Destruction and detachment of the western ego in the moresby couple in the sheltering sky by Paul Bowles.
Keppel, Timothy Anderson | 2019
This thesis will analyze the psychological changes of the characters as they are devoured by the wilderness and the vastness of the desert, and how the travelers¿ decision to embrace the wilderness ultimately leads them to be freed of their ego, but also condemns them to realize that they are left alone in a new culture that does not want them or accept them. Port¿s abandonment of his Western ego results from his distaste with the current Western society, the stain left by war, and the false ideals and masks of intellectualism. An unpublished writer, Port embraces the idea that in order to write, one must detach oneself from all that is banal. Kit, who embodies the Western culture, tags along with Port on his unusual adventures because she cherishes him and wants to save their marriage, but she quickly finds herself abandoned and surrounded by a strange and violent world. The trip begins with the three arriving in North Africa. Port is a traveler and this place provides the escape from the mechanized era he has longed for. Arriving at the port of Tanger with Kit and their friend, Turner, he soon regrets his decision, but is unwilling to admit this since it was his idea to go to Africa in the first place. As they advance deeper into the wilderness, the characters find themselves consumed by their rejection of the Western ego, while at the same time they suffer from the rejection by this new civilization they are so eager to embrace.The relationship between the characters, Kit ¿s love for Port and their discontentment with the presence of Turner, will be studied from a psychoanalytical perspective, as the novel is filled with the inner monologues of the characters and their impressions of their companions. It will focus on how their interactions lead them to slowly reshape, lose, or abandon their idea of Western ego and how their travels deep into the wilderness affect them. The Moresby couple, Kit and Port, are the main characters of the novel, with Turner being more of embodiment of the Western world Port is trying to flee. Both of them represent a different angle on the loss of the Western ego and the harshness of abandoning the only culture to which they belong. The essay will explore their motivations for rejecting conventional American values. For Port, this involves an avoidance of emotional responsibilities and a fascination for the unknown, as represented by the desert and the sky. Kit, on the other hand, attempts to deny the disintegration and destruction of her Western ego, fearing consumption of her own sense of self. The novel ¿s three chapters are connected to the evolution of the characters as they move further away from the Western culture they despise while at the same time gradually losing their own selves. This thesis will explore the tragic consequences this entails. Its methods will derive from New Criticism and Psychoanalytic Criticism. Both approaches focus on the the construction and development of the core theme, examining the psyche of the characters and their interactions with one another and with the environment.