“It’s like the Freudian ego,” I said: “and I put ‘ego’ on the board beside Freud’s name. ‘Ego is the false self,’ I said; ‘ego is the mere appearance of the true self. It’s what stands there waiting to be adorned by roles and labels; it’s what bounces off society’s reflective screen. How society regards us is how we are to regard ourselves. There is no reality apart from society.’ (61) I say this sarcastically, of course.”
Ansley is the quintessential consciousness of the Postmodern Ideology being developed before the reader’s eyes. Throughout the book he is obsessively analyzing life and existence; love and loyalty; truth and convenience apart from it. His family, his fiancee’s family, and every one of the establishment seems to be concerned with his taking things much too far—and he is, because he is afraid of conforming.
Reviewed by Lydia Nolan,