Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis explores the impact of Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death on Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. More specifically, it is an examination of how repression functions in the institutions of the family and society. Brown and Pynchon, fol lowing the central psychological concepts of Sigmund Freud, see the Oedipal complex as the fundamental source of human repression in both the family and society. The Oedipal project is responsible for not only repressing the individual's natural instincts, but also for the creation of the ego which is the seat of all social and moral constraints. Brown and Pynchon see the need to "undo" the Oedipal complex in order to break free from repression, but this break necessitates the loss of the individual's ego or self.
Wilson, Douglas D. K., "The Great Repression: A Psycho-Sexual-Social Interpretation of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow." (1991). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6059.
McMaster University Library