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A Freudian Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Amory in This Side of Paradise

Author XuXiaoFei
Tutor ZhaoLi
School Northeast Forestry University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords This Side of Paradise Amory Freud Psychoanalysis Personality Structure
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Francis Scott Fitzgerald, one of the greatest giants among modern American novelists. In his long literary career, he published five novels and This Side of Paradise is his first novel. With its autobiographical elements, lyrical and graceful writing, portraits a new era in American history, and in particular the protagonist Amory representing the youth of the era, that first novel has drawn wide critical attention in America. In This Side of Paradise, the protagonist, Amory lives in a middle-class family which enjoys luxury during his childhood. However, because of his parents’ bad management he is nearly penniless in his adulthood. He experiences World War I and the changes in social, financial, cultural, and moral conditions from the early of1900s to the Jazz Age. Amory has complicated and contradictory emotions and his behavior is often disordered and inconstant. He desires to indulge his impulses and desires, but at the same time, he feels ashamed and is punished by his conscience, and even sees the devil in hallucinations. He, who is intelligent and handsome, wants status, popularity, and beautiful woman, but he suffers failure over and over again.This thesis attempts to analyze the protagonist, Amory’s personality structure from the perspective of Freudian psychoanalysis to understand Amory’s inner psychological world, including his Oedipus complex, ego defense mechanisms, and then to explain the reasons for his behaviors.This thesis consists of five chapters.Chapter One is the introduction, which briefly introduces Fitzgerald’s life experience and his literary achievements; the context of This Side of Paradise and the process of its creation; this chapter also includes a literature review and significance of the research.Chapter Two is the introduction of the theories used to analyze the protagonist, including the primary theory of Freud’s personality structure, Oedipus complex, and ego defense mechanisms.Chapter Three presents the analysis of Amory’s Id. The chapter mainly puts forward and proves Amory’s family environment and the changing social conditions that promote the release of id, analyzes the manifestation of id in Amory’s character and his pursue of heterosexuality, and further researches on Amory’s Oedipus complex including its formation and development.Chapter Four analyzes the source of Amory’s superego and explores how his conscience and ego ideal influence on his mind and behavior.Chapter Five researches on the factors of family and society influencing the Ego’s coordinate capacity, and analyzes manifestation of Amory’s ego in coordinating the relationship among id, superego and external world, and the use of Amory’s ego defense mechanisms.The last chapter is the conclusion, which summarizes the previous ideas and points out the importance of strengthening and fostering ego’s capacity of coordination in order to maintain a healthy personality.

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