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
Questions About Mental Illness
Do you think Father Joseph is right? Could Maybeth follow in the same path as her mother?
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?
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.