Social and Familial “Generativity” in An Artist of the Floating World: An Eriksonian Approach

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University Tabriz, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University Tabriz, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University Tabriz, Iran.

10.34785/J014.2023.008

Abstract

In An Artist of the Floating World, Kazuo Ishiguro gives an account of Masuji Ono, an ageing painter who reviews his life and profession in the post-World War II Japan. Though the novel has huge potentials for psychosocial development of characterization, few studies have paid attention to this potentiality. This study is going to investigate the characterization of the protagonist in terms of the midlife crisis with which he is involved. Considering the fact that Masuji’s review is characterized by the obsession with family and profession with an attempt to decide whether he achieved “generativity” or “stagnation,” his account can be discussed in terms of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development. Focusing on the seventh stage of Erikson’s theory which is primarily characterized by deciding over the binary “generativity versus stagnation” and the individual’s struggle to decide on the meaning of life, the present research explores Masuji’s attempts at creating a positive image of his past and also his tendency to compensate his shortcomings in familial issues in order to finally feel “generative” in his midlife years. Ultimately, this research comes to the conclusion that Masuji is able to overcome the psychological tribulations of the stage by developing the virtue of “care.”

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Volume 5, Issue 1 - Serial Number 9
January 2023
Pages 125-142
  • Receive Date: 24 April 2021
  • Revise Date: 15 September 2021
  • Accept Date: 11 February 2022
  • First Publish Date: 04 January 2023