The Unadjusted Girl

Chapter 1: The Wishes

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IT is impossible to understand completely any human being or any single act of his behavior, just as it is impossible to understand completely why a particular wild rose bloomed under a particular hedge at a particular moment. A complete understanding in either case would imply an understanding of all cosmic processes of their interrelations and sequences. But it is not harder to comprehend the behavior of the "unadjusted" or "delinquent" person, say the vagabond or the prostitute, than that of the normally adjusted person, say the business man or the housewife.

In either case we realize that certain influences have been at work throughout life and that these are partly inborn, representing the original nature of man, the so-called instincts, and partly the claims, appeals, rewards, and punishment of society, - the influences of his social environment. But if we attempt to determine why the call of the wild prevails in the one case and the call of home, regular work, and "duty" in the other, we do not have different problems but aspects of

(2) the same general problem. It is only as we understand behavior as a whole that we can appreciate the failure of certain individuals to conform to the usual standards. And similarly, the unrest and maladjustment of the girl can be treated only as specifications of the general unrest and maladjustment.

In this connection students of psychology and education have been particularly interested in determining what the inborn tendencies really are. There was however no scientifically controlled work on the point until Watson undertook his experiments on newborn babies. At the time his work was interrupted he had found only three "instincts" present in the child at birth :

We are inclined now to believe that the fundamental emotional reactions can be grouped under three general divisions: those connected with fear; those connected with rage; those connected with what, for lack of a better term, we may call joy or love.

These at least deserve the name of major emotions. Whether or not other types of emotional reactions are present we cannot yet determine. . . . The principal situations which call out fear responses are as follows: (1) To suddenly remove from the infant all means of support, as when one drops it from the hand to be caught by an assistant. . . . (2) By loud sounds. (3) Occasionally when an infant is just falling asleep the sudden pulling of the blanket upon which it is lying will produce the fear response. (4) Finally, again, when the child has just fallen asleep or is just ready to awake a sudden push or a slight shake is an adequate stimulus. The responses are a sudden catching of the breath, clutching randomly with the hands (the grasping reflex invariably appearing when the child is dropped), blinking of the eyelids, puckering of the lips, then crying; in older children, flight and hiding.


Observations seem to show that the hampering of the infant's movements is the factor which apart from all training brings out the movements characterized as rage. If the face or head is held, crying results, quickly followed by screaming. The body stiffens and fairly well coordinated slashing or striking movements of the hands and arms result; the feet and legs are drawn up and down; the breath is held until the child's face is flushed. In older children the slashing movements of the arms and legs are better coordinated and appear as kicking, slapping, biting, pushing, etc. These reactions continue until the irritating situation is removed, and sometimes do not cease then. Almost any child from birth can be thrown into a rage if its arms are held tightly to its sides. . . . Even the best-natured child shows rage if its nose is held for a few seconds. . . .

The original stimuli for bringing out the earliest manifestations of joy or love seem to be as follows: gentle stroking and soft tickling of the infant's body, patting, gentle rocking, turning upon the stomach across the attendant's knee, etc. The response varies: if the infant is crying, crying ceases and a smile may appear; finally a laugh, and extension of the arms. In older children and in adults this emotion, due both to instinctive and habit factors, has an extremely wide range of expression.[1]

We understand of course that these expressions of emotion mean a preparation for action which will be useful in preserving life (anger), avoiding death (fear), and in reproducing the species (love), but even if our knowledge of the nervous system of man were complete we could not read out of it all the concrete varieties of human experience, The variety of expressions of behavior is as great as the variety of situations arising in

(4) the external world, while the nervous system represents only a general mechanism for action. We can however approach the problem of behavior through the study of the forces which impel to action, namely, the wishes, and we shall see that these correspond in general with the nervous mechanism.

The human wishes have a great variety of concrete forms but are capable of the following general classification :

1. The desire for new experience.
2. The desire for security.
3. The desire for response.
4. The desire for recognition.

1. THE DESIRE FOR NEW EXPERIENCE. Men crave excitement, and all experiences are exciting which have in them some resemblance to the pursuit, flight, capture, escape, death which characterized the earlier life of mankind. Behavior is an adaptation to environment, and the nervous system itself is a developmental adaptation. It represents, among other things, a hunting pattern of interest. "Adventure" is what the young boy wants, and stories of adventure. Hunting trips are enticing; they are the survival of natural life. All sports are of the hunting pattern; there is a, contest of skill, daring, and cunning. It is impossible not to admire the nerve of a daring burglar or highwayman. A fight, even a dog fight, will draw a crowd. In gambling or dice throwing you have the thrill of success or the chagrin of defeat. The organism craves stimulation and seeks expansion and shock even through alcohol and drugs. "Sensations" occupy a large part of the space in newspapers. Courtship has in it an element of "pursuit." Novels, theaters, motion pic-

(5) -tures, etc., are partly an adaptation to this desire, and their popularity is a sign of its elemental force.

