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The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

The purpose of this research is to examine the novel The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas. The plan of the research will be to set forth in general terms the pattern of ideas and events emerging in the work, and then to focus in particular on the means by which the work achieves emotional and psychological effect from the line of action and the action and narrative implications concerning the character Lisa's suffering of sexual repression as a result of childhood trauma.

The White Hotel is divided into seven sections, a prologue and parts 1-6, each of which forms a part of the story of Elisabeth, a young woman of a privileged European family whose life is structured as a journey from psychological dysfunction to psychological wholeness, more or less in the manner described by Freudian theory. Indeed, The White Hotel uses the historical Freud, as well as a putative psychoanalytic case history (his method of presentation to the world), to frame and advance the narrative of Elisabeth's development. The Prologue is an epistolary literary conceit in the form of a collegial correspondence between Freud and fellow psychologists Ferenczi and Sachs. The letters function as an introduction to Elisabeth the psychoanalytic object (and the novelistic subject). Indeed, one of the letters serves as a transmittal note explaining what become Parts 1 and 2 of the novel, a poem written by Elisabeth between the lines of a script for the opera Don Giovanni, and a journal, both in a stream of consciousness format, and both presented to Freud during psychoanalysis. The fact that the poem and journal describe one or a series of Elisabeth's erotic/pornographic dreams and fantasies of sexual adventure is noteworthy because, as Freud's transmittal letter puts it, they are "dredged up from this normally shy and prudish girl" (Thomas 10). Following the so-called Gastein journal is "Freud's" case history of Elisabeth, called Anna G., which resembles in structure the ...

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The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:47, April 26, 2019, from