Individuation in J.D. Salinger’s Shoeless Joe and Shakespeare’s Hamlet

One could speculate that the human condition is that of fragmentation, a dichotomy of the many aspects of personality that make us who we are. C.G. Jung, the founder of analytical psychology formulated a school of thought called junginism to explain this state of disunity. One theory from the Jungianism school of thought is the process of “individuation.†The process of individuation refers to the course in which an individual unifies and integrates all aspects of his/her personality. Individuation is clear in both the character â€ŔRay Kinsella†from J.D. Salinger’s â€ŔShoeless Joe†and the character Hamlet, from Shakespeare’s â€ŔThe Tragedy of Hamlet the Prince of Denmark. Unlike Ray Kinsella, Hamlet was not able to reach individuation because of his melancholic depression and the dichotomy of his archetypes. Firstly, Hamlets process of individuation is stunted because of his melancholic depression. Throughout the play there are several moments where the reader becomes aware of the harmful nature of Hamlets melancholic depression has on his process of individuation. One of the most famous soliloquies in history â€Ŕtoo be or not too be†perfectly illustrates how Hamlet’s melancholic depression is to the detriment of his process of individuation. The first portion of the speech is Hamlet contemplating suicide, only to be dissuaded by the fact that it is a sin to end one’s own life â€ŔTo be, or not to be? That is the questionâ€â€Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them? To die†¦ay, there’s the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come†Hamlet is essentially contemplating the morality of suicide, but is worried that h… …s hinder him for most of the play. Fortinbra like Hamlet is intent on avenging his father, but he is able to integrate all of his archetypes as part of his psyche, and does not lose his voice of reason in the pursuit of violence. Works Cited Maslow, A. H. A Theory of Human Motivation. 1943.>. Steel, Piers Ph.D. The Science Of Procrastination. n.d. . 1916, English, Book Edition: Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology / by C. G. Jung ; Authorised Translation Ed. by Dr. Constance E. Long. Jung, C. G. (Carl Gustav), 1875-1961.” Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology / by C. G. Jung ; Authorised Translation Ed. by Dr. Constance E. Long. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.

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