Briony's Psychoanalysis In Postmodern Literature

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Introduction Psychoanalysis is an appealing field for theoretical inquiry, and it is commonly argued that it is instrumental to the literature production and reception as well. In the previous two chapters, we have already given a general background of theories of identity crisis, mainly psychological theories, and its existences in postmodern literature. In this chapter, we will focus on how the major character in McEwan’s Atonement experiences identity crisis, relying on the social psychologist Erik Erikson’s theory. We will select some pertinent passages, and attempt to diagnose the character’s psychological conflicts displayed throughout the implicit and explicit characterization. By observing Briony’s character through Erikson’s perspectives, we will come across two of his eight stages; first, when Briony is at the age of thirteen, when a child enters the adolescent stage, the age of physical and…show more content…
In one, his big, good-natured face buckled in grief as Arabella sank in loneliness and despair. In another, there he was, cocktail in hand at some fashionable city watering hole, overheard boasting to a group of friends: Yes, my younger sister, Briony Tallis the writer, you must surely have heard of her (Atonement 1). From this passage, we notice that Briony is a day dreamer and she is fixed inside her imaginary world that she created to visualize the future and surroundings, and she sees the real world throughout her fantasies and children’s stories. She has the ability to put herself wherever and whenever she wants to be. 3.1.2 Briony between childhood and
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