Dowell and Dopamine: Information, Pleasure and Plot

Haslam, Sara (2015). Dowell and Dopamine: Information, Pleasure and Plot. In: Haslam, Sara and Saunders, Max eds. Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier: Centenary Essays. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 117–132.



This essay uses neuroscience to explore key elements of Ford's presentation of his most famous narrator, John Dowell in the modernist classic The Good Soldier. Dowell is a doubtful, hesitant and above all uncertain narrator. The pleasure of information is a key driver, or motivator, for the human subject. The related neuromodulator is dopamine. Does Dowell have an adequate supply? I discuss Dowell's relationship with his plot, with information, and with pleasure in this new analysis of Ford's interest in the relationship between the body and the mind.

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