The Representation of the Neurotic Mind in Mary Julia Young’s Sonnet “Anxiety” / Mary Julia Young’ın “Kaygı” Sonesinde Nevrotik Zihnin Temsili

Öznur Yemez


18th-century poet and novelist Mary Julia Young was a prolific writer supporting herself by writing. She remained a biographically obscure literary figure, yet her remarkable life with the experience of anxiety drew attention through her poetic discourse and narrative. Hence, having earned her living from literature, Young had to stick to the demands of the era's literary fashions. Therefore, this paper investigates the clues and signs of the author's real experience and analyses Young's sonnet "Anxiety" in terms of the representation of the neurotic mind and anxiety. The paper categorizes the type of anxiety and the subjective experience of the poetic persona as mood and disorder. The study suggests that the implied author experiences neurosis as character neurosis whereas the historical author suffers from situational neurosis. The authorial persona is afflicted with basic anxiety as the implied author and with simple anxiety as the historical author and anxiety of authorship as a female writer. The conflict between the historical author's external dilemma and the implied author's internal dilemma leads to a profound inhibition against the very act of creating, and thus, the persona ends the poem at its peak of anxiety. Considering Young as a female writer who struggled against hardships in a literary world getting more commercial each day, the paper, using the terminology of Karen Horney and Julia Kristeva, argues that the anxious mood of the poet is represented through the discourse of the poetic persona, who not only reveals her anxiety and neurosis but also the problems of the poet herself.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Karen Horney, Julia Kristeva, Mary Julia Young, neurosis, anxiety.

Tam Metin:

PDF (English)


Altındiş, H. (2017). Dialogic text: metaphors in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hacettepe Journal of Faculty of Letters, 34 (1), 27-37.

Backscheider. P. & Ingrassia, C. (2005). A companion to the eighteenth-century English novel and culture. London: Blackwell Publishing.

Brodey, K. & Malgaretti, F. (2002). Focus on English and American literature. Milan: Modern Languages.

Brunello, A. & Borşan, F. E. (2015). Views of women in the 18th century British literature: Richardson vs. Fielding. International Journal of Communication Research, 5(4), 323-328.

Çıraklı, M. Z. (2017). A modest proposal for reading: four-aspect critical taxonomy for students. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 5(9), IV-X.

Cuddon, J. A. (1999). The Penguin dictionary of literary terms and literary theory. New York: Penguin Books.

Feldman, P. R. & Robinson, D. (1999). A century of sonnets: the romantic era revival 1750-1850. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freud, S. (2016). Cinsellik üzerine üç deneme: bekaret tabusu, kadın cinselliği, fetişizm ve diğer konular (S. Budak, Çev.). İstanbul: Öteki Yayınevi.

Horney, K. (2007). The neurotic personality of our time. Milton Park: Routledge.

Horney, K. (2017a). Psikanalizde yeni yollar (S. Budak, Çev.). İstanbul: Totem Yayınları.

Horney, K. (2017b). Kendi kendine psikanaliz (S. Budak, Çev.). İstanbul: Totem Yayınları.

Kristeva, J. (1989). Black sun. New York: Columbia University Press.

Lloyd, N. (2008). Romantic textualities: literature and print culture, 1780-1840. Oxford: Cardiff University. Retrieved from:

Maclean, N. (1956). Personification not poetry. English Literary History, 23(2), 163-170.

Rimmon-Kenan, S. (2002). Narrative fiction. New York: Routledge.

Schmidgen, W. (2014). Undividing the subject of literary history: From James Thomson’s poetry to Daniel Defoe’s novels. K. Parker and C. W. Smith (Eds.), in Eighteenth century poetry and the rise of the novel reconsidered (pp. 87-105). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.

Sontag, S. (1978). Illness as metaphor. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Thornley, G. C. & Roberts, G. (1984). An outline of English history. Essex: Longman.

Turner, C. (1994). Living by the pen: women writers in the eighteenth century. New York: Routledge.

Yemez, Ö. (2018). Aesthetic transformation and functional displacement of melancholy: the analysis of melancholic persona in the selected works of eighteenth-century poets. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Karadeniz Technical University, Institute of Social Sciences, Trabzon.

Young, M. J. (1798). Anxiety. P. R. Feldman and D. Robinson (Eds), in A century of sonnets: the romantic era revival 1750-1850 (pp. 68-69). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


  • Şu halde refbacks yoktur.

Telif Hakkı (c) 2021 Öznur Yemez

Lisans URL: