WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE Ten superb new stories by one of our most beloved and admired writers—the winner of the. READERS GUIDE. The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your group's conversation about Alice Munro's Too Much. Editorial Reviews. valrlulytiver.cf Review. site Best Books of the Month, November Too Much Happiness (Vintage International) - Kindle edition by Alice Munro. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or.
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Author: Munro Alice Too Much Happiness: Stories · Read more Too Much Government, Too Much Taxation. Read more. Nov 27, Too Much Happiness. Many persons who have not studied mathematics confuse itwith arithmetic and consider it a dry and arid valrlulytiver.cfly. Fiction — From the August issue. Too much happiness. By Alice Munro. Download Pdf. Read Online. This article is available in PDF and Microfiche formats.
Her prose is spare without feeling rushed or cryptic, at once lucid and subtle. She lays down such seemingly ordinary but useful sentences, one after another after another. I stay to marvel. Is there anyone writing short fiction today in English who has more authority? With great insights into human nature. Her ear for dialogue is unerring. Whatever format you favor in storytelling, go ahead and enter Too Much Happiness. It will carry you safely through the gates, and no doubt send you looking for other castles constructed by the stunning Alice Munro.
Thoughtfully wrought. She can raise hackles on the back of your neck with a precisely phrased unadorned verb or noun. The Munro magic is showcased brilliantly. Munro seems to say that mundane lives constructed of order and routine are still governed by random acts. She hides human complexity in the ordinary until it surfaces in unimagined ways. Ernie had eyes for her the minute he met her. And even if she did 'sed I agree that Nina isn't the villain here. And even if she did 'seduce' him, so what?
He was a grown man, not married, not in a relationship and Nina was an adult herself. Nothing to fault Nina with in that relationship, as Ernie himself states. The Nina-Purvis Pervert relationship is certainly much more twisted. But I think there is definitely much to ponder here - is Nina the victim or is the student? A world of her own is what she dreams but is unable to attain it.
Not being oppressed completely, she always thinks about Flora. Flora symbolizes freedom and delight. It implicates that Carla always has the thought of flight. She struggles in contradictory impulses of her id in particular and Flora's temptation as the id in general.
The paradoxical forces within and without Carla's psyche is displayed in Flora. The sequence of Flora's presence, absence and final arrival and absence reinforces the symbolization of her character as the id.
Narrated in analepsis, Munro explains the strong psychological tie between Flora and Carla. Like the id, "her resemblance to a guileless girl" New Yorker implicates the unconscious, the hidden quality and role of Flora.
She is disguised as a companion of Carla to provide her pleasure and like the "id" directs her to self-destruction. In a Freudian reading, the story could be the battle between angelic face of the "ego" and demonic force of the "id". Carla breaks the barriers of family relationships for twice. Both of them constitute the morality, value and healthy connections of humanity that are ignored by Carla.
In Freud's psychological view, the id is governed by the "pleasure principle".
Flora in the story appears in the way that fulfills Carla's pleasure of independence and rebellion. Oscillating between the pleasure principle which echoes her independence and the reality principle of her familial condition, Carla doubts and resists against temptation. A Leeming and K. Madden in Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion assert: "Ruled by no laws of logic, and unconstrained by the resistance of external reality, the id uses what Freud called the primary process, directly expressing somatically generated instincts" p.
The epilogue of the story is significant from two aspects. Munro narrates: "Carla found that she had got used to the sharp thought that had lodged inside her… she was inhabited now, by an almost seductive notion, a constant low-lying temptation" New Yorker and "she held out against the temptation" New Yorker The temptation rose by Flora and reinforced by an external condition of Carla are the signals of the forces of the id.
She endured Clark's bad temper and at the present time "she didn't find it difficult to be cooperative" New Yorker , signifying how Carla attempts to avoid the aggressive forces of the id. The id role of Flora and her destiny is awakening in Carla by the hidden forces of her id. In Freudian terms, to "held out against temptation" means that Carla resists against the id forces of Flora. She even tries to wipe out the memory of Flora but she is unable to resist.
She is merging into the chores but now and then she feels a "murderous needle somewhere in her heart". It is not difficult to translate the needle into Carla's desire to have Flora again and the thought of flight. Carla suspects Clark of Flora's vanish. She thinks that Clark has killed Flora or "taken her back to the place they'd got her from" New Yorker Flora's destiny remains unknown but the story ends with Carla's suspect to Clark. The gap between Flora's appearance in the fog and Clark's return to home could be filled with Clark's attempt to get rid of Flora.
