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The Proper PirateRobert Louis Stevenson's Quest for Identity$
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Jefferson A. Singer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199328543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199328543.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 September 2021

The Generative Turn

The Generative Turn

The Deepening of Stevenson’s Societal Identity

(p.135) 7 The Generative Turn
The Proper Pirate

Jefferson A. Singer

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 looks at Stevenson at midlife and illustrates his increasingly external focus on family, social injustice, and Scottish culture. These outward interests are examples of “generativity,” or his concern with a legacy and contribution that might outlast his own life. The chapter demonstrates how this generative turn translates into one of his most mature and fully realized works, the novel Kidnapped. Kidnapped synthesizes in its contrast between the Lowlander David and the Highlander Alan, puritanical and romantic strands that run deep in both Stevenson’s psyche and Scottish culture as a whole. Stevenson’s ability to step back from his own internal conflicts and translate them into a finely crafted art reflect his more integrated personality and ascendance in what psychologists call “ego development.” The chapter also details the death of Stevenson’s father and shows how Stevenson reconciled and made his peace with him before he died.

Keywords:   Generativity, Kidnapped, ego development, father’s death, Scotland, Highlanders, David Balfour, Alan Breck Stewart

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