Postmodernism and Identity in Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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Andrew Davis December 12, 2013 English 181 Professor Kappeler Postmodernism and Identity in Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Since the Age of Enlightenment, the ideas of identity and consciousness have been explored by philosophers, psychologists, writers, and more. Since then, the definition of what identity is has changed and evolved, leaving the true, overarching definition unknown. In his novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Japanese author Haruki Murakami explores the ideas of identity and the consciousness through ideas brought up by postmodernist philosophers and psychologists such as Karl Marx, C.G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud and uses them to create characterization,…show more content…
According to Jung, “One function of consciousness is to maintain the relationship between the ego and the unconscious”(Laughlin, Tiberia, 131). To understand this completely, we must look at Jung’s ideas involving the consciousness. Jung believed that the consciousness is comprised of innumerable archetypes - defined as a very typical example of a certain person or thing - that we have by simple virtue of being human. Then - depending on how and what the person experiences - some of these archetypes will develop into networks, known as complexes. Finally, one will gain dominance of the consciousness and is called the ego-complex. This brings us back to the point made earlier, that one of the functions of the consciousness is to maintain the relationship between the ego and unconscious. Basically, what Jung is saying is that there is two personalities in the human mind. One is called the ego, and the other is the unconscious. Freud said the same thing, calling it the ego and id. But that is what the story arcs in the novel stand for. The Calcutec has a very well developed unconscious, which is something many people don’t have. So instead of not knowing the personality in his unconscious, he sees it as a coherent story in which he is a completely different story. It is mentioned in the arc of Wonderland that he actually doesn’t know when he is one or the other until the Professor explains it all to him. Something a reader notices upon reading the novel is the

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