A Psychoanalytic Reading of Dawit Wendmagegn’s Novel “Alamanor”

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Amanuel Genetu
Teshome Egere
Yemaneberhan Kelemework


This article is a psychoanalytic reading of Dawit Wendmagegn’s novel ‘Alamanor’. The objectives of the study are to analyze the unconscious motives and defense mechanisms used by the characters in the novel. To achieve these objectives, textual analysis is made where extracts selected from the novel are critically examined. The extracts are selected depending on the meaning they carry from psychoanalytic perspectives and hence are critically analyzed from a specific angle, namely the psychoanalytic literary critical approach. Common psychoanalytic notions like the id, ego and superego, and defense mechanism are used to frame the analysis. After the critical analysis is made, it is found out that for the present actions and lives of Adult characters in the novel, their past experiences and unconscious motives played determining factors. In relation to this, the psychoanalytical notion of ‘childhood experience leads to adulthood personality’ was also found to be true in the case of the characters in the novel. It is also found that to repress unconscious motives and drives, characters have used defense mechanisms such as displacement and regression. Based on the finding, it is recommended that through literature we can get insight to the lives of characters in fictional narratives. It is also recommended that as characters are representatives of human beings and that the psychological notions of characters have huge implications for human beings, parents should work on how they are treating their children because any action that the child faces could have a huge impact on his/her adult personality.

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Genetu, A., Egere, T., & Kelemework, Y. (2020). A Psychoanalytic Reading of Dawit Wendmagegn’s Novel “Alamanor”. The Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS), 7(1), 3-19. Retrieved from https://journals.ju.edu.et/index.php/ejssls/article/view/4770