In this monograph, Jamie Lorentzen's Kierkegaard studies inform his commentary on how central characters in four works of literature help to answer the question 'What does it mean to become a human being?'. Twain's Huck Finn becomes human by being an unwitting ethicist despite himself and the pro-slavery culture in which he was reared. Ishmael and Queequeg's embrace of the neighbour and outcast in Melville's 'Moby-Dick' acts as an ethical counterpoint to Ahab's terrifying narcissism. Meanwhile, Ibsen's famous narcissist, Peer Gynt, offers an archetypal negative ethical model for becoming human. Finally, Dostoevsky's Father Zosima and Ivan and Alyosha Karamazov show how ethics informs human development in both secular and religious cultures.
Mercer University Press
Kierkegaardian Reflections on Ethical Models in Literature