Good morning principal, teachers and fellow schoolmates,
I’m Kwong Hoi Ying from class 4B. Today I would like to share a good read with you.
Recently, I’ve read a book entitled The Minds of Billy Milligan. It’s written by Daniel Keyes and it’s based on a true story of Billy Milligan.
Have you ever heard of a mental illness called dissociative identity disorder? It’s an illness in which two or more independent and distinct personality systems develop in the same individual – that may or may not be aware of each other’s existence. The protagonist of this book, Billy Milligan has been living in despair due to the disruption in his personal identity. His true story is fascinating, absorbing, and is a heart-rending exploration of the criminal mind.
The plot in this book mainly revolved around the conflicts among Billy Milligan’s personalities in battle for supremacy over his body. Tormented by twenty four different personalities, Billy had to embark on a mournful and miserable life journey in solitude. Little as Billy was, he was sexually abused by his stepfather. To protect him from recalling his mournful childhood memories, Billy realized that once he was blamed or abused by his stepfather, he only needed to close his eyes. Afterward, ‘someone’ would come out from him and ‘helped’ him endure the pain. Out of control of his own actions, his other personalities took turns in taking over his mind to carry out various day to day activities. Most of the time, the original person “Billy” was asleep. Eventually, he committed several serious felonies and was arrested for the kidnap and rape of three women.
Notwithstanding the agonizing storyline, the message behind the story of Billy Milligan is inspirational. Nowadays, people in society labelled victims like Billy as madmen or even condemned those criminals without mercy since their behaviours are monstrous. Despite the fact that people are scared of the unknown, we should give understanding and show respect to the minorities in the society. Take Billy’s experience as an example. Behind his illness is subtly hidden tons of poignancy and bitterness. Being raised in a broken family, Billy chose to grin and bear the miserable torture by himself. The message behind teaches us a valuable life lesson. No wonder it’s nominated by The Mystery Writers of America for the “Edgar Award” in the Best True Crime Category.
There is a quote from the book which made me ponder over the mind of criminals, “By shutting out the real world we can live peacefully in ours”. It fully reflected the loss of empathy in society today, which can be the root of all evil. It reminds us everyone should be treated equally without discrimination. The harrowing story that the book is depicting is beyond our imagination. I would definitely recommend all of you read this book. Thank you.