Psychoanalytic Reading of Love and Desire in Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage

Amin Ettehadi, Roohollah Reesi Sistani


The present study was a comprehensive psychoanalysis of the idea of love and desire in Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage. The study explored the relationship Philip Carey, the main character, develops with Other people throughout the novel. To further enrich the analysis, Lacan’s theory of human love and desire was employed to provide a psychoanalytic examination of Philip Carey’s bond of love for Mildred, on the one hand, and his gradual loss of identity in his desire towards her, on the other. The study inspected the nature of Philip’s desire for Mildred and shows how he turnd to a desiring subject in his bond to her and finally reached a state of selflessness and depended heavily on Mildred as the object of his desire which drove him towards self-contempt and a masochistic denial of real facts in his life.

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