Joy checks herself into Foresthouse Hospital after a visit to the psychiatrist. Foresthouse is depicted as a featureless institution:
a shoe box slatted through with glass.
The anonymouse nature of the hospital is confirmed by the seemingly faceless, nameless Doctors 1, 2, and 3.
The hospital is also uncomfortable: the beds are
metal frames that are
too high. The ward is
luminous and the corridor strip light is
on all the time, all day and all night. It seems far from a restful place to recover from illness.
Like the other locations in the novel, Foresthouse is bleak and unpleasant. Joy follows a doctor to a room with:
no pictures and all the curtains closed. It smells like dog in the rain.
The way the hospital is presented to the outside world seems to suggest how the patients are judged:
the bus stop at the entrance has a red cross to show the stop, like a teacher’s mark in a jotter. Wrong.
Galloway’s effective imagery relates to Joy’s teaching world to suggest this place, and the people in it, has been neglected and shunned by society.