if there are others who are a better fit, culture-wise.

KATY ponders. She needs work. She’s quite desperate for work, she’s been on interview after interview. She knew there was a good chance Mella wouldn’t accept her because well, she’s white. However, she thought that if she could show how great of a candidate she was, they’d be stupid not to hire her.

IMANI
KATY, I’d like you to take a look at the men sitting around this table. I’d like you to think of the places you have worked, the places your parents have worked. How likely would it be, that any one of them would get a job at any of those other places… over you?

KATY looks around. She sees MARQUIS’ dreads but thinks of how articulate he his. But… his dreads. She immediately dismissed TERELL. D’ANDRE and JEVAUN, their names alone wouldn’t have even gotten them a phone call.

KATY
I understand. I do, but I really do think the company is amazing. I would work really hard…

TERELL quickly interjects.

TERELL
Maaannn listen. I’ve been workin hard my whole life. You’re preaching to the choir miss.

MARQUIS
Mi know mi work. That’s all I’ve been doing from Day 1. It’s what you do when you’re trying not to be a statistic. It’s all most of us know. I’ve never been on a family vacation. I have been able to go to places my darker family could not. The whole time there I’m defending one half of me while trying not to offend the other.

TERELL
Pfft. Man at least you can go to those places. I wish I could pass sometimes. As far as family vacations go… First, you need family. Second, you need money. I know two types of homies. The ones who try and do it the right way, and ones who need to do it the quick way. Vacations with your moms and pops when you’re young is like a myth in our community.

D’ANDRE
We’re looking to change that. I’m not going to sit here and say white people don’t run into life problems. That’s an incredibly ignorant thought. However, I will say this. You take an impoverished black boy with a “typical black name” and an impoverished white boy with a “typical white name”, clean them up real nice, give them the same education, and send them on an interview. Unfortunately, the white boy would 9 times out of 10, maybe even 10 out of 10, get the job. That’s just how society is.

JEVAUN
Yes. A suh tings set. At Mella wi nah look fi handouts. We are the giving hand.
For wi brotha an sista dem.

TERELL
We’ve definitely built mad stuff for the man.

IMANI
The idea behind Mella is to end the “woe is me” complex. We can’t forget where we came from. We are a broken people, but we’re looking to fix that ourselves. We won’t be upset about white people portraying us incorrectly. It doesn’t make sense to expect someone who doesn’t like you to paint you in a good light. We will illustrate ourselves, educate ourselves, build our own homes, discipline our own children, write our own stories, love ourselves, and in this case, please do not take offense because we are choosing to hire ourselves.

D’ANDRE
To be honest it seems like the culture of our company would overwhelm you. I also don’t want staff to feel they’d need to conform to a certain type of speech because you’re around. You’d be surprised how quickly employees would code-switch. I want them to be themselves at all times.

JEVAUN
Mi nuh wah people inna dis department yah fi be trifling fih nuh white gyal tek dem promotion.

KATY
I…I understand. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts with me. I wish your company much success, and when you feel you’d like to collaborate with Caucasians, I’d love to be considered.

KATY EXITS room.

D’ANDRE claps hands together.

D’ANDRE
Alright! Thank you, my brothers for coming!

IMANI
You’ll hear from us within the next two weeks with our decision. Thank you for coming.

JEVAUN nods at both men and stands up to leave.

ALL EXIT the room.