Psychological Novels

These novels offer a look at the psychological state of a character.

Psychological Novels

Wuthering Heights | Emily Bronte

An orphan boy, Heathcliff, is brought to Wuthering Heights and becomes close to his benefactor’s daughter, Catherine Earnshaw. They aren’t socially equal, so Catherine refuses to marry Heathcliff, leading to a string of deranged behavior.

Read “Wuthering Heights”

Crime and Punishment | Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Raskolnikov, a young man, sickly and poor, is contemplating a crime. He goes to a pawnbroker’s to get a little money and scout the place. Raskolnikov feels his passivity is a burden on his family. He hears about the pawnbroker’s routine, and comes up with a plan.

Read “Crime and Punishment”

To the Lighthouse | Virginia Woolf 

It’s a September evening before World War I. The Ramsay’s are at home discussing the possibility of going to the Lighthouse the next day. The narrative then covers a ten year period containing the war and major changes in the family.

Read “To the Lighthouse”

Darkness at Noon | Arthur Koestler

Rubashov is in solitary confinement. He remembers some foreign missions he undertook in support of the USSR Communist Party. He is taken before Ivanov, the examining magistrate, and charged with planning an assassination attempt on No. 1’s life. Rubashov is urged to partially confess to ease his sentence, but he is scornful and resistant.

Steppenwolf | Hermann Hesse

When Harry Haller abruptly leaves his rented room, the narrator finds a manuscript Haller wrote about himself. It records his distaste for life—its mediocrity, its conventions and comforts. When he’s out walking one evening, he is handed a book by a stranger that is about Haller’s personality and attitude. It claims he has a dual nature—man and wolf. Haller considers suicide to escape his unsatisfying life.

Read “Steppenwolf”