It is significant to be reminded that Clark does not inform Carla about Flora's return. It could be concluded that Clark has killed Flora as well as killing Carla's source of id's powers. He removes the object and reservoir of temptation to prevent more dangers and problems. He represses the unconscious desire of Carla towards disharmony and rebellion.
He represses the conflicts between Carla's outward and inward worlds when disconnects the relation between Carla and Flora. Carla's blind desire finds no destination, therefore the temptation and "id" keeps its vital power. IJALEL 4 2 , Clark - the male protagonist of the story- is represented according to the "ego" in Freudian tripartite agencies of the human psyche.
Munro's male characterization in many of her stories is rational and objective. The most important characteristic that symbolizes Clark as ego is repression. In fact, it is the mechanism of repression that determines the destiny of Flora, Carla and even Sylvia Jamieson indirectly and it is the patriarchal tool of Clark. The whole story narrates the battle between the powers of the id and the powers of the ego, incarnating in Carla and Clark respectively.
Marcia Cavell in Becoming a Subject writes: "Much of the ego 'das Ich' is repressed; but the ego is also that which acknowledges and attempts to reconcile conflicting beliefs and desires, and in doing so sometimes represses" p.
He acts as a foil character that displays Carla's weaknesses and desires in the best way. During Carla's flight, he manages the condition and her complicated mental status. He is the external "gatekeeper" Atkins, p.
Clark stands as the social and moral normalization of Carla's discordant behavior. Daniel K. Lapsley and Paul C. Stey write: The ego is a modification of the id that emerges as the result of the direct influence of the external world.
It is the "executive" of the personality in the sense that it regulates libidinal derive energies so that satisfaction accords with the demands of reality. It is the center of reason, reality —testing, and commonsense, and has at its commands a range of defensive stratagems that can deflect, repress, or transform the expression of unrealistic or forbidden drive energies p.
Like social punishments and moral regrets, Clark awakens in Carla the alarms of her consciousness. To keep Carla away from the drives of her id, he uses the patriarchal device of repression which is translated into Freudian term. Consequently, Clark transforms Carla's desire of freedom and asocial action into domination of his male power and male perception of women.
When Sylvia asks where Carla is now, Clark answer is: "my wife Carla is at home in bed. Where she belongs" New Yorker Captured and repressed by Clark, Carla is prevented of deeds outside the definition of society as a woman and family relationships as a wife.
Sylvia informs Carla about the return of Flora but Carla burns the letter; afraid of more aggression. In this way she refuses to face the reality and prevents to commit what is defined by ego as "libidinal drive energies" Lapsley and Stey, p. She deceives herself and like mechanism of self-deceit which calms down the drives of the id, Carla resists against the id.
Repression in "Runaway" appears in two distinct ways but both have the same purpose: to oppress the desires of the id in Carla.
In the first case, it appears in the form of the constant external power of ego symbolizing by Clark. Clark has a bad mood and it is narrated that Carla suffers his nasty temperament. Munro writes: "he was mad at her all the times. He could not stand it when she cried and she could not help crying because he was so mad. She did not know what to do" New Yorker In this respect, ego appears in the form of laws and orders to keep the id in order and harmony with reality.
The ego power is maintained through the story in the form of Clark. Symbolizing Clark as ego, he mediates between the impulses of the id and the demands of the reality.
Like social organs and moral agencies, he uses his constant repressive power to limit the scope and choke the destructive desires of the individual. In the second form, repression appears in its cruel way.
Accordingly, Clark kills Flora as the story narrates Carla's suspect to her husband during Flora's disappearance. Clark represses the source of temptation and in the id terms, the reservoir of evil. In this way, Clark prevents more aggressive deeds and rebellious desires. Carla's innate rebelliousness against constraints and pressures impose by her husband is encapsulated in Flora.
So Clark removes her to banish Carla's thought of freedom and escape. Killing Flora is the peak of repressive power in its obvious shape. The third part of Freudian tripartite agencies symbolized as superego is Sylvia Jamieson; the young couple's neighbor.
Although symbolizing Sylvia as superego resists the theory because of the complexities of Sylvia's characterization through the story, but in some ways she appears to act like superego finally. In fact Sylvia acts like a coin in the story. On the one side she represents her id and on the other side she displays superego. Sylvia encourages Carla to run away and helps her to this destination.
She paves the way for Carla to decide when she sympathizes with her. She lends her money and clothes and phones her old friend —Ruth- in Toronto to accept her at her home. Fugitive girl —Carla- confesses to Sylvia her suffering of Clark's bad temperament. In this respect, Sylvia is the counterpart of Flora and Carla in the sense that keeps alive the idea of flight as the best option against Clark and appears as the id consequently. Symbolizing as the id, Sylvia tempts and awakes in Carla her id desires.
