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A scholarly presentation on the concept of Eye and I (Self Vs. Identity) through the Feminist Novel Possession by A. S. Byat

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  1. 1. Exploring I/Eye Equation Self VS Identity A Project by: Ramna Mir Naima Minhas
  2. 2. I I am the self I am me! I the Mind, I the Soul I am the Power The Universe; I behold
  3. 3. • pron. nom. I, poss. my mine, obj. me; pron. I is the nominative singular pronoun used by a speaker or writer in referring to himself or herself. • n.2. (used to denote the narrator of a literary work written in the first person singular.) • I refers to the self. Jung : ‘becoming a single, homogeneous being, and in so far as “individuality” embraces our innermost, last, and incomparable uniqueness, it also implies becoming one’s own self’ therefore it is ‘coming to selfhood’ or ‘self-realization’ (7: 171). ‘The process by which a person becomes a psychological “in-dividual,” that is, a separate, indivisible unity or “whole”’ (9: 275).
  4. 4. Individuation as Mattoon interprets is ‘strengthening, differentiating, and assimilating—integrating—into consciousness the various nonego parts of the psyche: the shadow, the persona, the nondominant attitude and functions and the animus/anima’ (181). Individuation is a ‘process rather than a state’ (Mattoon 180) which takes place gradually.
  5. 5. the ‘self’(175) which is the ‘totality’ (175) including conscious and unconscious which do not oppose but ‘complement’ (7: 175) each other.
  6. 6. The self, which is the ‘innermost nucleus of the psyche’ (Franz 208) according to Jung is ‘superordinate to the conscious ego’ (175).
  7. 7. Theories of Self and Identity George H. Mead • George H. Mead, an early 20th century pragmatist behaviorist, who comes to the issues of identity and consciousness of self out of the intellectual area of social psychology. • In order to be aware of oneself or in order to be self-conscious one must be able to regard oneself as an ‘object’; that is, there must be the ability to see oneself the way another might. • Following from Mead, one’s perception of self is primarily a construction of society, and that perception emerges in the context of “social experience.” Mead maintains that it is “impossible for one to conceive of a self-arising outside of social experience” • It then follows that because “self” is created not only by the subject but also by an observer or “other,” it is not fixed.
  8. 8. Mikhail Bakhtin • Bakhtin states: Our ideological development is an intense struggle within us for hegemony among various available verbal and ideological points of view, approaches, directions and values. The semantic structure of an internally persuasive discourse is not finite, it is open; in each of the new contexts that dialogize it, this discourse is able to reveal even newer ways to mean. • Bakhtin’s concept of the dialogic argues that while the word and “self” change and progress, they move to multiple points of definition. Because of the self’s dependence on dialogue with the “other,” it is always in a state of potential flux, always responding to the inherent nature of the “multiplicity inhuman perception” (Holquist 22).It is this multiplicity—this flux—that enables individuals to engage in the “internally persuasive discourse” that provides the space for the development of new meaning and self-perception.
  9. 9. Gender Marker • As an important aspect of individual identity formation that influences the protagonists’ perception of their own selves, the novel presents gender as a marker of difference. Female identity differs from male identity. • The females like Ellen, Christabel and Maud are shown as independent woman turning over the clichéd image of a suppressed woman. Whereas men are shown to be taken over by female power for instance Ash is driven crazy in love for Christabel and wants to know of their child but she replies saying “ you’ve made a murderous out of me”, she lies to him and keeps the secret of their daughter away from him. • Likewise, Roland has these lose ends to his personality; he is dependent on Maud to complete his research on Ash n Christabel, he simply can’t handle it on his own and needs her intellectual help and guidance.
  10. 10. Bailey & LaMotte- Independent Women • In Possession, green is the signature color of female identity. Maud Bailey is initially described in "green and white length, a long pine- green tunic over a pine-green skirt" and "long shining green shoes" (44). She drives an "immaculately glossy green Beetle" (44). Her beautiful long blond hair is coifed in "a green scarf" (283) pinned with a jet-black mermaid brooch. • In studying Christabel’s hair, Ash notes that its "sleek silver-gold seemed to have in it a tinge, a hint of greenness, not the copper-green of decay, but the pale sap- green of vegetable life, streaked into the hair like the silvery bark of young trees, or green shadows in green tresses of young hay. And her eyes were green, glass-green, malachite green, the cloudy green of seawater perturbed and carrying a weight of sand" and even in Ash’s "imagination he always touched" her cheeks "with green too" (302). • What can be determined is that the two women are linked together in appearance by the color green as ascertained by several narrators. As green associates the two women with one another, it also associates them both with feminine Nature
  11. 11. Relation of Eye and I EYE I EYE
  13. 13. Eye and I have a complex relation Forming the joined sides of a magnet If separated thus nothing Eye and I like rain drop and river The self always connected to the other A quest of knowing A brawl of asserting, Never separating Never accepting Eye and I have a complex relation