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tend to write and lecture, they impose their notions of good and bad upon others, who seek to escape being
"common." In T.'s case his attitude toward food, clothes, companions, sports and work created a tense
disharmony in his family, and one of his brothers labeled him "The Kill-joy." Secretly envious of other
people's simple enjoyment, T. made strenuous efforts at times to overcome his repugnances and to enlarge the
scope of his pleasures, but because this forfeited for him the superiority he had reached as a very "refined"
person, he never persisted in this process.
When he was twenty he found himself the theater of many conflicts. He was weary of life, yet lusted for
experiences that his hyperestheticism would not permit him to take. Sex seemed too crude, and the girls of his
age were "silly." Yet their lure and his own internal tensions dragged him to one place after another, hoping
that he would find the perfect woman, able to understand him. At last he did find her, so he thought, in the
person of a young woman of twenty-five, a consummate mistress of the arts of femininity. She sized him up at
once, played on his vanity, extolled his fine tastes and never exposed a single crudity of her own, until she CHAPTER XVII. 153 brought him to the point where his passion for her, his conviction that he had found "the perfect woman," led
him to propose marriage. Then came the blow: she laughed at him, called him a silly boy, gave him a lecture
as to what constituted a fine man, extolling crudity, vigor and virility as the prime virtues.
His world was shattered, and its shadowy pleasures gone. At first his parents were inclined to believe that this
was a good lesson, that T. would learn from this adventure and become a more hardy young man. Instead he
became sleepless, restless and without desire for food or drink; he shunned men and women alike; he stared
hollow-eyed at a world full of noise and motion but without meaning or joy. Deep was this anhedonia, and...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11