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Title: The search for the self in the fiction of Malcolm Lowry
Author: Garnett, George Rhys
ISNI:       0000 0001 3491 1927
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1977
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This thesis has the following objectives: (1) to discover and establish the nature and the value of Lowry's fiction; (2) to do so by developing a method that fruitfully combines literary and psychological approaches to literature; and (3) to demonstrate the particular suitability of this method to this material. The thesis combines certain Jungian concepts with conventional methods of literary evaluation, in its attempt to discover the most significant patterns of symbols in key works by Lowry, and to show that a Jungian interpretation of these patterns leads to the heart of Lowry's fiction. It attempts to avoid a mechanical and therefore arbitrary imposition of Jungian concepts upon Lowry's work, by consistently interrelating Lowry's symbols and interpreting them in their contexts and in terms of their intrinsic qualities. Literary criticism (and in particular close textual analysis) provides the method for these analyses; Jungian psychology brings together "materials for comparison and offers a terminology for discussion". From this discussion emerges a view of Lowry's fiction as, essentially, the embodiment and revitalisation of an universal myth, the myth of the hero. This, it is argued, is Lowry's major achievement, and an achievement of great value to twentieth century culture. The thesis is divided into three parts, preceded by a General Introduction. Part One discovers in Lowry's first novel, Ultramarine, a pattern of symbols corresponding to the first stage of "The Myth of the Hero", through which this 'hero' moves most reluctantly and confusedly towards "separation or departure". In Part Two, Lowry's major novel, Under the Volcano, is found to embody (and to revitalize) the second main stage, "The Stage of Trials"; and it is here that the nature and value of Lowry's achievement is most fully discussed. Part Three examines Lowry's claims that "The Forest Path to the Spring" is concerned with "human integration" and could serve as the "coda" to his work as a whole. This story is seen as corresponding (perhaps rather more ambiguously than Lowry intended) to the final stage of the hero myth, "return and reintegration". The thesis, therefore, is intended to demonstrate the value of relating certain Jungian concepts to appropriate works of literature and to show that this approach contributes to an understanding of the essential nature of Lowry's achievement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature