An American Icarus Named Grope

Daniel M. Ogilvie

in Fantasies of Flight

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195157468
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894024 | DOI:
An American Icarus Named Grope

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This chapter describes how flying fantasies first captured the author's interest upon reading “The American Icarus” by Henry Murray, published in 1955 as a chapter in a book that contained several case studies by various authors. Grope was the name Murray gave to the subject of his investigation. Grope was a reclusive undergraduate student at the time he was studied, a person whose presence on campus was barely noticed. There was nothing at all about his inconspicuous outward appearance to indicate that his private life was filled with spectacular imaginary shows of personal heroism. Murray described Grope as “unsurpassed” in that regard. A recurring theme in his imaginary exploits was flying. Such images were periodically accompanied by images of fire, water, and falling through space. The occasional interweaving of these images reminded Murray of the legend of Icarus.

Keywords: flying dreams; flying fantasies; flight; personality psychology; Icarus; Henry Murray

Chapter.  1052 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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