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Record identifier : 567116
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : SPOERL, LINDA BELL
Title and statement of responsibility : THE METHODS OF MADNESS: INSANITY AS METAPHOR IN FIVE MODERN NOVELS (PSYCHOLOGY, LITERATURE; ENGLAND, GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, UNITED STATES; FOWLES, HELLER, HESSE, MANN, WOOLF) [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Washington, 1983
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D.
Body granting the degree : , University of Washington
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation examines the theme of insanity in five modern novels: Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf; Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway; Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus; Joseph Heller's Catch-22; and John Fowles's The Collector. In each, the theme of madness is a major means through which the author advances a world view. In addition, each treats the theme of madness in a distinctive way. Hesse views madness as romantic. He accepts the idealistic notion of the madman as recipient of spiritual enlightenment. In contrast, Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway adopts an ironic interpretation in which at least two points of view about the nature of insanity are simultaneously presented, and neither triumphs over the other. In Doctor Faustus, Thomas Mann develops a paradoxical interpretation, a multidimensional reading of the nature of insanity which combines and contrasts philosophical, mythical, scientific and cultural viewpoints. Incorporating and moving beyond both romantic and ironic metaphorical patterns, Mann sees insanity as philosophical paradox. The paradoxical quality of madness, used tragically in Doctor Faustus, is seen as absurd by Joseph Heller in Catch-22. In this novel madness is a metaphor for the pervasive absurdity of modern bureaucratic society. Finally, in John Fowles's The Collector, madness is shown in its most pessimistic dimension. Neither romantic, ironic, paradoxical nor absurd, madness in The Collector is the metaphor for existential and moral evil..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Comparative literature
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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