best way to begin one’s life is to begin it well. Like how
the young daughter, the protagonist of “Verona: The Young
Woman Speaks” did. We gladly allow ourselves to share the
child’s blissful thoughts as she recalls the glorious trip
from Rome to Salzburg with her charming parents. Her life would
be nothing less than remarkable.
But we can also
foresee the futures of children who, unlike Verona, are denied parental
love and guidance. The adverse effects of such an upbringing are
usually unpleasant, unhealthy and far from being normal.
Snow, Secret Snow,” by Conrad Aiken, we discover much to our
horror the secret world of Paul, a young boy, who fancies an unreal
world which utters such strange things to him like ‘peace’,
‘remoteness’, ‘cold’, ‘sleep’
and ‘death’. Paul slowly begins to withdraw from the
real life finds asylum in his fantasy land. Paul’s illness,
Dr. Alma H. Bond says, is likely to culminate in schizophrenia.
In “How to
Win,” Christopher, a six-year-old boy suffers from Intermittent
Explosive Disorder; he surprises and shocks his mother by his erratic
behavior patterns. In “Teenage Wasteland,” Donny, a
“noisy, lazy, and disruptive” lad, simply runs away
from his home, leaving no significant clues to his troubled, puzzled
Case” by Willa Cather, Dr. Bond observes, is “a story
that has saved lives”. She recommends the tale to the depressed
and potentially suicidal patients. This deeply moving story shows
how the main character’s depression leads him to pay for his
dream with his life. The story brilliantly records how the disturbed
mind of a deviant thinks and works.
The opening story,
“A Small Good Thing,” is a portrait of a mother’s
traumatic experience following her son’s fatal accident. One
story deals with the profound growth of relationship between a father
and a son. In another, we find a young would-be priest’s instability
of mind and his fear to face the truth. In "The Distant Episode"
we are introduced to a series of torturous treatments that are inflicted
upon a Professor. Dr. Bond calls them some of the most horrible
passages ever written in all literature.
Tales of Psychology
is a wise and curious collection of many such stories compiled by
Dr. Alma H Bond, herself a practicing psychologist and a writer.
The stories are reflective in nature and are carefully selected
from diverse literary origins with the objective to enrich and broaden
our understanding of human behavior.
wisdom creates meaningful ripples in the reader’s mind. Each
story is followed by a crisp and scholarly analysis by Dr. Bond,
which highlights the plot’s psychological symbols. In search
of the nucleus of the stories, Dr. Bond analyses varied themes including
defense mechanisms, systematic lying, alcoholism, split personality
traits, mental retardation and sadomasochism.
Dr. Bond observes, “are selected for their insight into human
nature and [for] their merit as fine works of literature”.
The best part of
the volume is its ability to encourage the reader to explore serious
works of psychology. Nothing could be more curious than to learn
about ourselves—how the mind works, how we control our emotions,
how we understand and act. For the same reason, psychology is a
complicated subject. It cannot be otherwise because it is about
A story that breathes
life is incapable of death. It reverberates; it haunts and disturbs
the reader. Tales of Psychology
belongs to this select genre.
It contains all the excellent qualities—extraordinary observations,
insightful remarks, moving passages and wonderful lessons—necessary
to make one be both attendant and gentle with life.