A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch - Research Papers
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Typical requirements for A Severed Head Research Paper may include the following elements:
- A research paper, which explores psychology and philosophy as infertile in comparison to religion, which is divine in Iris Murdoch’s novel A Severed Head. This is evidenced specifically in the characters of Palmer and Honor Klein and in symbols of the piece.
- MLA style should be used and A Severed Head should be quoted throughout the paper.
- MLA style in-text citations and examples to support the thesis should be used at least twice per page. The works cited page should be in MLA style.
- Other novels written by Murdoch may be used in the discussion/in support of the thesis, but only minimally as the focus needs to remain on A Severed Head and the articles which support your thesis.
Writings on Philosophy and Literature
Specific incidents which include Palmer as representative of psychology and Honor Klein as representative of philosophy in the novel and their relation to the protagonist should be included. In particular, their incestuous relationship and the infertility of the relationship and the infertility they bring to the relationships which surround them should be noted. Specific instances of that which is divine and, therefore, beneficial in the novel should also be noted. Articles within the book by Iris Murdoch, Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature should be used to highlight and support the argument, the author’s belief, that psychology and philosophy are infertile in comparison to that which is divine.
Other Literature to compare to A Severed Head Research Paper:
- In particular, “Literature and Philosophy: A Conversation with Bryan Magee” should be used to demonstrate and quote the author’s ideas on science in comparison to religion and literature in comparison to philosophy.
- It should be made clear that Iris Murdoch believes that God is necessary and that this is made apparent and developed in A Severed Head through the characters, symbols, themes, etc.
- Readings from “part seven” in the book Existentialists and Mystics should be used as well. The spiritual vs the physical may enter into the paper as a sub-A Severed Head, but should not be developed/mentioned for more than a page or two.