Narcissist Traits and Transfiguration of Domestic Territory in Anne Tyler's “Saint Maybe”


  • Kulamangalam Thiagarajan Tamilmani Nehru Memorial College (Affiliated to Bharathidasan University)
  • Sankaranpillai Aruljothi Thillainayaki Nehru Memorial College affiliated to Bharathidasan University, Puthanampatti, India



Domestic Territory, Familial Responsibilities, Transfiguration, Narcissistic Traits, Sense of Existence, Surrogate Father, Children, religion


Men and women in the domestic territory are predominantly presented as the main sources of family in most of the contemporary American novels. Yet their significance is portrayed with multitudes of familial responsibilities in nurturing their children. Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe appraises the familiar theme of ordinary people and their encounter with sufferings to culminate in transfiguration of domestic territory. This paper displays the outlook of ordinary people in Saint Maybe to prevent them from falling astray. More crucially, the framework of the paper lays its emphasis on how Ian Bedloe sheds his narcissistic traits to capture the attention of his brother’s children in the domestic sphere after the death of their parents. Therefore, this paper purports to bring out the effect of narcissistic traits in which Tyler has ingrained a real and a fervent tone about religion to protect Ian Bedloe as a surrogate father.

Author Biographies

Kulamangalam Thiagarajan Tamilmani, Nehru Memorial College (Affiliated to Bharathidasan University)

Dr. Kulamangalam Thiagarajan Tamilmani is an Associate Professor of English at Nehru Memorial College in Puthanampatti, affiliated to Bharathidasan University, India. His educational qualifications include M.A. and PhD at Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli. He has also completed PGDTE at EFLU, Hyderabad, South India. He has published many papers in reputable journals, and has served as a resource person for a number of academic programs. Moreover, he has also been a member of many professional and academic bodies. His research interests include American Literature and English Language Teaching.

Sankaranpillai Aruljothi Thillainayaki, Nehru Memorial College affiliated to Bharathidasan University, Puthanampatti, India

Ms. S. A. Thillainayaki is a research scholar at Nehru Memorial College affiliated to Bharathidasan University, Puthanampatti, Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India. She completed her B.A. and M. A in Seetha Lakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirappalli and M.Phil. in Bharathidasan University in 2005. She worked as an Assistant Professor of English from 2006-2014 at various institutions in Chennai and from 2018 -2021 she worked at Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College and Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College, Tiruchirappalli. Her area of research interest is Postmodern American Fiction.


Campbell, W. Keith & Miller, J. D. (2011). The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic personality Disorder: Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Findings and Treatments. John Wiley and Sons. DOI:

Durham, J. R. (1998). Anne Tyler’s Vision of Gender in “Saint Maybe.” The Southern Literary Journal, 31(1), 143–152.

Freud, S. (1914). On Narcissism. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 67-102.

Green, J. (2003). Why Salvation. St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press.

James, S. B. (1986). Narcissism and Philosophy. Methodology and Science: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Empirical Study of the Foundations of Science and Their Methodology 19(1), 16-26.

Koppel, G. (1993). Jane Austen and Anne Tyler, Sister Novelists Under the Skin: Comparison of Persuasion and Saint Maybe. Persuasions, 15, 164-69

Parini, J. (1991, August 25). The Accidental Convert. The New York Times.

Picard, I. A. (1992). Gilligan’s theory of Women’s moral development: Implications for student affairs practitioners.

Post, J. (1993). Current Concepts of the Narcissistic Personality: Implications for Political Psychology. International Psychology of Political Psychology, 14(1), 99-121. DOI:

Taher, M. A. (2021). The Role of the Father in Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe. Al-Adab Journal, 2(138), 1-12. DOI:

Tan, A. L. (1994). Four Meanings of Fatherhood. Philippine Sociological Review, 42(1/4), 27-39. DOI:

Tyler, A. (1991). Saint Maybe. NY: Alfred A. Knopf.




How to Cite

Tamilmani, K. T., & Thillainayaki, S. A. (2024). Narcissist Traits and Transfiguration of Domestic Territory in Anne Tyler’s “Saint Maybe”. English Studies at NBU, 10(1), 175–190.




Most read articles by the same author(s)