An Analysis of the Narrator's Formation of the Anxiety of the Modern Family According to Murray Bowen's Theory

Document Type : Original


Associate Professor of Literature, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran


Purpose:Arts, including literature have always reflected human anxieties and hopes. One of these anxieties is caused by the battle between the old and the new which was intensified with the advent of modernity. The anxiety of modernity was manifested by doubts, ambiguities and paradoxes in literature and the defeated, isolated and alienated character dominated modern literature. In modern literature, due to the excessive differentiation of the individuals, the family was represented as an unsafe place in which there existed no sincere interaction. This notion entered Persian literature in the third decade of the twentieth century and still exists to some extent. Besides reflecting Iran's historical experience, this paper demonstrates the capacity of literary texts to help express the psychotherapeutic theories and the interaction of the therapist and the subject.  
Methods: The method of this study is a combination of narrative semiotics and Murray Bowen's family systems. Accordingly, first the poems' artistic meanings have been decodes and the decoded message has been used in the analytical elements of Murray Bowen's theory. 
Findings: Furlough Farrokhzad's poetry includes many topics that indicate the anxiety of the modern world. One of the vivid examples of the expression of anxiety in the family is the poem "I Pity the Garden" which was published in the beginning of the 1960s. In this poem, the narrator uses direct and indirect characterization to verbally and visually depict those elements of people's static and dynamic identity that lead to the separation of individuals in a helpless family.
Conclusion: Considering Murray Bowen's theory of family systems, one can argue that the family members, despite all their differentiation, have not reached "self-separation" in the proper sense of the theory. Also, the "triangles", according to which one includes the other in order to reduce the anxiety, has not occurred for any of the family members. Therefore, the family system is broken down and the members feed alone with each other.