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 Salmon’s Spring Out of the Water: A Deleuzean Reading of Freedom in Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn
freedom, Deleuzean criticism, The Unicorn, body without organs (BwO), deterritorialization, ethics
Journal Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances
Researchers Mohammad Ghaffary ، Melika Ramzi


The issue of “freedom” has been one of the core concepts in the history of literature and philosophy since classical times. This concept considerably contributes to the ongoing discussions of Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn (1963). Unlike most of the previous studies of the novel, whose central focus is on the transcendent, moral, or biographical readings of the text, the present study draws on Gilles Deleuze’s Poststructuralist philosophy to address the immanent aspect of freedom, as the main thematic concept in the novel, as well as such related notions as power, love, desire, and becoming to determine the degrees of freedom achieved by the major characters, Hannah Crean-Smith and Effingham Cooper. The main objective of the study, therefore, is to see whether or not the two main characters can ultimately find proper lines of flight. The findings suggest that although Hannah is encoded and territorialized in the Gaze castle, she ultimately turns into a body without organs (BwO). However, Effingham fails to become an active body in his interaction with Hannah. While Hannah undergoes an absolute positive deterritorialization through her death, Effingham obtains only a relative negative deterritorialization because returning to the “real” life constantly threatens a body’s force and renders an absolute form of freedom impossible.