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Frcud q/ Boy and---- Enelishr-nanl the ston PatrickMcEvoy-Hal 9712576

451 English M02 Dr.Fertile 2311998 June

-1Boy, states The in of The character DamonIra Chance, Guy Vanderhaeghe's Englishman's a thatthe "principle of a book is persuasio4'; book "invites thougYwhile moviesconvertby that Canadians their urgeto be more (107) gut in writing a bookto persuade I invokingfeelings uses Vanderhaeghe someof the manipulative and is like Americans adolescent self-destructive, rut'Le* scenes, the uses to forceshe assigns films. Vanderhaeghe powerful,emotiorrprovoking $ke ^ wd*'' trait of anti-Semitism the and rapeof a child afterthe shootout, associations,'like character as Chance, much to to assigned Chance, convertour opinionof the Wild West,andthe dreamer


..inthebowels,,ffi107).ButbeforecallingVanderhaegheahypocriteforinspiring warningto getthe Chance's them,we mustremember powerfulemotions whilffwarning against in Americaos attractionloHarcyVincent,andto Canada, the psychology right. If we understand on Freudian sense id impulses the loose,andthis book asan attemp to help containthem, of simplymimicsthe tools usedby and use thenVanderhaeghe's of both persuasion manipulation disciplesof Freud, then,we might imagineourselves to the superego containthe id. Perhaps, as of the andexcuse manipulations the superego, long asthe authoris right that in our collective psyche, id impulses escaping are their constraints. our Canadian is frameworkof the psyche?Accordingto Freud,the psyche Whatthenis the Freudian restraintt/ Z and of composed id impulses ego,andsuperego


The id wasdefinedin termsof the mostprimitive urgesfor gratification throughthe by in the infant,urgesdominated the desirefor pleasure ego, of release tensionandthe cathexis energyf1.fhe which follows of to whatFreudcalledthe reality principlein contradistinction the principledominating id. Herethe needto delay pleasure the in is gratificationin the service self-presenration slowly learned an of by effort to thwartthe anxietyproduced unfulfilled desires.WhatFreud

-2by are mechanisms developed the egoto dealwith such termeddefense but is the mostfundamental, Freudalsoposited conflicts. Repression superego of an entirerepertoire othersincluding.,.isolation...the through of from the internalization society'smoral commands develops gainssomeof its superego dictates...the the identificationwith parental in elements the id, punishingforce by bonowing certainaggressive produce feelingsof guilt". ("Sigmund'leq) which areturnedinward...and


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its The fight of the id to escape jailors, andof thejailors to keepthe id lockedup, is the central dramaof the psyche. to &g But shouldwe usea Freudianframeworkof id, egoand superego understand is Certainlythe topic of psychology broughtup often enough,andthe plot EngliShrqan's-B-oy? is takesplacein Hollywood, wheredreamsaremade,but Freudianpsychology notoriousfor

sublimated by every *Orftnterpreted asmotivated some thought, few knowing limits; every forces at so and of conceptions theid, ego, superrrofrou*h perfectly desire.ButFreud's sexual
that play in the book that ttre readershouldassume the centralconflict in the book is the conflict terminology. with the help of Freudian of the nsVch{andbestunraveled bt-t the Harry beginshis narrationsuggesting stateof mind that leld him to Hollywood, and
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_t 'huddled hopingto leavebehinda life spent to helpedleadChance him. Harry had left Canada
and createoneof actionin tunewith the "greatcrashing roaringl'of the ice on a riverbanknand \4tu) moving down river 1t At ;. He decidedthat theseimpulseswereincompatiblewith one anotheg) with the intent of to the United States onemustbe eitherEnglish,or American, "nakoued ^ qu'dvntL ut*<! Afnerican(181). He foundhimselfin Hollywood,but up until his meetingwith becoming t job nspiring asa title writer, an outsiderin Hollywood,



people ^et. he amongst creative the instead idealism of cynicism thusfar,finding and, )?





