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The Geography of the Psyche


Brinklow, L, The Geography of the Psyche, Shima: the international journal of research into island cultures, 6, (1) pp. 132-146. ISSN 1834-6049 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Laurie Brinklow and Shima

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Just as islands have physical boundaries that mark where they begin and end, so too do people have boundaries that define them—physical, psychological or emotional, and societal. Often these boundaries are shaped in early childhood. How porous these psychological boundaries are can determine how resilient individuals are. Are they adaptable enough to let emotions flow through and around them like the tides? Or are they vulnerable to being flooded by everything life throws at them? Or are they trapped inside an emotional shoreline that does not allow anything in or out? This paper explores the theme of islandness and, in particular, the emotional boundedness that can result from living on an island. It looks at the role family plays in shaping characters in Wayne Johnston’s ‘The Story of Bobby O’Malley’ and Alistair MacLeod’s ‘The Boat’ and ‘The Lost Salt Gift of Blood’, and at how islands imprint themselves on the psyche at an early age—both negatively and positively. This can result in an emotionally bounded personality, or a more porous person who can connect with his or her island and grow up to be more resilient. All are a part of islandness and contribute to the creation of a strong island identity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brinklow, L (Ms Laurie Brinklow)
ID Code:78175
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2012-06-15
Last Modified:2013-04-24

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