Psychoanalytical Dimensions Of Martha’s Self In Lessing’s The Four Gated City

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Dr. Parshant Kumar


This paper demonstrates how the “outward” search and the “inward” search depicted by Lessing in the previous four novels of The Children of Violence series are essentially one: the outer and inner worlds are not separate from each other but aspects of a unity.  This analysis is carried out taking insights from psychoanalytic theories of C.G. Jung and R.D. Laing. Lessing deconstructs the old essentialist assumptions and discourses in order to recast a fresh discourse on Martha’s growth of selfhood, which is a necessary step towards reintegration at more complex levels of being. Through the total descent into self, Martha, here, more clearly understands not only herself but her relationship to the collective. Consequently she feels herself to be whole rather than fragmented. 

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