Date of Award
Easterlin, Dr. Nancy
Doll, Dr. Daniel
Kazimierz Dabrowski’s psychological theory of positive disintegration is a lesser known theory of personality development that offers an alternative critical perspective of literature. It provides a framework for the characterization of postmodern protagonists who move beyond heroic indoctrination to construct their own self-organized, autonomous identities. Ezra Pound’s The Cantos captures the speaker-poet’s extensive process of inner conflict, providing a unique opportunity to track the progress of the hero’s transformation into a personality, or a man. American Gods is a more fully realized portrayal of a character who undergoes the complete paradigmatic collapse of positive disintegration and deliberate self-derived self-revision in a more distilled linear fashion. Importantly, using a Dabrowskian lens to re-examine contemporary literature that has evolved to portray how the experience of psychopathology leads to metaphorical death—which may have any combination of negative or positive outcomes—has not only socio-cultural significance but important personal implications as well.
Nicholson, Michelle A., "“To be men, not destroyers”: Developing Dabrowskian Personalities in Ezra Pound’s The Cantos and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods" (2019). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 2628.
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