A Heideggerian Reading of Jack’s Homelessness in Marilynne Robinson’s Home

in Critical Survey
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Abstract

In Marilynne Robinson’s Home, though Jack revisits his childhood place, he is unable to find a sense of being at home. Using Martin Heidegger’s theory of ‘being’ and ‘dwelling’, this article analyses the notion of ‘homelessness’, as reflected in Jack. While this article projects the significance of physical dwelling through the notion of ‘homecoming’, it highlights the vital importance of psychological dwelling in achieving the meaning of home. The article uses Martin Heidegger’s conception of homelessness as a key theory to maintain that Jack’s homelessness is a result of his incoherent being with the space he came to revisit. It also uses theories of psychology and space as sub-theories to enrich the discussion.

Contributor Notes

Fatima Zahra Bessedik is a lecturer of English Literature and Criticism in the Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Oran 2 (Algeria). She is interested in investigating and instructing the literature that reflects a variety of contemporary topics, from mundane everyday topics, such as family relations, marriage, homelessness, death and so on, to ‘serious’ topics in literature that deal with the ideological world projecting large political and cultural phenomena, such as war, terrorism, religious pluralism, media violence and postmodern technology. In doing so, she deals with critical theory, with principles and philosophical concepts that give significant insight to understanding literary texts.