1. When 11 years old Walter McDermott was brought to court in company with three other boys, accused of breaking a padlock on a grocery store and attempting to enter the store at four o'clock A.M., March 3, 1909, and also of breaking a padlock on the door of a meat-market and stealing thirty-six cents from the cash till. Put on probation. August19,1910, brought to court for entering with two other boys a store and stealing a pocket-book containing $3.00. He admitted to the officers he and his company were going to pick pockets down town. He is the leader of the gang. . . .

Sent to St. Charles. Ran away March 17, 1913. By breaking a window got into a drug store, with two other boys, and stole a quantity of cigars and $1.61. Having taken the money, he gave one boy ten cents and another five cents. He gave away the cigars - eight or nine boxes - to "a lot of men and some boys." Spent the money "on candy and stuff." Committed to John Worthy School . . . October 27. His conduct has improved greatly; released on probation ...

December 23, 1913, accused of having broken, with an adult boy (19), into a clothing store and filled a suit case they found in the store with clothing and jewelry. Caught in shop. The officer said, "He would like to imitate Webb. He would like to kill some boy." According to his own confession, "It was six o'clock at night. I was going to confession. I met a boy and he said, 'Come out with me.' About nine o'clock we came to a clothing store, and we walked to the back, and seen a little hole. We pulled a couple of the laths off and as soon as we got in we got caught." But the officer said that previous to this they had burglarized a, butcher's store and took from there a butcher's steel, and bored it hole in the wall with it. Committed to John Worthy School. Released June 26th, 1914. . . .

July 19, shot in a back alley twice at a little boy and once hit him. Broke with two other boys at night into Salvation


Army office, broke everything he could and " used the office as a toilet room." Next day broke into a saloon, broke the piano, took cigars. Before this, July 14th, broke a side window of a saloon, stole $4.00 and a revolver. At the hearing Walter said about shooting the boy: "That boy was passing and I asked him for a match, and I heard this boy holler. I took a revolver off (his companion) and, fixed a shot and hit the boy." His mother testified that he had spent only three nights at home since the time of his release from John Worthy School. He was arrested after the first offense, but escaped from the detention home. Committed to John Worthy School. . . .

Released after March 26. Committed a burglary in a grocery store, April 7th. Shot a man with a revolver in the left arm April 4th. Held up, with three other boys, a man on April 11, and robbed him of $12.00. Caught later, while the other boys caught at once. Held to the grand jury, found "not guilty" and released June 16, 1915.[2]

Vagabondage secures a maximum of new experience by the avoidance of the routine of organized society and the irksomeness at labor to which I will refer presently. In the constitutional vagabond the desire for new experience predominates over the other wishes and is rather contemplative and sensory, while in the criminal it is motor. But the discouraged criminal is sometimes a vagabond.

2. I have known men on the road who were tramping purely and simply because they loved to tramp. They had no appetite for liquor or tobacco, so far as I could find, also were quite out of touch with criminals and their habits: but somehow or other they could not conquer that Passion for roving. In a way this type of vagabond is the most pitiful that I have ever known; and yet is the truest type of the genuine voluntary vagrant. . . . The Wanderlust


vagrant . . . is free from the majority of passions common among vagrants and yet he is the most earnest vagrant of all. To reform him it is necessary to kill his personality, to take away his ambition - and this is a task almost superhuman. Even when he is reformed he is a most cast-down person.[3]

3. In view of the experience at home and abroad it is now proposed in France to place vagrants in solitary confinement. These vagrants are free-footed and irregular, devoted to the highway and an open-air life, and they are far less afraid of fatigue and hardship than of a steady and regular job. Advantage must be taken of their weak point by imposing solitary confinement; they must be subjected to what they most dread.[4]

