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Author

Bruce Histed

Date of Award

2-1991

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Supervisor

N. Rosenblood

Language

English

Abstract

The psychological themes of innocence, guilt, and betrayal are central to much of Morley Callaghan's works. As Patricia Morley indicates in her article, "Innocence Betrayal and Betraying," there is a significant difference in the treatment of innocence between Callaghan's novels of the thirties and his postwar work. Using the psychoanalytic model of criticism, this thematic development is examined from Callaghan's thirties period to his last novel, A Wild Old Man on the Road (1988). Having established the psychodynamics within both representative novels from several phases in Callaghan's career, as well as the evolving pattern throughout, this analysis reveals a significant correlation between the psychological conflicts within each novel and period, and as they evolve thematically, the various dynamic points within the Oedipus Complex, as described by Sigmund Freud. Callaghan's protagonists feature an inherent Oedipal fixation: they attempt, to varying degrees, yet are unable to attain, Oedipal resolution.

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