サイコアナリティカル英文学論叢
Online ISSN : 1884-6386
Print ISSN : 0386-6009
The Narcissistic Collapse of the Self in Dangling Man
Kenichi Kakizaki
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ジャーナル フリー

2008 年 2008 巻 28 号 p. 53-67,89

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In Saul Bellow's Dangling Man, the protagonist Joseph is dangling between work and military duty, unable to sustain his impossible ideals. Joseph undergoes narcissistic injury, narcissistic rage, and paranoid schizoid collapse. Joseph suffers from a series of narcissistic injuries. The Servatius party shatters his faith in a protective community of friends, and he ceases to be satisfied with his own self. At many points in the novel Joseph feels that his identity is being denied. He also holds a grudge against many people and gives vent to his rage throughout the novel. He battles with all those with whom he comes in contact.
Because of his narcissistic injury, Joseph experiences paranoid schizoid collapse. A person suffering from paranoid schizoid collapse is characterized by splitting, projective identification, idealization, and omnipotence. A man who falls, Etta, and, Mr. Vanaker are Joseph's projective identifications. Delusion accompanies paranoid schizoid collapse. Finally Joseph submits to compulsory civility and the book ends on his final cry of self-abnegation. In the novel, Bellow describes the protagonist's inner life and presents the darkness of the human mind clearly. Dangling Man describes the death of an old self and rebirth of a new self.

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© The Society for Psychoanalytical Study of English Language and Literature
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