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his Harry wantsto indulgehis id impulses, desireto be part of the action, sense, In a Freudian by movingawayfrom his hometo America. He endsup in Hollywood,an unrealplace,"half(12). In leavinghomehe leaves behind reignsupreme wild, half-artificial", whereid impulses Y the of someof the psychicrestraints the supereg(Jnotably valuesof the Saskatchewan vJ l^lvvilr are The parental of dictates the superego alsoweak,with his he now scorns. community, W home,almostout of sightandmind. But the id is still constrained, mother,in a retirement of howeverfeebly,by the presence his mother,andby the fact that he finds himself,ashe felt in a school,"thrust on the outside"sothat "outsidebecame stateof mind" (33). His isolationacts desires. him asan externalegodefens{J^isolating from the realiratronof his dangerous
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him. @inuites him to his home, beckons Chance But thenhe meetsChance.Specifically,

g talksto thingsto Harry which rekindlehis desireto be part of somethin geat. Chance andsays talks art else Unlike everybody who talks dollars,Chance Harry in a way he finds appealing. (180).He tells Harrythat he plansto makea greatmovie,andinvitesHarry to help him makeit. This moviewill attemptto evokeAmerica'sraw passionsht. sortthat helpedAmericaconquer t) of talks aboutthe superiority intuition, her West,andhelp her be greatonceagain.Chance (t^-'*u-4 "Factsin which putsa manoutside. overanalysis, which putsa maninsidethe thingshe studies, A while factsrender"partial knowledge picturemakingmustbe shaped intuition" because by ( knowledge" 19-20). intuition renders absolute ,o He does his is of Chance helpingHarry overcome egodefenses isolationandrepression. lhis


Harrywithinaninnercircle,*no")#J#l6ngings by including

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of the talk aboutintuition conffollingfact, inversing relationship the id to the ego,is an his for encouragement Harryto express own innerfeelingswithout guilt. Harry required

-4Chance's withoutguil! his innerdesires. to like to someone Chance allowhimself express,


if For in to carefully order havesuooess. example, we of temptings theid hadto bepresented IIarry passions, attempting entice to a DenisFitzsimmons,ba.rtarian, manof camal a imagine have reminded Harry intuitions, knowthathewoul4 instead, we with theallureof hisinnermost



to tlarry, who,referring possible manifestations primitivepassions. of ofthe lesspleasant later, as wouldnothave, hedemonstrates is to Fitzsimmons, 'hot about tell thismananything" listened him either(8). to whose'clothes harr brushed", whose thinning is neatly " to Inslead, Harrylistens Chance Who" mightbea richness". to a cu! areelegantly hisbrownbrogues...polished chocolate \


privatemeans" J of professor an Ivy league school- a professor goodfamily andsubstantial at (14). It is the perfectfacadeto attractl{arry, a man who is after power,but prefersto haveit knowswell what he is hidden"behind this polite, fastidiousEnglish faoade"(178). Chance -14 profile he otrersofthe average American: doinq$ is implicit in the psychological

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story, Americanfeelsfoolishwhenhe enjoysa made-up the average him a feelssheepish childish,a mooner, dreamer.But entertain , to with factsandyou give him permission enjoyhimselfwithout guilt. a or He needn'tfeel swindled, hoodrvinked, hick solda bill of goods he's learned He prefersto feel virtuousbecause by a carnivalbarker. himself.(18-19) useful,informedhimself,improved something

the his recopizesthis,andit informs to about longings.Chance llarry prefers feelvirtuous is dream His Chance's delivery his spoech. success suchthat of ,vthichlfiarrt wy/dlater "energr,opimism,confidene''(80) for about as characterize being"greedy the "poc"typt.';iJtit*






wThusHarrydecidestobe..partofsomethingois'\ratherthanbeabigpartof movietr\Ol. to smallandagrees helpmakeChance's something cowboyShortyMcAdoo andto asksHarryto beginby trackingdownthe reclusive Chance the obtainhis story. In orderto find him, Harrywill needto deceive youngcowboyWylie, and in orderto obtainShorty'sstory,he will needto lie to Shorty. Harry is willing to do this because him to a kind of logic has film. Moreover,Chance introduced he wantsto help makeChance's to details. He hasalreadysuggested of which canjusti$ the censorship actionsasmeaningless whenhe uponthis concept wo2{alaterexpand ovelfacts. Chance Harrythe priority of essence says Harry,"detail to w mostpeoplereadthe world, the simplelettersof their idiotic


