Psychopath And Sociopath In Ron Rash's Serena

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The words “psychopath” and “sociopath” are thrown around quite often and commonly confused, but please bear with me as we dive deeper into the true meaning of the words. In the early 1800s, doctors who worked with mental patients began to notice that some of their patients who appeared outwardly normal had what they termed a “moral depravity” or “moral insanity,” in that they seemed to possess no sense of ethics or of the rights of other people. The term “psychopath” was first applied to these people. The term was changed to “sociopath” in the 1930s to emphasize the damage they do to society. Modern researchers and doctors have returned to using the term “psychopath”. Some of them use this term to refer to a more serious disorder, most of the …show more content…

These studies were very new in in the 1930’s, meaning that not everyone had access to the knowledge (especially when secluded from society in the woods of a small town in North Carolina). These kind of studies were not of importance to the characters in this book, for they had things they believed were more important than maintaining their mental health. In Ron Rash’s “Serena” the reader is taken back to a time period where, to a large number of people, strength, greed, power, revenge, and violence was almost always the answer; this forces the reader to acknowledge that there was little, if any, importance placed on mental health, clarity, or …show more content…

In the 1930’s there were not guidance counselors in every town, there were not health departments where teen mothers can go to receive advice, there was not a stable law enforcement (at least in this area at the time). If these murders were to happen here, in 2015 there is no way that the Pemberton’s could get away with it. Serena would not be considered manipulative, aggressive and ahead of her time, but instead she would be classified as a sociopathic serial killer. Rachel would not struggle as hard if she had counselors, financial support, and the correct health care necessary for her and her child. This book is revolutionary in the sense that people now can read it and see these differences and not only appreciate the time that we live in, but also have a greater understanding of the evolution of psychological studies and how the world was when these classifications came

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