Subjectivity and Revenge in Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying

10.22492.ijl.10.2.03

 

Author: Darintip Chansit, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Email: [email protected]
Published: December 15, 2021
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.10.2.03

Citation: Chansit, D. (2021). Subjectivity and Revenge in Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.10.2.03


Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the issues of peer rejection and revenge among adolescents through their portrayal in young adult literature (YAL). Adopting the lens of Lacanian theory on subjectivity and desire, the paper analyses a revenge plot in Karen M. McManus’s novel One of Us Is Lying and its origins. It argues that peer rejection contributes to contradictory self-concepts; how adolescent characters view themselves clash at some point with how others regard them, leading them to seek retribution. Their attempt at revenge will be examined along the lines of Lacanian psychoanalysis, and the paper argues that their revenge is driven by the impulse to fulfil the Other’s desire, which eventually fails due to the unobtainable nature of the desire itself.

Keywords

adolescents, Lacan, peer rejection, young adult literature