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it was time she got a job and earned a little money. As this was accepted without enthusiasm I ventured most inconsiderately to remind her that she was not paying me for her treatment. At this she exploded almost literally. She had never been so insulted in her life, of course she was going to pay me, and so on. The next day came a letter enclosing a small sum of money. She wrote that she had never suffered so in her life, only her tremendous strength of character had kept her from suicide and she charged me never to say such an unfeeling thing to any patient again. I have not seen or heard of her again.

If my hypothesis about compulsive thinking be sound, it may offer some grain of hope therapeutically. So long as the personality remains rigid symptoms are bound to recur. But if the central defect of his make-up be brought home to the patient he may be able to make a virtue of it. All that is necessary-although this is a Herculean task-is for the central egoism to become engaged in the task of reconstruction. Let pride and self-preservation once be turned to the task of self-analysis and it becomes compulsively necessary for the patient to anticipate the analyst in his discoveries. I have known one such case. The patient worked as if possessed, in a frenzy to detect his complexes and to interpret them accurately. It excluded practically all other thoughts from his mind until each dream was analysed, even if this took him all day or all night. But in his endeavour he was, in the main, successful; in fact this hypothesis is largely the outcome of that analysis.

Before leaving the subject of treatment certain secondary phenomena that appear during it should be mentioned. I have already touched on the way in which the compulsive thinker will be preoccupied in his dreams with problems and the degree to which intellectual judgments will be formulated therein. The subtlety with which his dreams may make fun of the analyst is sometimes highly amusing. Another feature is the melodramatic nature of the dreams. Particularly when the diurnal symptoms are urgent, the night is full of battle, murder and sudden death. This seems quite natural if the central problem be understood as 'kill or be killed.' A third characteristic is the feeling, even passion, with which the history will be given of dissatisfaction or disillusionment with the loved one during childhood. The repetition of these often fully conscious memories is accompanied with an affect more appropriate to a present trial. The man is still bearing a grudge. There is little of the apology, "Poor mother, she did her best," but, rather, a continued bitterness. The conflict is still going on.

In conclusion let me enumerate the characteristics of the compulsive Med. Psych. VI


thinker which he ought to show, according to this hypothesis and which, if demonstrated consistently in a large series of cases, ought to go a long way towards validating the theory. In the first instance there should be a history indicating a marked discrepancy between the characters of the object Imago and of the person who ought to be the representative thereof. Secondly, the personality of the patient ought to show rigidity of the type I have described. He ought to be unduly resistive to criticism and much less amenable to suggestion than is the normal man. I should be surprised to meet an individual with prominent compulsive thinking who identified himself emotionally with groups or group ideas unless he were the dominating figure in the band. In other words he could lead, or more likely drive, but he could never follow. Similarly his jealous maintenance of the idea of self would prevent his having true religious experience; or, if he did achieve this a revolutionary change of character would ensue. Marked development of compulsive thinking and the abandonment of self which true religion demands are, I believe, utterly incompatible. Finally, if treatment be undertaken and a survey of the patient's dreams be made, the symbolizing of his unconscious motivations would be found to involve an unusual amount of intellectualization.


The problem is to correlate the following phenomena in compulsive thinkers: compulsive thoughts, often of extraordinary crudity; prominence of unconscious sadism; intellectual superiority; and obduracy to treatment. The hypothesis is that there exists in early childhood a marked discrepancy between the actual behaviour and that expected from the idealized object of love (Imago). This leads to a conflict between the idealized mother (or father or their surrogates) and the idealized self, which can only be solved by the victory of one over the other. The instinct of self-preservation is attached to the ideal of self rather than to the body, and so that ideal becomes inviolate. The real object must then be destroyed in order to preserve the ideal of self and its related idealization of the object. This tends to make expression of interest in the real object take a sadistic form. But physical expression of animosity is futile in a child, so it plans the destruction of the object in fantasy. This is an intellectual operation and is carried out compulsively because the life of the Self depends upon it-it is a panic reaction. Sadism and the compulsive use of intellectual processes are thus established and intertwined. As the individual matures, the ideal of self becomes more

elaborate and socialized but remains peculiarly sacred. When failure of adaptation occurs, the unconscious sadism emerges: it shocks the personality and so the personality is not adapted to it; it comes compulsively and in relatively its original form. Treatment is difficult, not for lack of intelligence, but because there is a stubborn refusal to allow change of outlook which means change of personality; i.e. treatment resuscitates the old panic reaction. Insight is present only for symptoms and not for defects of character. This type of mental constitution probably occurs in many people of intellectual vigour who never develop compulsive symptoms.