4. Dear Brother Joe: I have decided to trop you a feiw lines and hope you are well and you family also. I have heart of your troubles but could not helpet. I have left Chi. and went tru Ky. Ind. N.Y. Pa. N. Jerrsey and bak. Mich. Ohio. Ill. Wisconsin Minnesota Iway. Mo. Kansas. Nebr. Colo. and I have not done any work since I left. I am hapy on the road and it is very fine, I feel like I never will work again onless I have seen all U. S. I am on my way to Californ but I take my time. I ant in horry, you have been traveling, but you have not seen anything yet and you have no experience about Ho Bo life a tall. gee it is fine to be on the Road. It is 10 weeks since I have no home but a Box Car. If you go on the Road again look for my Monogram in the Cars. I will not work very much this Sumer Only to bull tru the Coast. It is blenty of work around here, but I dond feel like working yet. I wisht you vas not mareyt and could be with me. I bet you would engoeyet. I hav enofh to eet and a diferent place to sleep every night and healty.[5]


5. Girl states that she has been a tramp since she was 15 years old, going from one place to another, usually on freight trains, part of the time dressed as a boy. . . . She has a child, two years old, which she had illegitimately. The Court had compelled the father of it to marry her. This statement was verified at this office on its communication with the Probate Judge at Moundsville, W. Va.

She says that both her parents died when she was a little girl, that she lived with her grandmother, who worked out for her living, leaving her to run the streets. She says that from earliest childhood she has had the wanderlust. She spoke of being as far west as Denver, and mentioned several army camps she had visited, always riding freight trains. Says that she never works except long enough to get what she can't beg. She says that she has no love for her child and that her grandmother takes care of it with money supplied by her husband. Her husband secured a divorce from her about three months after their marriage. The reason she asked to stay at the Detention Home over night was because she was going past the house in the alley and saw through the open door several young girls and thought it would be a nice place to stay all night.

Case was reported to office immediately after her admittance to the Detention Home. The next morning immediately after breakfast, while the Matron's back was turned, the girl escaped. The case was immediately reported to the Military and local police. The girl was picked up near camp, having had intercourse with several soldiers. Her appearance was the least attractive of any girl handled by this office. The little bundle of clothes she carried, tied in a bandanna handkerchief, was the dirtiest ever seen, and was burned at the Detention Home. At police headquarters she gave her age as 20 years but later told that she was but 17, which was verified from Moundsville. She was given $10.00 and thirty days and costs in the county jail, and while being taken from the jail to the clinic, by a policeman and Miss Ball, she, with another girl,


 escaped. Every effort was made to catch her, but she was as fleet as a deer. [6]

There is also in the hunting pattern of interest an intellectual element. Watson does not note curiosity among the instincts because it does not manifest itself at birth, but it appears later as the watchful and exploratory attitude which determines the character of action, - whether, for example, it shall be attack or flight. The invention of the bow and arrow, the construction of a trap, the preparation of poison, indicated a scientific curiosity in early man. Activities of this kind were interesting because they implied life or death. The man who constructed the poisoned arrow visualized the scene in which it was to be used, saw the hunt in anticipation. The preparation for the chase was psychologically part of the chase. The modern scientific man uses the same mental mechanism but with a different application. He spends long months in his laboratory on an invention in anticipation of his final "achievement." The so-called" instinct for workmanship" and the "creative impulse" are "sublimations" of the hunting psychosis. The making of a trap was a "problem", and any problem is interesting, whether the construction of a wireless or the solving of a puzzle. Modern occupations or "pursuits" are interesting or irksome to the degree that they have or have not a problematical element:

The convict makes bricks, digs the earth, builds, and all his occupations have a meaning and an end. Sometimes, even the prisoner takes an interest in what he is doing. Ile then wishes to work more skillfully, more advantageously. But let him be constrained to pour water from one vessel -into another, or to transport a quantity of earth from one


place to another in order to perform the contrary operation immediately afterwards, then I am persuaded that at the end of a few days the prisoner would strangle himself or commit a thousand crimes, punishable with death, rather than live in such an abject condition and endure such torments. [7]

The following description of a scientific adventure of a creative man, which I transcribe from an earlier paper, illustrates perfectly the psychological identity of a scientific quest with the pursuit of game:

