Le scenario sans amour d'une fille de joie: Une nouvelle lecture de "Nana" a la lumiere de l'analyse transactionnelle. (French text);
Lanskin, Jean-Michel Charles
Doctor of Philosophy
This new reading of L'Assommoir and Nana in the light of Transactional Analysis applies to the psychology of Nana (an aspect so often denied, especially by Zola himself) and demonstrates that it overshadows the simple portrayal of a temperament. Thus Nana's premature death can be seen as the tragic ending of a Life Script. The Transactional Analysis theories presented by Eric Berne and developed by his disciple Claude Steiner deal in the first place with a structural analysis of the personality divided into three ego states: "Parent", "Adult" and "Child". Interpersonal relations which give the name to what these psychoanalysts call "transactions", deal with a three-step quest: a thirst for "strokes" or recognition (namely love), a thirst for a definite position ("I am OK, etc$\...$") and a thirst for time structure. A tragic life script, which is determined by early "injunctions" and "attributions", unfolds like a classical tragedy in a three-part development: the Prologue, the Climax and the Catastrophe. The study of both L'Assommoir and Nana shows that Nana's life follows a similar pattern. The Prologue is her disastrous relationship with her parents. The submission to a mother's deadly rejection and the revolt against a repulsive father, for whose fall she is held responsible, result in a negative attitude toward love and in the compulsive repetition of man's fall. The Climax, during which she appears to achieve a measure of social success, is however an unstable situation. Despite her wealth she is bored to death and experiences an inner void. After an attempted suicide she is driven away by her chronic dissatisfaction to a sudden long journey which ends with the Catastrophe. She comes back to see her child die and then dies of smallpox soon afterwards. Brought up without love and with no model of love, Nana's life unfolds without a satisfying love relationship and the heroine can therefore be seen as the victim of a No Love Script.