Reading the Family Dance: Family Systems Therapy and Literary Study

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John V. Knapp, Kenneth Womack
University of Delaware Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 333 pages
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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 theory 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. 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 Assist
 

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Contents

Lucy Honeychurchs Rage for Selfhood Family Systems Therapy Ethics and E M Forsters A Room with a View
29
The Enigmatic Jane Eyre A Differentiation Story without Family in Charlotte Brontes 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 Kingsolvers Animal Dreams
93
The Family Family Systems Therapy and the Discourse of Community
109
Family Dynamics and Property Acquisitions in Clarissa
111
Circular Ties A Family Systems Reading of A S Byatts The Game
135
Family Systems Therapy and Narrative in Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye
151
The World Reading Family Systems Therapy in extremis
219
Crusading for the Family Kurt Vonneguts Ethics of Familial Community
221
Hollywood Exiles Nathanael Wests 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 OConnors Short Fiction
276
General Bibliography
305
Notes on Contributors
325
Index
329

Forging a Family Discourse in Marilene Felintos The Women of Tijucopapo Or Unraveling the Intricacies of Miscommunication
171
Family Games and Imbroglio in Hamlet
194

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Page 32 - By far the most valuable things, which we know or can imagine, are certain states of consciousness, which may be roughly described as the pleasures of human intercourse and the enjoyment of beautiful objects.

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About the author (2003)

John V. Knapp is Professor of English, with a joint appointment in modern literature and in teacher education, at Northern Illinois University.

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