This thesis is a Jungian study of John Jasper, the central character in Charles Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Jasper fails to achieve psychological wholeness because he suffers from what Carl G. Jung calls dissociation of consciousness, a malady that prevents Jasper from entering the process of individuation — a process of self-discovery. Jasper’s boredom, self-alienation, hypocrisy, and secret double life impede his search for self.
Faced with projections of his anima and shadow self, Jasper has many opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth. But rather than integrate the aspects of his personality that each of the anima and shadow figures represents, he rejects their messages or attempts to mesmerize them into submission to his will.
Throughout the novel, the journey motif constantly surfaces, emphasizing that Jasper is on a quest in search of his self. But it is a failed quest that leads to psychological disintegration.