people suchas'clothesmakethe man'...most theyspellcrudeandliteralmeanings alphabet... gift don't havewhat you andI do, Harry...the to seebeyonda flat cap,or beyondsmallfacts" while keeping (230- 231). Harryis alreadywilling to overlookthe smallfactsof his deceptions his eyeon a largerdream. WhenHarry later asks{Xachel if "an admirationfor Griffith as makesomeone Klansman, a doerit?" he is makingthe point to himself artistdoesn'tnecessarily that " a badmanmight be a goodartisf' (133). If true,thenin the nameof art, or a greatmovie, as badbehavioron his behalfmight be excused well. and and has Chance helpedfreeHarry's id impulses, we beginto seetheir true nature, some to of sense why theyrequireconstraining.Harrybegins enjoypower. He feelsthe powerof havingtalked,several times,with a studiohead*hfi*ry few, andonly the likes of movie stars,

with conceroing whetherhe,or I U*oh in evermeet.Heglories a confrontation Fitzsimmons


proj*. ,, * ufi* to ismore Fitzsimmons, importantChance's

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him to as-.-a llarry loves whothinksof him asa mensch, friend" Sheis eager comer but woman

-6to find out his secret. as strikesthe readers childish,but the self-destructive with Fitzsimmons The encounter Fitzsimmons Rachel{ to Harry defending obviouswhenwe observe tendencies the id become of by that sheknowshe is anti-Semitic the way he looksat her. Harry says Rachel'scharge despite of that he really doesnot know why he doesthis, but we know thathe hasallowedhis sense with the up andcorningstarWilliam grievance to somegrossfree play. As sheleaves dance is paysthe bill...thegigolo'sevening just he DeShane, thinksto himself " the mensch to suggesting this woL/dlaterattemptio aggravate grievance beginning"(139).Fitzsimmons


HarrythatRact,,ti,,,ffimoney'andChancewo;ildtempthimwithwhores.These -A ./ a/'
without the help of strong influences ,,/ the attempts suggest kind of manHarry might become for and the capable countering badinfluenceof menlike Chance Fitzsimmons.Fortunately, of muchof his time with ShortyMcAdoo,who turnsout to be/1ifferentlrindtf Harry,he spends he maglhan Chancehadspeculated would be. to WhenHarry first meetsShortyhe learnsquickly that Shortywill resistHarry's demands


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Harry rooffir@r i,

Harry many da$and

doesnot sit well with ShortyMcAdoo" (120). But this extra realizes that "fonvard momentum of time allows{grHarry to get a bettersense the man,a feel for the kind of manhe is, anda he strongdoseof the kind of lessons hasto tell. is in The difference the pacingof their narratives but the first of manyopposite from Shorly. Theyhavedifferent ,,/ which Harry learnsdifferentiates Chance characteristics to film. Shortywantsto escape Canadaa Chance wantsaboveall to makea great ambitions. of and wherehe might get somepeace quiet. Theyhavea differentsense how to accomplish


,ypff Shorty *rfibufffrnO usl others. goals. of with Chance, thehelp Fitzsimmons, their
5 5, will let goal,if it mearldoing harmto the memoryof the youngIndiangirl. Chance abandonhis

no oneandnothingget in the way of his goal. Shortywill not let his goal get in the way of raw id is helpingothers,anddoingwhat is right. In effect,if Chance a symbolof our psyche's


ego,andsuperego. impulses, Shortyis a symbolof the psyche's with the hardfactsof The principlefunctionof the egois to groundthe flighty id impulses of Harry of the importance facts,Shorlyreacquaints,,/ tries to dissuade reality. So,while Chance the wantsIndianstories, Shorlydescribes time he went so him with their importance.Chance Indian. But first he describes:

in Here'swhereyou go Indian...Up your head. Indianis a way play boysriding at the studios Lots of themEastern of thinking. those Indiansreading at cowboys Indians. Theylearned and - maybesame kind of book you askingme to help boys' books showyou you write - bookstell you how to do signlanguage, with a deerhorn, makea war bonnet how to chip an arrowhead out of turkeyfeathers.Booksdon't makean Indian. It's country (l5l ) makes Indian. an

with his like Chance, boyswho run the studios, He therebyhelpsremindsHarrythat Eastern afterbeingofferedthe Chance, of books,andmaps,havelittle sense reality. Not surprisingly, tale storyof Shorty'sunglamourous of goingIndian,repliesthat "a pictureabouta lunaticlost him on the plainsis not whatI hadin aboutIndianwars"(157). "/

of he rejectsthe storybecause will not allow his sense the Americancowboyto be Chance with the imageof a cowboyrolling aroundin mud actinglike a pig. But Harry begins tarnished

