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A second voice and an inner voice are seen again and again in Molly McCully Brown’s collection of poems from The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. In the case of “The Cleaving,” both the ‘you’ (or the patient) and the ‘I’ are two sides of the same coin. The former is being observed by an outside force, by both the reader and the nurses/doctors, while the latter is the inner voice of the ‘you.’ The ‘you’ could be the patient speaking to the doctors in their mind. On the topic of voice, another example is from the poem called “A Dictionary of Hereditary Defects.” In the beginning, the voice is a mysterious entity crafted by the poet – it could even be the poet herself. Then, the voice is changed to first person pronouns, which suggests the speaker talking to us at the beginning about herself, instead of describing another patient.

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