Ben, A Stranger in The Dark Society of Mirrors

Neda Raefipour


The research discusses Kristevan concepts of "thetic break", "loving father", "society of spectacle" and "stranger" in the two novels of Doris Lessing; The Fifth Child (1988) and Ben in The World (2000). The study is actually an attempt to illustrate how all characters of the novels, especially Ben, become successful in completing their psychic cycle. The characters' failure or success in making their "thetic break" by the help of their imaginary fathers is the main concern of the researcher. Being compelled to live in a society which is replete with mirrors, the subjects are afflicted with the lack of stable identities. The lack entails the entrance of a  stranger  in society, so all the features of such a person among other residents of society is the work under analysis by the researcher. At first step, the researcher does her best in analyzing all characters, especially Ben, psychoanalytically. The second step taken by her is to find traces of Kristeva's society of spectacle in Ben's society. The important and pivotal fact that makes such a study a novel one is that unlike other studies that focus upon Kristeva's internal psychoanalytical notions, the study concentrates on the social factors influential in identity formation such as Kristevan power and society of spectacle .From the researcher's perspective, it is not only internal factors, but also external and social ones that make a subject different from other ones.    


thetic break; imaginary father; love; stranger and society of spectacle; subject in process

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