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Imagined Human Beings : A Psychological Approach to Character and Conflict in Literature - Bernard Jay Paris

Imagined Human Beings

A Psychological Approach to Character and Conflict in Literature

Paperback Published: 1st October 1997
ISBN: 9780814766569
Number Of Pages: 304

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One of literature's greatest gifts is its portrayal of realistically drawn characters--human beings in whom we can recognize motivations and emotions. In Imagined Human Beings, Bernard J. Paris explores the inner conflicts of some of literature's most famous characters, using Karen Horney's psychoanalytic theories to understand the behavior of these characters as we would the behavior of real people.

When realistically drawn characters are understood in psychological terms, they tend to escape their roles in the plot and thus subvert the view of them advanced by the author. A Horneyan approach both alerts us to conflicts between plot and characterization, rhetoric and mimesis, and helps us understand the forces in the author's personalty that generate them. The Horneyan model can make sense of thematic inconsistencies by seeing them as the product of the author's inner divisions. Paris uses this approach to explore a wide range of texts, including "Antigone, " "The Clerk's Tale," "The Merchant of Venice, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovary, The Awakening, "and "The End of the Road."

"This is literary criticism at its most perceptive. Theory is subservient to a deeply engaged reading of works Professor Paris clearly loves. To read his analysis of Emma Bovary or Hedda Gabler is to gain an enriched insight into characters whom we thought we knew so well."

-Phyllis Grosskurth, author of Byron, The Flawed Angel

Applications of a Horneyan Approachp. 3
Horney's Mature Theoryp. 17
Characters and Relationships
A Doll's House and Hedda Gablerp. 39
The End of the Roadp. 64
"The Clerk's Tale"p. 82
The Merchant of Venicep. 93
Antigonep. 104
Character, Plot, Rhetoric, and Narrative Technique
Great Expectationsp. 119
Jane Eyrep. 144
The Mayor of Casterbridgep. 168
Madame Bovaryp. 193
The Awakeningp. 215
Wuthering Heightsp. 240
Conclusionp. 262
Notesp. 271
Referencesp. 275
Indexp. 281
About the Authorp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814766569
ISBN-10: 0814766560
Series: Literature & Psychoanalysis
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st October 1997
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.35 x 14.99  x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.42