Reading the Family Dance: Family Systems Therapy and Literary Study

Overview

The development in recent years of the intersections between the family and literary study continues to emerge as one of the most productive and illuminating arenas of contemporary critique. In addition to addressing the family dynamic through which a given literary character develops a fully realized sense of self, family systems therapy allows readers to examine the patterns by which characters function in their larger intimate systems, whether those systems be social, institutional, or even global. As the ...
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Overview

The development in recent years of the intersections between the family and literary study continues to emerge as one of the most productive and illuminating arenas of contemporary critique. In addition to addressing the family dynamic through which a given literary character develops a fully realized sense of self, family systems therapy allows readers to examine the patterns by which characters function in their larger intimate systems, whether those systems be social, institutional, or even global. As the intellectual foundation for the forms of therapy practiced by the majority of contemporary American and European psychotherapists, the study of family systems therapy and its intersections with literary works affords readers with an illuminating glimpse into the terminology and processes involved in this dynamic form of critique. Perhaps most significantly, family systems therapy allows critics to consider the distinctly social interactions that characterise our pathways to interpersonal development and selfhood.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874138238
  • Publisher: University of Delaware Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 333
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

John V. Knapp is Professor of English, with a joint appointment in modern literature and in teacher education, at Northern Illinois University. Kenneth Womack is Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of the Honors Program at Penn State University's Altoona College.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Family Systems Therapy and Literary Study: An Introduction 13
Lucy Honeychurch's Rage for Selfhood: Family Systems Therapy, Ethics, and E.M. Forster's A Room with a View 29
The Enigmatic Jane Eyre: A Differentiation Story without Family in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre 46
"Even Now China Wraps Double Binds around My Feet": Family Communication in The Woman Warrior and Dim Sum 71
Exploring the Matrix of Identity in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams 93
Family Dynamics and Property Acquisitions in Clarissa 111
Circular Ties: A Family Systems Reading of A. S. Byatt's The Game 135
Family Systems Therapy and Narrative in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye 151
Forging a Family Discourse in Marilene Felinto's The Women of Tijucopapo: Or, Unraveling the Intricacies of Miscommunication 171
Family Games and Imbroglio in Hamlet 194
Crusading for the Family: Kurt Vonnegut's Ethics of Familial Community 221
Hollywood Exiles: Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust and Family Systems Therapy 236
Are Happy Families All Alike?: The Strange Case of Dr. Petruchio and Ms. Katherine 254
Transgenerational Subsystems in Flannery O'Connor's Short Fiction 276
General Bibliography 305
Notes on Contributors 325
Index 329
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