‘THE MYSTERY OF THE HUMAN HEART’ IN FORD MADOX FORD’S THE GOOD SOLDIER
This research paper, through a close textual reading, investigates ‘the mystery of the human heart’ in Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion. Dowell, the narrator and central character, attempts to understand ‘the mystery of the human heart’ through an act of narration. It is argued that the ‘good people’ – Edward, Leonora, Dowell, and Florence – suffer from a limited perception not only of themselves but also of the world at large. The missing link in their universe is a failure to understand the human heart. The depths of the human heart remain a mystery to them because they appear to lack the apparatus to examine its inherently complex nature. They invent a fiction of self-wholeness by means of various illusions they have set for themselves in order to avoid moments of self-realisation. The pivotal point of Dowell’s tale is the discovery of Edward’s love for Nancy. It is argued that Edward’s love for Nancy holds the key to understand ‘the mystery of the human heart’. In the end, Dowell, through an act of narration, journeys through Edward’s heart to decode ‘the mystery of the human heart’ and ‘in knowing that heart, he knows his own.’
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