Wakening “The Eyes of Dreamers”: Revenge in Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Café

  • Lisa Hoffman-Reyes


This chapter inverts negative associations with revenge to contend that, in Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Café, acts of retribution function, not to punish, exact loss, and generate misery, but to perpetuate hope and initiate change. Further, the chapter reveals how the author, steeped in the work of Carl Jung, uses suffering that originates from acts of revenge to prompt individuation. Revenge, and the clarity and finality it provides, allows for the possibility of new beginnings. Finally, the chapter argues that for the McCullers’s novella uses the theme of revenge to illustrate how a departure from transference upon an unknowable other initiates communion with a faithful divine.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Hoffman-Reyes
    • 1
  1. 1.English DepartmentPierce CollegeLos AngelesUSA

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