Silver Water Questions and Answers
by Amy Bloom

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How did mental illness define the life of Amy Bloom in the story "Silver Water"?

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Just to give you a push in the right direction, Amy Bloom is the author of "Silver Water" and is not a character in the story. Because the short story is sometimes presented or printed as "Amy Bloom's 'Silver Water,'" it could be easy to assume that Amy Bloom is acting as the narrator, but it is actually a character named Violet.

"Silver Water" was written by Amy Bloom, a psychotherapist, so it makes a lot of sense that the story is centered on mental illness. Rose, the older sister of Violet, has a mental breakdown at age fifteen and shows major signs of having schizophrenia.

The lives of Violet and her family members become defined by mental illness because for a span of ten years they are continually trying to give Rose the best care they can get for her. Violet and her parents take Rose to family therapy, work to make sure she stays on her medication, try to help her find the best possible living situation, and help her through the highs and lows of everyday life with schizophrenia.

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