2024 : 5 : 19
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


The Event of Love and the Being of Morals: A Deleuzian Reading of Iris Murdoch’s The Bell
Iris Murdoch’s The Bell, Deleuze and Guattari, ethics, active body, the order of judgement, homoerotic desire, becoming, schizophrenising love
Journal Journal of Literary Studies
Researchers Mohammad Ghaffary


Iris Murdochʼs philosophical novel The Bell (1958) presents a singular ethical situation by portraying a prospective priest, named Michael Meade, engaged in a homoerotic relationship resulting in thorny moral dilemmas. The previous studies of the novel claim that Michael is doomed to a tragic failure because of his wrongdoing and the consequent sense of guilt. Contrarily to such traditional, “dominant” readings, in the present essay I offer a Deleuzian-ethical reading and discuss how Michael finally achieves freedom by embracing the joy of his “schizophrenising” love. I argue that Michaelʼs love for Nick and Toby should not be judged according to the constrictive rules of slave morality as a wrong feeling, because it aims at forming an open multiplicity that would increase the power of both bodies. Whereas religion by definition is supposed to bring happiness for human beings, in this fictional universe such restrictive societies as the Abbey relegate it to a repressive “order of judgement” requiring blind obedience to a set of reactive moral doctrines. In the end, solely Michael and Dora manage to find a line of flight by revolting against reactive morals. By offering such a “resistant” reading, this essay reveals the virtual forces within this text as yet unactualized and demonstrates how such texts indeed are “becoming-texts.”