Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

English (M.A.)

Degree Program


Academic Year



The modern individual faces a psychological disconnect between his conscious mind and unconscious due primarily to the outward attachments that dictate false tenets of ontological worth. This thesis investigates the benchmark of creation and destruction and narrows in on its utility in the individual’s pursuit for individuation. The creation and destruction paradox is used to penetrate liminal space where personal transformation occurs, and it is used within those spaces to strip away old, ego-centric ideals in the service of new ones. C. G. Jung’s “archetypes of transformation” are the main tools of the psyche for assisting the conscious mind to engage in open discourse with the unconscious. Uroboric archetypes such as the Great Mother, and projected archetypal figure such as Kali the Devouring Mother, are explored within the contemporary novels of Tristan Egolf, W. G. Sebald, and Niall Williams. The unconscious projects destructive archetypes to destroy the conscious mind’s unhealthy ideologies. By sifting through the rubble of our immediate and shattered past, the individual can create the cornerstones of new philosophies that promote psychological wholeness. Once the individual establishes equilibrium of creation and destruction and, subsequently, of his psyche, individuation is achieved. Psychological wholeness leads to individual self-worth, confidence, purpose, and a sense of belonging in the universe.