Narrative, Point of View and Freudian Psychiatry in Roald Dahl's "Georgy Porgy"

By Brokerhof, Inge | NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication, June 2012 | Go to article overview

Narrative, Point of View and Freudian Psychiatry in Roald Dahl's "Georgy Porgy"


Brokerhof, Inge, NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication


Introduction

What would it feel like to be swallowed by a woman? How does it feel to live in a woman's stomach? George could tell you all about it. This bizarre main character created by Roald Dahl tells us his story in "Georgy Porgy". In this short story George, a 31-year old vicar, looks back on his life. George has a major problem: he is terrified of women. George is petrified of touching them--even with a handshake. Throughout his life, George becomes more and more obsessed with this fear. At the end of the story he claims to be swallowed by a woman and thinks he is living in her stomach. What has really happened?

This short study will argue that George is not living in a woman's stomach, but in a mental hospital. George is mentally confused. Since he is the one telling his story, the borders between reality and Action fade, and the reader has to infer reality from subtle stylistic and linguistic devices employed by Dahl. The following statement will be defended in this study: In the story "Georgy Porgy," Dahl uses stylistic elements to portray the main character's mental illness that can be classified as Freudian, characterised by an experience of a childhood drama, neuroticism, sexual rigidity and female domination. The topic investigated in this paper, by means of stylistic analysis, has not been investigated before. However, it has been hypothesized that Dahl has used Freudian elements in other writings (West, 1990).

A stylistic analysis of point of view--using the frameworks of Fowler and Simpson--was conducted, investigating to what extent Dahl's stylistic elements reflect a psychiatric illness that can be classified as Freudian. The Freudian paradigm of psychiatry emphasises childhood trauma, neuroticism and a fixation in a sexual childhood phase. A microanalysis was conducted showing evidence for each of the Freudian elements, by investigating schema-oriented language, tense, value-laden expressions, temporal, spatial and social deixis.

For clarity, the background and a short summary of the story will be given first. After this, the Freudian framework for psychological disorders will be concisely outlined. Then the main stylistic analysis will be described, followed by a brief conclusion.

Background of the Story

The story "Georgy Porgy" was published in 1960 in the book "Kiss Kiss" written by Roald Dahl. This book contains various short stories of Dahl. Main character is George, a 31-year old vicar. In the story he reflects on his life and on his major problem: his fear of women.

At the age of ten George experiences a dramatic event. In the middle of the night, he and his mother go to see their rabbit giving birth. His mother explains that the rabbit is like her, and that the babies are like George. George is quite intrigued by it all. Suddenly, though, the doe starts to eat her baby. George looks up at his mother, sees her mouth and is petrified that his mother will eat him too. He runs away, screaming and yelling. His mother runs after him, and gets killed in a car accident.

At the age of 31 George is working in a vicarage. At first, the women in his church are distant and pleasantly formal. However, within a few months more and more women start to make sexual advances on George. George gets more and more neurotic. He has tics, and is generally anxious and confused. To And out who is to blame for this situation, the women or him, he conducts a self-made experiment with mice. He separates the females from the males for three weeks and then puts them in the same cage--only separated by a thin highly electric fence. When the females die--trying to get to the males--he sees this as "proof" for the fact that women are sexually obsessed creatures, trying to chase men.

When George is invited to a tennis party, with mostly women, he tries to be very distant. However, without realising it, he drinks alcohol and gets more relaxed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Narrative, Point of View and Freudian Psychiatry in Roald Dahl's "Georgy Porgy"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.