The Road to Redemption: From the Perspective of Fromm's Theory of Alienation on the Theme of Alienation in >Enduring Love< [救赎之路 ——弗洛姆异化理论视角下《爱无可忍》中的异化主题研究], Master thesis, World Literature, Liaoning University, Dalian, Liaoning, China 2021 [application of Fromm's theories to art].

  • Ian Mc Ewan is one of the most influential and prolific writers in contemporary England, who is known by the British public as “the national writer”. Influenced by his personal growth experience, many of his works reflect the crisis of modern society and the distortion of human nature. Meanwhile, he is good at displaying the loneliness and anxiety of modern people with the sharp language. >Enduring Love< is Mc Ewan’s sixth novel, and also his transitional work. The novel was hailed by the British Book Critics as one of the best novels of the year. The novel begins with a sudden balloon accident, and from then on the fate of the characters has been closely linked. The accident not only reflects the indifference of the social group, but also distorts the identities of the participants. Domestic and foreign critics mainly study this work from the perspectives of trauma, ethics and narrative, but few of them study it from the perspective of alienation. Therefore, based on Fromm’s theory of alienation, this thesis analyzes the theme of alienation in >Enduring Love<. In Fromm’s opinion, the alienation of human beings in modern society is inevitable. Human beings are alienated from others, from the society and even from themselves. The alienation of human nature is a kind of spiritual and psychological experience. The alienated person shows the distorted personality and the psychology of divided self, and they are no longer the creator of their own behaviors, but the slave of their behaviors and consequences. Taking the balloon accident as the background and the characters of Joe and Jed as the clues, this thesis discusses the self-alienation, the alienation from interpersonal relationships and the alienation from society in >Enduring Love<. In addition, it further explores the causes of the alienation, as well as the attempts made by individuals to eliminate the alienation and reconstruct themselves. Firstly, from the aspect of self-alienation, the healthy development of the personality has been hindered by the absent of family warmth and traumatic experiences. Secondly, for the alienation from interpersonal relationship, the traditional gender perspective in patriarchal society and the social unconscious oppression of human nature have caused interpersonal communication barriers and the lack of trust. Finally, in terms of the alienation from society, the communicative principle of egoism and the exclusion to the marginalized people are the common illnesses in modern society, which pushes the alienation of human nature to a deeper abyss. Alienation is a common phenomenon in modern society, which has penetrated into every aspect of our life. Analyzing of the alienation theme in >Enduring Love<, this thesis aims to explore the causes of the alienation of human nature in modern society, which arouse people to pay more attention to their own spiritual needs. Besides, it will arouse people to improve individual’s sense of self-identity and build trust in relationships. The marginalized people should also be more tolerated and understood at the same time so as to form a harmonious and sane social environment. Only the respect and tolerance can make people realize the return of love and morality, thus realizing the redemption of human nature. And only love can build a sane society. [Translation: 8/2021]

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Author:Qiuyue Han
Document Type:Dissertations
Year of first Publication:2021
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:no download and copy possible
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Dissertations / Dissertationen
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Dissertations / Dissertationen
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