Paul Samuelson

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20032004 Forum on Belief

Paul Samuelson


College '04

An Exploration of Beckett's Characters through the Psychoanalytic Theories of W.R. Bion

Samuel Beckett and his psychoanalyst, Wilfred Bion, shared not only a close relationship of collegial rapport, but also central ideas about the human condition and psyche. To what extent can their respective works be considered different expressions of the same outlook on consciousness, reality, insanity, and being? Samuelson will assess the depths of this correspondence by using Bion's psychoanalytic writings to explain the inner workings of the characters in Beckett's first novel, Murphy, with the larger hope of explaining different levels of consciousness at work in the human subject.