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Reflections on death and mourning in relation to Dickens’ novel Our Mutual Friend



Abstract:  Both Bion and Jung indicate in their theories of oscillating cycles of coniunctio/mortificatio and PsD that the toleration of psychic states of disintegration is both dangerous and essential to new development and that change is resisted and feared. Our fear of growth and development is described by Jung in the mortificatio phase of the coniunctio cycles where movement can be forward towards coniunctio or backwards into disiunctio and by Bion in his delineation of a grid, with its negative grid, where the normal direction of growth may be permanently reversed. Both highlight the inevitability of elements destructive to thought being present in the psyche and the need to know these forces. This paper relates their ideas to the difficult processes of mourning explored by Dickens in his novel Our Mutual Friend.