The Question of Wholeness in Daniel Martin

Serdar H. A., Ayan M.

Akdeniz İnsani Bilimler Dergisi, vol.10, pp.427-436, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.13114/mjh.2020.540
  • Journal Name: Akdeniz İnsani Bilimler Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.427-436
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


In Daniel Martin, a semi-autobiographical novel, John Fowles draws a portrayal of the powerlessness of a scriptwriter who wishes to make a significant change in his career, stop writing others into his scripts, instead to become a novelist and write himself into his own novel. Living in the United States in the late 1960s, Daniel feels detached from whatever and whoever he has had in his life to make himself the Daniel Martin of the late 1940’s. His earlier change of direction in his career from a playwright to a scriptwriter later brings Daniel to a point at which he feels disenchanted by what he has become. He also feels that he has become torn apart between his past and his presentsomething which pushes him to try to gather the bits and pieces of his life into a visible whole in a narrative. That is why he begins his narrative with a scene from his childhood in the first chapter. Yet, in the latter chapters of his narrative he is seen to have difficulties in sticking to a fixed tense and a fixed voice. The recurring zigzags in the choice of tenses and of voices eventually result in Daniel’s failure to respond strongly to fragmentation. His powerlessness is, however, covered up as well as made up forin the final chapters of the novel by someone else the ill-concealed ghost of John Fowles’s third-person narrator. It is only through the interventions of this ghost in Daniel’s narrative that his search for a more stable way of assembling his fragmentedconsciousness and of being later able to devote it to the writing of a coherent novel becomes possible.