Latimer'S Fictitious Clairvoyance Generates Fantasy

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Latimer’s Fictitious Clairvoyance Generates Fantasy In “The Lifted Veil,” George Eliot tells the story of Latimer, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant whose interpretations create a false reality. His crafted perceptions of the people around him lead to an artificial vision of himself, his family and Bertha. Latimer mistakenly construes the thoughts of his father, believing he is seen as inferior to his brother. He understands from his tutor he has a problem, and convinces himself it is fact. His psychic analyses of both Alfred and Bertha influence his demeanor and his life story. The people in his life affect how Latimer sees himself and how he lives his life. From the beginning, Eliot allows Latimer to explain his unfortunate life story, narrating the supernatural insights of everyone around him. Latimer generates an identity based on these fabricated observations from others. The ways Latimer’s family see him affect his behavior and own self-identity. Latimer admits early on he believes his father thinks of him as “an odd child, and had little fondness for [him] (5).” Mr. Letherall, a grade school tutor, makes Latimer believe there is something wrong when he places his thumbs on young Latimer’s head saying, “The deficiency is there, sir – there; and here… That must be brought out, sir, and this must be laid to sleep (6).” His teacher attempted to rid Latimer of the defect by teaching him and assigning him a variety of readings. These ideas from Latimer’s father and teacher shape how Latimer views himself. Latimer continues living as if he is flawed, classifying his nature as sensitive and declaring it “could never foster it into happy, healthy development (8).” Again, the certainty that he was not normal arises when he re-tells his time at Geneva. Latimer’s powerless attitude follows him to Geneva and according to him is the reason he cannot make
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