Analysis of the Main Theme in Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams Essay

Sidney Sheldon’s book. “Tell Me Your Dreams” carries a dark subject. It focuses on how the cardinal character. Ashley Patterson. represents the apparently well-balanced. successful and attractive immature working professional. Deep inside though. she is sing stormy emotions. A merchandise of traumatic childhood experiences. she is a walk-to catastrophe. ready to detonate. She is proof that parental maltreatment can strongly impact an individual’s hereafter behaviour and life. The power of parental nurturing can non be underestimated. and deficiency of regard by a parent for a incapacitated kid can bring forth injury. tattered dreams and black consequences which the kid carries into maturity.

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Ashley Patterson’s troubled personality is introduced at the really start of the novel. Her paranoid province is instantly presented in the novel’s foremost few lines:

Person was following her. She had read about stalkers. but they belonged in a different. violent world… She was seeking urgently difficult non to panic. But recently her slumber had been filled with intolerable incubuss and she had awakened each forenoon with a feeling of an at hand day of reckoning ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 3 )

Described as an intelligent and attractive adult female who has been populating in Cupertino.

California for three old ages at the start of the narrative. Ashley Patterson. girl of a celebrated bosom sawbones Dr. Steven Patterson. seems to hold many good things traveling for her. Looks. nevertheless. can be lead oning. Not all that looks good on the outside – like an inexperienced person and beautiful visual aspect. reflects what is on the interior. Ashley gets involved in a series of barbarous slayings. specifically work forces who were stabbed and castrated. Equally far as the constabulary governments were concerned. truth can be difficult to happen and subsequently. as they were to happen out. difficult to believe. Finally. the governments find the same DNA in each offense scene. hint it to her. and Ashley is arrested and placed under psychiatric probe.

While undergoing therapy Gilbert Keller. Ashley’s dark yesteryear is bit by bit revealed. Ashley admits that her colleagues. the outgoing and merry Toni Prescott. and the shy and lonely painter Alette Peter are non existent. when she says to Dr. Keller: Don’t you understand? They’re non existent. They’re my imaginativeness ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 308 ) . When Dr. Keller suggests conveying the three adult females fact-to-face with each other and Tells Ashley. “You have to acquire to cognize one another. It’s the lone manner you’re traveling to be cured” ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 308 ) . he confirms the chief character’s multiple personality upset.

Dr. Keller’s quieting presence symbolizes peace in Ashley’s universe of pandemonium and hurting. He soothes Ashley when he explains to her the presence of her other personalities Toni and Alette by stating. “you must retrieve that Toni was born out of your hurting. to protect you. The same is true of Alette” ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 344 ) . At this point. and as the narrative progresses. readers are able to see how Ashley’s painful yesteryear – including a male parent who sexually assaulted her and a female parent who did non appreciate her – had caused her personality upset. taking to her offense. She remembers how her female parent was call on the carpeting her for singing while they were in a auto. which leads to an accident ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 349 ) .

Her worst and perennial memories of her male parent stating “You’ll like this” followed by “an image of the adult male acquiring into bed beside her” followed by a shriek to halt ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 327 ) depicts merely how persistent and traumatic kid maltreatment in the physical or sexual sense can be. This highlights the dichotomy of the human mind. Ashley’s male parent may be celebrated and enviable and he may hold obtained the regard of his co-workers and the general populace. but to his ain girl he is a monster.

Ashley Patterson’s guilt is confirmed in the narrative when her split-personality character says. ”I’m non a unsafe felon. I’m a normal adult female. And a voice inside her said. Who murdered five guiltless people” ( Sheldon. 1998. p. 291 ) . With this. the novel’s chief subject – of serious parent-child struggle can be extremely traumatising. Parental maltreatment carries grave effects like behavioural jobs and sometimes. the consequence – like young person force — is irreparable. I chose this subject because it is one that is being experienced in an alarming manner in different states.

It is a cosmopolitan job that requires concerted action – by healers. household members. constabulary governments. societal workers. the community-at-large. and so on. What interested me about the novel’s secret plan is the dramatic disclosure. through Ashley’s healer. of her multiple characters. Then. there is besides the gentle and positive reassurance provided by Dr. Keller. which gives an encouraging portraiture of the medical community. and how it sees a discovery when patients who are victims of maltreatment seem to do advancement or effort to allow travel of their injuries and strivings.

The most of import character in “Tell Me Your Dreams” is Ashley Patterson. All the unfolding events and issues revolve through her. and she serves as a symbol of others who suffer a upset but who deserve to be treated non as inferior existences but as persons who need understanding and aid. On the other manus. her male parent symbolizes the brainsick heads of those who may look respectable from the outside but who are capable of doing enormous injury with their Acts of the Apostless.

The context. or the topographic point and clip where the narrative takes topographic point. begins in Cupertino. California. a sleepy corner of the universe but one which is hustling with corporate activity. The context helps foreground the double personalities of several characters in the novel. like Ashley Patterson and Dr. Steven Patterson. The narrative besides takes readers from London to Rome to Quebec City to San Francisco in Bedford. Cupertino. as if indicating out how fast and varied contemporary developments travel. The context. or multiple scenes. besides parallels the multiple personalities of the chief character and their different activities at different points in clip.

Ashley Patterson’s multiple personality upset is discussed by Dr. Salem. readers gain a better apprehension of a upset which is existent. It is described as “a status where there are several wholly different personalities in one organic structure. It’s besides known as dissociatve individuality upset. It’s been in the psychiatric literature for more than two hundred old ages. It normally starts because of a childhood injury. The victim shuts out the injury by making another identity” ( Sheldon. 1998. fellow. 12 ) . The writer leaves an encouraging note in his book that say that some instances of multiple personality upsets are treatable. Unfortunately. this was non the instance with Ross Carlson. a adolescent male child diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder. As the intelligence goes:

In the summer of 1983. the organic structures of Rod and Marilyn Carlson were found beside a route in Douglas County. Colorado. Both had been shot execution-style in the dorsum of the caput. Ross Carlson. their teenage boy. was subsequently charged with the murders… Eventually. healers identified every bit many as 10 personalities shacking within Carlson. His lawyers subsequently argued that Carlson’s parents were opprobrious people who forced their distorted faith on their lone kid. doing him to develop the diverse characters as a defence mechanism… . The six-year play ended in 1989 when. at age 25. Ross Carlson died of leukaemia ( “Multiple Personality Disorder. ” parity. 2 ) .

Ross Carlson is the real-life opposite number of Ashley Patterson. In both instances. the truth hurts – that people who are your household and who are supposed to foster and protect you can be capable of bring downing the greatest injury. The two instances – one portrayed in a novel based on existent life. and the other a real-life incident – show that household upbringing and echt attention. concern and nurturing from parents are the best warrants for a child’s hereafter. The two instances stress that people afflicted with Multiple Personality Syndrome are. after all. human existences who. in the first topographic point. merely needed to love. to be understood. and to mend.


Larson. B. ( n. d. ) . Multiple Personality Disorder. Retrieved May 19. 2008. from hypertext transfer protocol: //pullingdownstrongholds. com/deliverance/multiple_personality_disorder. htm

Sheldon. S. ( 1998 ) .State me your dreams. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.


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