Pascal, Bernanos, and some aspects of the problem of the human ego
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis involves a comparative study of aspects of the problem of the human ego as seen by two Christian writers, Pascal, in the seventeenth century and Bernanos in the twentieth. The study revolves mainly around the novels of Bernanos and the Pensées of Pascal. In Part one the problem and its harmful effects are presented and examined, first in terms of the individual himself, and then, in a social context. Chapter three deals with the question of self-delusion, a related concept. Part two presents a possible "solution" in a strictly Christian frame of reference. This includes an examination of the correct attitude to the self, of the actual means of submission, of the nature of this surrender, and finally, of its ultimate value in terms of salvation.