Self-reconstruction through the Sense of Guilt: A Study of Select Masterpieces in the American Fiction

Mohammed Yassin Aba shaar



Reconstruction is considered as a comprehensive transformation of one’s attitude with respect to one’s ego; one’s action; the object of guilt and the temporal-existential experience. The process of reconstruction stems from the need for improvement of the self. Any human being gets exposed to the feelings of sadness, despair, envy, shame, embarrassment and many other emotions that could leave him psychologically disabled. Anyway, guilt is a part of self-conscious emotions that the individual involves for the sake of self-evaluation. It is developed when the person feels that he doesn’t live up to the standard behaviours that are appropriate, good or correct. The feelings of guilt spur the process of reparation that reduces the consequences of negative actions. Feelings of guilt are produced as emotions of social control; they are different from one place to another depending on the culture, norms, social context and structure. This paper aims to study the feelings of guilt and their influence on self-reconstruction in three prominent, famous fictional works which are Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987), Khalid Hosseni’s The Kite Runner (2003) and Nathenial Hawthorn’s The Scarlet Letter (1850). It is going to inspect how the feelings of guilt foster the development of a stable trend towards order and improvement.

Full Text:



Beloved, Chapter one. (2001).

Abdelfattah, H. A. (2013). Adultery and Redemption in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850)and Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory (1940. Arab World English Journal, 16.

D. Páez, J. M. (2006). Dealing With Collective Shame And Guilt. Psicología Política, Nº 32, Mayo 2006, 20.

David M. Amodio, P. G.-J. (2007). A Dynamic Model of Guilt. Implications for Motivation and Self-Regulation in the Context of Prejudice. Psychological Science. Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, 7.

Hawthorne, N. (1850). The Scarlet Letter. Boston: Ticknor, Reed and Fields.

Herdt, J. A. (2013). The Role of Guilt in the Development of Virtue. United States of America, Yale university.

Hosseini, K. (May, 2003). The Kite Runner. UAS: Riverhead Books.

Ketelaar, T and Wing, T, A.(2003). The effects of feelings of guilt on the behaviourof uncooperative individuals in repeated socialbargaining games: An affect-as-informationinterpretation of the role of emotion insocial interaction. Psychology Press Ltd,26.

Khadawardi, H. (February, 2017). Superego Guilt, Redemption and Atonement in Khaled Hosseini’s the Kite Runner. International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE), 12.

Londhe, S. V. (2012). Sin, Guilt, and Regeneration in The Scarlet Letter. Review Of Research Vol.1,Issue.IV/Jan; 12pp.1-4, 4.

Marchand, E. K. (July, 2012). Concept of Psychological Change and development-Historical and modern modern Approaches Evaluated. Research Gate, 33.

Mario Mikulincer, P. R. (2018). A Behavioral Systems Approach to Romantic Love Relationships:Attachment, Caregiving, and Sex. University of California, Davis, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.

Mörk, M. (Spring term 2009). A Religious and Psychological, Approach to Forgiveness, in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Lund University. ENK01 Literary Seminar. USA: English Studies, The Centre for Languages and Literature.

Morrison, T. (1987). Beloved. America: Alfred A.Knopf Inc.

Morrison, T. (1993, November 2). Toni Morrison's Beloved The Past Achieved Flesh. (A. CARABI, Interviewer)

Neuman, V. (March, 1966). Psychological Allegory in the Scarlet Letter. Columbia: University of British Columbia .

Roy F. Baumeister, A. M. (1994, November 2). Guilt: An Interpersonal Approach. America: American Psychological Association.

Roy F. Baumeister, A. M. (1994). Guilt: An Interpersonal Approach. the American Psychological Association,, 25.

Sjo¨berg, G. K. (11 December 2009). The Experiences of Guilt and Shame:A Phenomenological–Psychological Study. Human Studies. Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 2009, 22.

Sundstroom, N. (2004). Open Guilt and Secret Shame: The Difference between Guilt and Shame as Depicted in the Scarlet Letter. ISSN, 32.

WALIA, R. K. (May, 2017). Quest For Identity And Redemption In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. ImpacT: International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Literature (IMPACT: IJRHAL), 4.


Article metrics

Abstract views : 311 | views : 143


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Publisher : Program Studi S1 Sastra Inggris, Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, Universitas Muhammadiyah Gorontalo