-8bb"f of to realizethat the detailsof Shorty'sstorytell a differentsense the AmericanWestthanW( detailscannot him had Chance presented with. Moreover,he beginsto realizethat, in general, it suggests, because is in the detailsttnt, as or by be overlooked, shaped their essence, Chance the that considers mustbe found, Later,whenHarry understands Chance anykind of an essence cowboys gruesome rape,andburningalive of an Indiangirl, which followedthe battlebetween this andIndians,asa detailwhich mustbe amended, point finally strikeshome. the disciplines id with for as Shorlyalsoserves an externalsuperego Harry. The superego by of dictates.ShortyremindsHarry of the importance beinghonest societalandparental the zingthedamage cancreate.Hollywoodhasrecreated Wild Westdishonestly lies emphasi 9|"rt\l-l Harry that gunsarefor killing, and reminds maskingreal horrorsof conquest P therefore of to him, forcefully,to payhomage the dead,Wylie's brother,who died because some advises rather to idiot's foolish desireto createa g[eatwestern.en{(Snody's willingness kill Chance, U thanallow himselfto have"sold out the girl, too" is an attemptto cleanup his own messor "put the milk backin the bottle" (278). for Finally, ShortythroughWylie, tries to makeHarry feel guil$,?tactic of the superego, of lying to him aboutthe purpose the solicitationof his story. Wylie tells Harrythat "Shorly says you soldhim downthe river...Shorty says thempitcherpeoplegoingto makehim a laughing

lesson.We know this to be true,ashe stock"(277). Harry repliesthat he has,in effect learrrlftus
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to project and ,ty*reje"@nunce andFitzsimmons, ydmouesback Canada frGftthe movie


workingasa manager to to wherehe'll be content limit his part of big events that of a spectatorf -l of a movietheater. havecometo the same by Vanderhaeghe hopes the endof the booh that we, asCanadians,

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-9that with persuasion, any inclinationwe haveto be morelike conclusion.He hasargued, after he had"found that to Americans shouldbe rejected.As an answer Harry's question shouldI?", Vanderhaeghe no us...why Americans, andlarge,recognize distinctionbetween by sideof America,andasksus whetherwe really wantto be like showsus the dark,elemental are them( 1I I ). Americanenergies wild anddestructive.Americais a nationof id; ajuvenile out nationwhich lashes at anywho would castdoubtson their claim to be bold, andbeautiful. It of impulse,to simpliff, evidentin its recounting its past,andin is a nationwith an overpowering itsirritationwithapolyglotsocietyMCanada,atleastcomparedwithits and rightly pridesitself on its multi-culturalism doesnot insiston a neighbour, southern Canad{is lessproneto ignorethe or of tightningconversion immigrants, of our predecessors.

helpingthe moreof our resources in we damages caused makingour nationandwe spend "weak" andlesstime trumpeting "sffong". the as less But we areo unfortunately, sureof ourselves a nationthanareour southern that We neighbours. complainthat we arenot patrioticenough.We try to convinceourselves of the takeplacehere;witness popularsuccess booksof we too, havehadimportantevents has of this sense uncertainly pickedup by explorations PieneBerton. Moreover, Canadian of to as momentum of late. Mulroneymanaged makethe passage the FreeTradeAgreement for enticement votersto vote him backinto offrce. This deal a with the United States successful headto headwith America,and for to wassoldasa chance Canada showthat it could compete we gathered favour,despitewarningsthat we wereputting manyof the programs areproudof, provincialpremiers now go to the by at evensocialsecurity, risk. Encouraged this success, that that headof corporations they will ensure the costsof doing to United States convince

