Essay about The Influence of Modernism of New Theories of the Self

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This essay seeks to discuss the influence on modernism of new theories of the self, with reference to The life and Death of Harriet Frean and to relevant works of theory from the period. It is the purpose of this work to achieve this by conversing on memory, spiritual and physical dualism with final assertions on identity. Lastly the conclusion will emphasise the points made in the text.

Pete A. Y. Gunter’s comment, on French psychologist Pierre Janet, can be employed to describe the regressive memory theme in The Life and Death of Harriet Frean. Janet theorized that psychological reality maintains and develops tension. And suggests when this healthy apprehension is breached, a process of repression is experienced. Red Campion is
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Assisting these new constructs of sensation, and temporal realisation were various academic studies in the sciences. By 1922 when May Sinclair’s novel was published Charles Darwin’s naturalist theory of evolution had been widely accepted; Bergsonism had influenced society to begin an interest in the interior human world; Sigmund Freud the neurologist/psychiatrist had presented his ideas on the unconscious mind. What supported this mass consumption of ideas was publishing; and thus the creation of the novella.

Sinclair’s work belongs to this time of change as a modernist literary artist. Moreover Modernism used the above aspects to redefine expression through literature; among other arts. Sinclair’s own life was implicitly modern. Her father was a shipping merchant in the industrial haven of Liverpool and thus her family belong to the bourgeois class. Additionally Sinclair’s philosophical and psychological learning made her question society, home life and the role of the self in relation to one another. ‘May Sinclair understood how her own sensitivity, in imagining the pain she caused her mother by resisting her religious rigidity, might betray her will to evolve into an independent self.’ Theophilus Ernest Martin Boll argues the influential relationship Sinclair held with her father as resembling the association Harriet had with her father. And describes the novel as an ‘authentic memory’ never explicitly confessed.

‘French psychiatrist

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