The Literary Portrayal of the Madonna-Whore Complex in John Fowles's Novels The Collector and The Magus

Wojciech Boryszewski

Wydział Humanistyczny Uniwersytetu Warmińsko-Mazurskiego w Olsztynie



Abstract

The article begins with a brief description of the madonna-whore complex, as the aim of the paper is to analyze the way this syndrome influences the construction of the characters in two novels by John Fowles, The Collector and The Magus. The author tries to prove that the main characters of the two novels — Frederick Clegg and Nicholas Urfe — suffer from the madonna-whore complex, which influences their lives in many ways, especially their relations with female protagonists, and motivates their actions and decisions. Despite many similarities between the two heroes, the portrayals of the complex are different in the novels. Nicholas is cured of the complex and The Magus ends happily, whereas Clegg's condition seems to be incurable, which leads to the death of Miranda, but also the plight other women in the future.

Keywords:

Fowles, madonna, whore, Freud

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Published
2018-09-30

Cited by

Boryszewski, W. (2018). The Literary Portrayal of the Madonna-Whore Complex in John Fowles’s Novels The Collector and The Magus. Papers in Literature, (2). Retrieved from https://czasopisma.uwm.edu.pl/index.php/pl/article/view/1177

Wojciech Boryszewski 
Wydział Humanistyczny Uniwersytetu Warmińsko-Mazurskiego w Olsztynie