Freedom was the price of privacy.

Kaysen describes the patients’ loss of freedom in the chapter “Applied Topography.” Locked in the dehumanizing world of the hospital ward, the girls are stripped of privacy. The only private space on the ward is the seclusion room. The nurses banish the violent or rowdy to seclusion, but Kaysen discovers that the experience can be something other than punishment. The seclusion room is the only place where a patient can find reprieve from the relentless watch of nurses and the oppressive feeling of the wards. The seclusion offers a brief reprieve from the ward in exchange for the ability to move around freely.