How is a Woman Like a Watermelon?: Advocating a Psychological and Comparative Examination of Brautigan's Novels
Plummer, Sarah E.
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â How is a Woman Like a Watermelonâ examines two of Richard Brautiganâ s novels, In Watermelon Sugar and An Unfortunate Woman, as they relate to each other in ways that offer a better understanding of each. This paper enriches an understanding of Brautiganâ s work by exploring the historical context of his writings, studying his style and presenting diverse interpretations in a mutually inclusive way that complements the multifaceted qualities of his writing. By studying Brautiganâ s novels in a comparative manner, the essential and distinctive principles that drive Brautiganâ s workâ his manipulation of genre, use of memory and a complex first person narrator as an author personaâ are better understood. Because of Brautiganâ s use of the first person, this study advocates an analytical psychological analysis aimed at discerning underlying emotion within apparent personal detachment, the use of projection as a defense mechanism, and the psychological associative value of words, images and memories. An inclusive and comparative study that foregrounds these psychological elements will ultimately allow for a more complete and subtle analysis of Brautiganâ s work.
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