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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Themes

Tenacity, Perseverance, and Integrity as Weapons against Injustice

Elizabeth Packard was triumphant in outsmarting and outlasting her husband, McFarland, and the reach of the Jacksonville psychiatric institution. Bolstered by her unwavering faith and determination to be reunited with her children, she took every circumstance in which she was placed and found a way to convert those experiences into opportunities for serving God and collecting information and reflections that could eventually be utilized to create greater change. Elizabeth was only human in that she, like anyone else, was profoundly affected and discouraged by her time in the “asylum,” especially when she was moved to the nightmarish environment of Eighth Ward. Though her mood might have suffered, she never sacrificed her character, personality, or integrity and never stopped trying to create meaningful human connections with those around her. She wanted to have positive interactions and impacts in the moment and carry the opportunity to create more change in the future.

When people met her at the “asylum,” they, like those in her personal life outside the walls, could not fathom how someone could declare her “insane.” She became a leader and an example among patients and attendants because her true convictions, strength of faith, and character governed each of her actions.

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