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Unformatted text preview: s on it, and he maintains a calm he had despaired of reaching.
Man is a bundle of disharmonies, as the great Eli Metchnikoff pointed out, physically, psychologically and
sociologically. When these disharmonies are within average limits we do not notice them; when they are
greater in degree they bring about conduct that at once claims attention. Sometimes a disharmony is merely an
excess development of some ability, in which case, if the ability is socially valuable, we have the talented
person or the genius. This is often the case with the artistic abilities and also with the physical powers. If the
disharmony involve an instinct, an emotion or certain phases of the intelligence, we are brought face to face
with the abnormal.
There is, of course, disharmony through ordinary defect as in feeble-mindedness, as in absence of some
essential emotion or instinct. These are hopeless situations and belong in the grim field of psychopathology.
Often what seems to be a defect is a "sleeping" quality, and one that will awaken under appropriate
circumstance. Conspicuously, maternal love is of this nature. One sees a girl who has no interest in children,
considers them bores and nuisances, who marries with the hope she will be childless, and with the first baby
becomes a passionately devoted mother, even fiercely maternal.
In the following pages I shall sketch some prominent character types. This has been done by such masters as
Aristotle, Spinoza, Kant, La Bruyere, Stewart, Ribot, Mill, etc., but with a different purpose and starting point
than mine. CHAPTER XVII. 133 Every great novelist is a professor of character depiction. Witness Scrooge, Pecksniff, Mark Tapley,
Pickwick, Sam Weller and his father, created by Dickens; the four musketeers, especially D'Artagnon, of
Dumas; Amelia and Rebecca Sharp, George, and the Major of Thackeray; Jane Austen's heroines and George
Eliot's men and women; the narrators in the famous Canterbury Inn, the soldiers of Kipling, the Shylocks,
Macbeths, Rosalinds and Fa...
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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