Study Guide

Homecoming Mental Illness

By Cynthia Voigt

Mental Illness

In <em>Homecoming</em>, there's no two ways about it: Momma is mentally ill. But while their mother is the one who's sick, it's her children—the Tillerman kids—who feel the real pain of her mental illness when she finally snaps and leaves them all alone. Not only are these kids suddenly homeless, but they're also left wondering whether of them will wind up in a mental hospital just like Momma someday. We sure hope not.

Questions About Mental Illness

  1. Do you think Father Joseph is right? Could Maybeth follow in the same path as her mother?
  2. If Momma had gotten help from Aunt Cilla like she planned, do you think she still would have wound up in the mental hospital? Why or why not?
  3. Why would Abigail pretend to be crazy? Was there a method to her madness or do you think—like Hamlet—the act kind of became part of who she was?

Chew on This

Momma's fate—and the fate of her children—exposes the dangers and tragic costs of untreated mental illness.

Dicey comes to realize that her family is crazy, but no crazier than any other family out there.

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