THE revival after more than five years of Sir James Barrie's most recent -and in some ways most mature-play Mary Rose, following close upon its publication in book form (1925), has doubtless tended to focus popular attention once again upon the interesting theme therein elaborated; and may be our excuse for examining at some length the problems it raises, the solutions it provides. Barrie in the simple but ingenuous mode of presentation he adopts will always give food for thought and cause for reflection. Perhaps those who remember the earlier newspaper correspondence, and the endless explanations of its possible meaning, offered (with more or less relevancy) by diverse critics at its first performance, will see that the play strikes a deeper chord than the average, and a dispassionate review of its theme and symbolism may not be amiss to-day.

His theme is taken from life, it is universal: but the solution of its problem is surely his own. It bears however a close comparison with one of the masterpieces of Ibsen, and that author's own solution we hope at some future date to discuss. By reason of his unique individuality, Barrie has perhaps thrown himself into his drama, identified himself with its characters, and silhouetted himself in his shadow-play more than most authors might dare, but this only lends the more life and piquancy to its unreality. When we come to dwell on the play's various aspects it is taken for granted that the entire play is well known to the reader, or even before his eyes; as space scarcely permits a rehearsal of its 'manifest story' or of liberal quotation from its store of poetic brilliance. Also it may be recalled that a brief analysis of certain features was offered in this Journal by the late Dr Constance Long in 1922 from a hearing of the play, but no attempt to explain, e.g. the choice of names, identification of certain characters, artifices employed, or its many obscure references, was therein made.

The Play as a Parable of Life.

So richly is the play tempered with poetry that we are inclined to miss the deep philosophy of life that, as is usual with our author, lies beneath; of this we are almost unaware. Barrie is as reticent and silent as Cameron, the Highlander, "until questioned of his views of the universe....' Woven into Mary Rose is the answer to our question-his enunciation of the Parable of Life.

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It is spring at its noontide in Act 1. Summer's afternoon in Act II. Autumn at twilight in Act III, and the wintry evening at the close1. All the while, "the wheezy little smith in the corner" hammers out the Time; while Youth tries to hurry it on still further.

In other words, the life in the home is seen through the march of the seasons, and the passage of the hours of day; and it symbolises the seasons of our earthly existence. For there is found: the betrothal with the spring, the joys of married life in the summer, the parting ("one of us must go") with autumn, and when winter arrives and has found all dead, the shadow-play is ended in a dream. Again, the Tree seen boldly standing in the garden is the shadow-dial or hour-glass of Time. It symbolises the Tree of Life; it is an apple tree. Thus, in Act I it is found laden with blossom and full of foliage; in Act II trees have yielded their berries, and this tree its apples, and the world is carpeted with thick undergrowth and is at its gayest; in Act III the leaf is seared, its apples have fallen, the tree is found smaller and only a few straggling fruits remain; and finally it must needs be cut down... . Such is the story of the life of man, too. Those with the eyes to read aright, may draw their lesson from the progress of Simon, the husband of Mary Rose; from punt to fishing-boat, to Gadfly, to the Valiant, to Britannia and ultimately the cruiser Bellerophon; and watch his enviable rise in life from sailor to midshipman, to sub-lieutenant, lieutenant, captain and the greatest honour of all, a burial at sea, "when that which drew from out the boundless deep Turn again home." It is such hints as these that indicate the parable it would tell.

The Island that performs its mysterious part in the play, seems, in Act II, symbolic of the earth and our terrestrial existence.... Once, during the summer that is the heyday of our sexual life, we, as "birds of passage" and "bold tourists" come for a brief spell to visit the island—

1 Not to be found in stage-directions, but deduced from hints in the text. It should be noted that, unless otherwise indicated, all references in inverted commas are from the play: double =or. recta, single-or. obliqua or stage-directions.

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