A Transactional Analysis of the Character of Jim Harris in Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun Got Wings

Zahra Soltani, Abdolmohammad Movahhed, Soran Rajabi


Transactional analysis (TA), as a humanistic-existential tradition in psychology, originates in the contributions of psychiatrist Eric Berne to psychology in the late 1950s. This article involves the application of TA to Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun Got Wings, drawing on notions such as ego states, exteropsyche, archaeopsyche, neopsyche, contamination and cathexis. Applying TA to O’Neill’s play renders a new understanding of Jim Harris’s character, shedding light on the impact of the messages he receives and the ways he responds to them. With a behavioral as well as a historical analysis of his character, this study reveals the roots of Jim’s neuroticism, his cognitive dysfunctionality and his deep-seated inferiority complex. Our study also shows that his Adult capacity is contaminated by social stances that have been integrated into his psyche. 


Transactional analysis; Eugene O’Neill; Psychoanalysis; All God’s Chillun Got Wings; Jim Harris; Ego state; Cathexis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10555


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