A Freudian Reading of John Fowles’ “The Ebony Tower”

By: Wisam Kh. Abdul-Jabbar

Abstract: Drawing on Freud’s three aspects of the psyche, this paper explores the two character-triangles in John Fowles’s “The Ebony Tower.” Henry Breasley, Anne and Diana on one hand and David Williams, Beth and Diana on the other are respectively tied up to the Ego, Super ego and Id. The paper negotiates how the novella can be seen as a fictionalization of the quest of the ego to satisfy the artist’s urge for creativity which can potentially be realized by romancing the id drive. The artist’s innovative elocution can either be hindered or helped by its inevitable contact with realm of the id where repressed desires restlessly reside. In effect, not only does the Freudian conceptualization better illustrate the triangle character relationships but it uncovers the anxieties of the artist’s psyche.