In each story we are faced with main characters that act selfishly and many of their motives are weak or almost dumb. In Marcuse's first chapter he delves into the theory of "repressive needs" and "true needs". In each of the three stories, we can see these needs that Marcuse discusses. The execution of these needs changes and impacts the three stories in multiple different forms and facets.
In a class named narrative and technology, this semester we spent time reading stories that fuse technology into interesting stories while also playing video games with complex story lines. Taking a step back for the technological aspects, looking at the stories as a whole we can see numerous similarities, many of which are psychological characteristics that multiple protagonists share.
In Jimmy Corrigan, we see obvious psychological deficiencies in every aspect of his life. Many of Jimmy's biggest draw backs can be traced to his father having left him as a young child. But this doesn't completely explain his obvious psychological egoism; he ignores everyone in his life, including his mother. Yes, Jimmy is suffering from severe mental issues, but that doesn't discount the fact that he lives each day in hopes to self-satisfy.
For Neuromancer, the psychological egoism occurs before the story starts and impacts the course of the story. From what we know, Case was a successful computer hacker, until he got greedy. His possessive desires inevitably ruined his life. Moves to Japan, meets a girl, the usual romance ensues. With Case however, things are slightly different. Even with the confusing story and dialect that encompasses Neuromancer, the fact that case is essentially on this hunt for his own well-being exudes his egoism.
The most obvious case of psychological egoism is Victor Frankenstein himself. Victor is a man who set out to create a new race, just for fun and because he could. When he was done creating, he abandoned his work because it wasn't what he wanted it to look like. Victor puts his selfish needs and desires before he even considers anyone else in the entire novel.
The topic might seem intense in the grasp, but I feel like it can be formed into a psychological view of the course that we have taken as a whole, from beginning to end. For this proposal the use of psychological studies and other views on egoism would be beneficial. In C.D. Broad's entry to The Hibbert Journal, he discusses the theories of egoism and examines the different reasons behind it. I believe with a deeper understanding of psychological egoism, we can more thoroughly understand the characters we read about all semester. With just a shallow reading of these books without trying to find deeper meaning in the stories and characters, are we truly able to assess the narratives we experienced all semester?
Bibliography (I assessed their benefits within)
Broad, C.D. "Egoism as a Theory of Human Motives." . N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2004. Print.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. By Steph Lady and Frank Darabont. Perf.
Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, and Aidan
Quinn. TriStar Pictures, 1994.
May, Joshua. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Psychological Egoism . N.p., n.d. Web.
31 Mar. 2014.
Ware, Chris. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. New York: Pantheon, 2000. Print