As narrated in the story, Sylvia suffers the same problem in her relationship with her husband.
The lack of affection and respect is the common suffering point between two women. Emily LeDuc asserts: "in denying herself her desired identity, Sylvia's despair can be read as indicative of Carla's future" p. Outside repression of the ego power in the shape of their husbands and inside power of repression in the form of their own identity is the great common bond between them.
As indicated earlier in this paragraph, Sylvia appears like the id at first. The rebellion and aggression is what is encouraged by Sylvia and Carla -answering to her inward desire- accepts Sylvia's tantalization.
The second side of Sylvia's appearance in the story is her superego. Eli Sagan in Freud, Women, and Morality: The Psychology of Good and Evil states that one of the most important characteristics of the superego in Freudian analysis is the "sense of guilt and Conscience" p.
Freud viewed conscience as one of the three functions of the superego. The revelation of this symptom is obvious in Sylvia's letter to Carla pervaded with the sense of "personal sense of guilt" Roth, p. Encompassed by a sense of guilt, Sylvia accepts that she had made a mistake to interfere with the young couple's life.
As narrated in the story:" she was afraid she had involved herself too closely in Carla's life and had made the mistake of thinking somehow that Carla's freedom and happiness were the same thing" IJALEL 4 2 , New Yorker So the sense of guilt in result of superego's activation pervades her letter.
Priscilla Roth in The Superego: Ideas in Psychoanalysis regarding the power of superego writes: "its power comes from capacity to create guilt and the bad feelings connected with guilt, and it can dictate our behavior and even our thoughts. Work with the mechanism of morality and social norms and laws, Sylvia in the letter had written: "All she cared for was Carla's happiness, and she saw now that she -Carla- had found that in her marriage" New Yorker Loyalty to moralities of marriage and family life is what Sylvia confesses in her words.
It indicates that Sylvia's conscience has raised in her the sense of guilt during Carla's flight although Sylvia had contributed in Carla's Escape. In this respect, superego acts like an "internal critical agency" Roth, p.
This internal voice is what obliges people not to transgress social and moral norms and it keeps them in order. Sylvia retires from the young couple and resides a new apartment at a distance, away from them.
It is not wrong to say that, filled with the sense of guilt Sylvia seeks punishment and keeps away from them consequently.
Retreat from her previous decision, she tries to remunerate her action when indirectly apologizes Carla. Accordingly, she returns to morality and social conventions in the sense of marriage and family life.
Conclusion The psychological analysis of Alice Munro's "Runaway" based on Freudian psychology makes clear the deep and complicated layers of characterization. Freud's idea towards the world of dreams and its direct connection with the individual's unconscious had been scrutinized in this paper.
The main female protagonist's twin dreams reveal the reflection of her unconscious. In her life with Clark, Carla could not fulfill her wishes regarding an authentic life and her dreams appear as wish-fulfillment in Freudian terms.
In her dreams she could run away and her id desires towards freedom and independence prove to be true. The most important impulse and stimulus behind Carla's drives is repression which is happening in her life with Clark regularly. Along with her inward repressive power, Clark incarnates as the most obvious process of outward repression mechanism. Self-deceit is Carla's inward repressive mechanism when she turns to her husband and yields to previous oppressive conditions.
Accordingly, both dreams indicate Carla's repressed desires to have a new identity as an independent woman. Clark's bad temperament and his cruel behavior pave the way for Carla to think of flight and the dreams -rooted in her unconscious- led her to her wish.
Symbolizing Flora, Clark and Sylvia as the id, ego and superego respectively, the paper had analyzed Freudian three mental agencies. Flora, the little white goat is the embodiment of the id.
She is the outside reservoir of desires and drives and tempts Carla to aggression and rebellion.
She escapes and in Carla's dreams encourages her to do the same. Governed by the pleasure principle, Flora as the symbol of the id fills Carla's pleasure of freedom. Oscillating between the pleasure principle offered by Flora and the reality principle of her family status, Carla lives in constant doubt.
In the next part, Clark stands as the outside embodiment of ego power. He is mediating the conflict between Carla's id desires and reality demands. Repression is the most important mechanism that classifies Clark in the ego group. His ever-bad temper in one hand and removing Flora as the incarnation of id powers, on the other hand are manifestations of Clark's repressive power.
As the indication of the reality principle, Clark pushes her wife back into limitation like social law.