62 pages 2 hours read

Kate Moore

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2021

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Part 4, Chapters 31-35Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4: “Deal with the Devil?”

Part 4, Chapters 31-32 Summary

As conditions continued to grow more egregious on Elizabeth’s ward and throughout the hospital, Elizabeth’s fellow patients staged a protest of their treatment. Covertly, they began destroying “asylum” property, stealing, breaking, and sabotaging essentials required for daily operations. The administration relented, restoring several privileges that had been revoked, and the patients complied by ceasing their destruction. Meanwhile, crushed by the trustees’ decision, Elizabeth became more desperate to print and disseminate her book. She suspected that McFarland’s reluctance might indicate that he never intended to publish it at all. She could think of only one course of action to persuade him to fulfill his promise. She drafted a deeply personal letter inviting him to participate with her in a romantic relationship, tantamount to the 21st-century concept of an emotional affair. She specifically asked him to keep the letter’s contents between them and burn the physical copy. His only response was to clasp her hand, but she took this as his assent.

After this overture, Elizabeth expected that he would proceed with the publication of her work. When he did not, she wrote, “If you fail to keep your promise to publish my book…I shall feel bound to fulfill my promise to expose you” (241).

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