-10west/east talk is are in business Canada keptaslow aspossible.There renewed thatCanada's
southwardsllW d and makeslifile sense, that we oughtproperlyto orientourselves orientation

to permittingmanyof its teams relocate the to our nationalsport,hockey,hasdonerecently, United States. political correctness unsatisfuing. long to be like is We that Canada's We arecomplaining ' our t ,a1... Americansand celebrate countrywithout reservationlwithout doubts. But Vanderhaeghe v,y to that we cannotp€rmit ourselves do so. We oannotdistinguishByron, the maq from argues , . ,f


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our ow ofthe first informs opinionofthe second. creations, because knowledge . Byron^lrtistic


his celebrating accomplishments, against wholeheartedly too of Knowledge Byron'slife serves "dP,Jt" qf 0 just asourknowledge Chance, hisanti-Semitism, informourjudgnentofhis and should of its up should instead spend effortscleaning thespilt impliesVanderhaeghe" movie. Canada, like when, thedressing in of milk fromtheprwioustimesweacted Americansr*ite march Polioe, it ona long red-jacketed sent we Englishmen, fonnedthe"NorthWestMounted (326). claimto it...amythicactof possession" establishing intoa vastterritory, , . ,rL b Y' I that feels enough about need restraint, heis willing to our for Vanderhaeghe strongly sfiongemotions, Vanderhaeghe this manipulate to serve end. In a novelwhichwamsagainst us, a provides detailed evokes powerful a account therapeofthe Indiangirl whichinevitably of towards *"n *ho *.ritted the sense hatred of Chance an act. such heinous Healsomakes a

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flaw his anti-Semite, character whichlooms a everlarger weprogress as through story. Associating taleof theWestwith theraping andbuming the aliveof thelndiangirl, is notthe kindof association encourage to think for ourselves, Rachel to us encouraged Ftrarry do,and to as formourownopinionofthe West. Instead is thekindofassociation it whichencourages an

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us encourages to thinkof him asa manlike Hitley'wfrJHarV*rff Chance's anti-Semitism
we of him to just beforehe finishesthe accounting his past. And it is possible, will compare has Chance mentioned including his n"r{lbngson/and GeorgeSorel,as rutmes remember neverhavingreadtheir worksi*r.tu.r.'rn evil dangerous, mendespite just asfilms were short,


throughthe powerof revelation, for dangerous their potentialto underminementaldefenses to Vanderhaeghe usedthe powerof emotionprovokingassociations affect oujudgment of has in the ideas,events,andpeoplewe encounter the book. about He hasalsoprovokedin us feelingsof guilt. WhenHarry tells Shortyto stopobsessing he refuses stopbecause to dead,ShortV"4$horty the girl, saying*Christ,the girl's dead... ain't no different...Iain't no differenf'12?fOO). The rapeof the girl excited understands'oI him just asit did the others,andhe will not allow himself to forget it. We are unlikely to have beenexcitedby the rop€,but we probablywereexcitedwith the ideaof a greatIndian battle, and that to by Chance'sdreams makea greatmovie. If we arehones! we will acknowledge we, too, are gurlty, like Shortywff, for becomingexcitedby eventsandpeople,worthy, in retrospect, only of oru scorn. the right to manipulateus in this way? He is, if we acknowledge Is Vanderhaeghe



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impulsesof the i4 andagreethat Canadians to importance the superego control the dangerous of of needthe strengthening suchconstraints.Manipulationby emotion,then, shouldbe viewed as to simply the normal operationof the superego usethe powersof the id againstitself. our what oughtto cautionus beforeaccepting fate as instead, Perhaps, t'/

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argues almostentirely by'' on a riverbank,cheeringasthe world sweeps is that Vanderhaeghe

-t2the is throughthe useof negation. Life as a spectator good,because alternativeis so bad. Harry white with aboutchange...paved tells us that he enjoyshis life by the river "learningsomething the snowand ice in winter, slackandbrown in summer, river is neverthe same"(325). But after ? and with Chance, of the ClpressHills us a realiststhick accountof Harry's encounters offering

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doesnot amountto very much. The truth may still be that a life spentwatching

is the world go by, while not self destructive, still a prettyboringlife. And, evenif we are understan{ both in our mindsand in our hearts,that the alternatives that muchworse,we someexcitement. in still might, 6 o nation,be inclinedto experiment hopeof generating

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