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Kitty’s Awakening in the Painted Veil

Author YuQin
Tutor YuanFang
School Inner Mongolia University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords The Painted Veil Maugham Freud the origin of the unconscious personality model
CLC I561.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 23
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This thesis aims to analyze the awakening and maturity of the heroine Kitty in Maugham’s work The Painted Veil from the perspective of Freudian consciousness theory which includes the origin of the unconscious, the id, the ego and superego.Sigmund Freud was the founding father of psychoanalysis. Later Freud rectified and supplemented his earlier theory and proposed the idea of "personality model" which includes id, ego and superego. Today Freudian psychoanalysis proves to be the most widely-used method for exploring the psychological activities of the characters in literary criticism. In addition, this thesis first borrows the concept of the origin of the unconscious from Freudian psychoanalysis, it explores the deep root of one’s motivation or unconsciousness and facilitates the understanding the characters’ behaviors.The Painted Veil is a novel written by Maugham in1925. It is the only novel which is based on the plot but not characters. It is mainly about the heroine Kitty’s spiritual growth and awakening. Brought up in a loveless family, Kitty has to repress the unhappy psychological events which become the origin of the unconscious. When she grows up, at first silly, frivolous and vulgar, she becomes a woman completely driven by id. After going through a series of miseries and emotional struggles, she gradually realizes her shallowness and finally discovers the spiritual meaning in her life. The psychological course of Kitty exactly conforms to the origin of the unconscious, id, ego and superego.Notwithstanding the psychological activities of any individual are quite complex, this thesis clarifies these complex activities by dividing it into four stages including the origin of the unconscious, id, ego and superego and respectively discusses the subtle psychological change of every stage in four chapters. Chapter3mainly introduces Kitty’s miserable childhood which plays a key role in the formation of her origin of unconscious. Chapter4mainly discusses Kitty’s desire for sex, amusement and power which are driven by her primitive id. Chapter5explores Kitty’s struggling for her ego while chapter6reveals the various manifestations of Kitty’s maturity and awakening.

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