2024 : 4 : 21
Mohammad Ghaffary

Mohammad Ghaffary

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4012-0093
Education: PhD.
ScopusId: 55573741900
Faculty: Literature and Languages
Address: Arak University


To Let the Fresh Air in at Last: A Deleuzean Reading of Freedom in Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn
becoming, body without organs (BwO), deterritorialization, Deleuzean criticism, ethics, freedom, The Unicorn
Researchers Melika Ramzi(Student)، Mohammad Ghaffary(PrimaryAdvisor)


“Freedom” has been a key concept in the history of literature and philosophy since classical times. This concept considerably contributes to Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn (1963). Unlike most of the previous studies of the novel, whose focus is on the transcendent, moral, or biographical readings, drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s Poststructuralist ethical philosophy, the present study addressed the immanent aspect of freedom in the novel, as well as such related notions as power, love, desire, and the virtual power of art to determine the degrees of freedom achieved by the central characters, namely Hannah Crean-Smith, Marian Taylor, and Effingham Cooper. The main objective, therefore, was to see whether or not these characters could ultimately find proper lines of flight. The results demonstrated that Hannah is encoded at Gaze and that, with the help of liberating role of minor art, she ultimately turns into a body without organs (BwO). Besides, the present study showed the effects of (minor) literature and music on Hannah in her constant struggle with the dominant system. Furthermore, the study suggested that the virtual powers of the novel Hannah reads together with her interest in music de-subjectify and liberate her from the bounds of organism. The discussion led to the question of whether it is possible for Marian and Effingham to become active bodies in their interactions with Hannah. Finally, this study concluded that Hannah actualizes her will to power as she undergoes an absolute positive deterritorialization through her death, while Marian experiences a relative positive deterritorialization and Effingham obtains only a relative negative deterritorialization because returning to the “real” life constantly threatens a body’s force and renders absolute freedom impossible. This research implied that a minoritarian approach to art and an ethical reading of intertexts are vital in examining freedom immanently. Besides, moving beyond the dichotomy of full and empty BwOs