Kleinian Psychological Light on W. S. Maugham’s Liza of Lambeth
Keywords:William Somerset Maugham, Melanie Klein, Object Relations Theory, Projective Identification, Depressive Position
This paper explores a psychological reading of W. Somerset Maugham’s first novel Liza of Lambeth based on Melanie Klein’s notions of object relations theory. Maugham’s works illustrate the simple life of people who are woven to their destructive ways of living and depict their symptomatic relationships. These sorts of self-damaging and wrong objects selections are the consequences of incomplete childhood prototypes with parents which are influential throughout these people’s lifespan. In Klein’s term these may be the result of projective identification and depressive position. Although Maugham attempts to show his protagonists as successful people, they always choose the wrong partners for their relationships. On the surface this is not a problem for them, but in the deeper layers it shows itself as the main issue for characters to prevent them from gaining the love-life they deserve. This study analyses the effect of object relations in Maugham’s main character’s relationships that are caused by her infancy and childhood defective experiences with her mother, father or caretakers. These sorts of destructive relationship and connections are interrelated and deprived them to have healthy relationship in their adulthood.
Charlton, R., & Charlton, P. (2012). A medical classic: Liza of Lambeth. Clinical Medicine, 12(4), 393–394.
Compton, A. (1986). Freud: Objects and Structure. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 34(3), 561–590.
Klein, M. (1975). Envy and Gratitude: And Other Works, 1946-1963. London: Hogarth Press.
Klein, M. (1960).The Psychoanalysis of Children. New York: Grove.
Klein, M., & Rivière Joan. (1967). Love, hate and reparation. London: Hogarth Press.
Likierman, M. (1995). Loss of the Loved Object: Tragic and Moral Motifs in Melanie Kleins Concept of the Depressive Position. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 12(2), 147–159.
Maugham, W. Somerset (1921). Liza Of Lambeth. New York: George H. Doran.
Morgan, T. (1981). Maugham. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2009). Theories of human development. London: Routledge.
Ogden, T. H. (2018). On Projective Identification. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 60, 357–373.
Palombo, J., Bendicsen, H. K., & Koch, B. J. (2009). Guide to psychoanalytic developmental theories. New York: Springer.
Schaffer, R. H. (1974). Personal Communication. Journal of Research in Personality, 8(3), 291–294.
Segal, H. (1981). Melanie Klein. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Summers, F. (1994). Object relations theories and psychopathology: a comprehensive text. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.