Holly's Reviews > The Unicorn

The Unicorn by Iris Murdoch
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Dec 02, 08


I couldn't put this one down - read it all Thanksgiving weekend. I'm kicking myself for not picking up Murdoch until now. She's a genius!! Heck, who can deny an author w/ a unifying theme across her works? She's similar to D.H. Lawrence in this respect (or Ayn Rand or Walker Percy); according to a paper I read, Murdoch is a follower of Plato (and a rejector of many Freudian theories), and there are many references to both Plato and Freud in this book. She's especially interested in morality, in doing and being good. She believes that beating the ego down is the only hope humanity has at true goodness. Hannah in this book exemplifies at least the attempt to achieve this: by accepting her own human nature and that of her husband, she lives w/ the guilt of her adultry and her husband's almost-death, and she spends seven years in repentance. This is her own way of living outside her ego, but this, like all human efforts (incl novel writing) fails when she finds herself feeding on the interest this experiment generates in the help, neighbors, and towns-people.
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