6. Pasteur's first scientific success was in the study of crystallization, and in this connection he became particularly interested in racemic acid. But this substance, produced first by Kestner in 1820 as an accident in the manufacture of tartaric acid, had in 1852 ceased to appear, in spite of all efforts to obtain it. Pasteur and his friend Mitscherlich suspected that the failure to get it was due to the fact that the present manufacturers of tartaric acid were using a different tartar. The problem became then to inspect all the factories producing tartaric acid and finally to visit the sources from which the tartars came. This was the quest, and the impatience which Pasteur showed to begin it reminds us of a hound tugging at the leash. He asked Biot and Dumas to obtain for him a commission from the Ministry, or the Académie, but exasperated by the delay he was on the point of writing directly to the President of the Republic. "It is," he said, "a question that France should make it a point of honor to solve through one of her children." Biot counselled patience and pointed out that it was not necessary to "set the government in motion for this." But Pasteur would not wait. "I shall go to the end of the world," be, said , " I must discover the source, of racemic acid," and started independently. I will excuse you from following this quest in detail, but in a sort of diary prepared for Mme. Pasteur he showed the greatest eagerness


to have her share the joy of it. He went to Germany, to Vienna, to Prague, studied Hungarian tartars. "Finally," he said, " I shall go to Trieste, where I shall find tartars of various countries, notably those of the Levant, and those of the neighborhood of Trieste itself. . . . If I had money enough I would go to Italy; . . . I shall give ten years to it if necessary." And after eight months he sent the following telegram: "I transform tartaric acid into racemic acid. .Please inform MM. Dumas and Senarmont." He had made his kill.[8]

The craftsman, the artist, the scientist, the professional man, and to some extent the business man make new experience the basis of organized activity, of work, and produce thereby social values. The division of labor which removes the problematical from the various operations of the work makes the task totally unstimulating. The repudiation of work leads to the vagabondage just illustrated and to the antisocial attitudes described below:

7. We have in New York at present, and have had for some years past, an immense army of young men, boys between fifteen and twenty-six, who are absolutely determined that under no conditions will they do any honest work. They sponge on women, swindle, pick pockets, commit burglary, act as highwaymen, and, if cornered, kill, in order to get money dishonestly. How do they dispose of the vast sums they have already stolen? Gambling and women. They are inveterate gamblers .[9]

And similarly, among women we have the thief, the prostitute, the blackmailer, the vamp, and the "charity girl."


2. THE DESIRE FOR SECURITY. The desire for security is opposed to the desire for new experience. The desire for new experience is, as we have seen, emotionally related to anger, which tends to invite death, and expresses itself in courage, advance, attack, pursuit. The desire for new experience implies, therefore, motion, change, danger, instability, social irresponsibility. The individual dominated by it shows a tendency to disregard prevailing standards and group interests. He may be a social failure on account of his instability, or a social success if he converts his experiences into social values, puts them into the form of a poem, makes of them a contribution to science. The desire for security, on the other hand, is based on fear, which tends to avoid death and expresses itself in timidity, avoidance, and flight. The individual dominated by it is cautious, conservative, and apprehensive, tending also to regular habits, systematic work, and the accumulation of property.

The social types known as "bohemian" and "philistine" are determined respectively by the domination of the desire for new experience and the desire for security. The miser represents a case where the means of security has become an end in itself.

8. Mamie Reilly's mother viewed with increasing regret the effect of premature care and responsibility on her daughter. Mamie had been working five years since, as a child of thirteen, she first insisted on getting a job. "She's a good girl, Mame is, but y'never seen anything like her. Every pay night reg'lar she'll come in an' sit down at that table. 'Now Ma, she'll say like that, 'what are you goin' to do? How ever are y' goin' t' make out in th' rent?' 'Land sakes,' I'll say, 'one w'd think this whole house was right there on your


shoulders. I'll get along somehow.' But y'can't make her see into that. 'Now, what'l lwe do, how'll you manage, Ma?' she'll keep askin'. She's too worrisome -that's what I tell her. An' she don't care to go out. Mebbe she'll take a walk, but like's not she'll say, 'What's th' use?' Night after night she jest comes home, eats 'er supper, sits down, mebbe reads a bit, an' then goes t' bed." [10]

Document 9 shows the desire for security in a person who is temperamentally inclined to new experience, but whose hardships call out the desire for security. The whole life, in fact, of this man shows a wavering between the two wishes. The desire for a "secure existence" which he expresses here finally prevails and he approaches the philistine type:

9. I had been ten weeks on the journey without finding any work, and I had no idea how long I should still be obliged to tramp about the world, and where was the end toward which I was going. . . . I should have been very glad of my visit to Stach had it not been for the thought of my wandering. If I had been going immediately to work from Mokrsko I should certainly have fallen in love with some girl, but the thought that I must tramp again about the world destroyed my wish for anything. Moreover I wanted to leave as soon as possible, for I could not look with dry eyes on how he wallowed in everything and had whatever he wanted. Everybody respected and appreciated him; everywhere doors were open for him, and he prized lightly everything he had, for he had never experienced any evil or misery. For if I had only one half of what he owned, how grateful I should be to God for his goodness. And tear flowed from my eyes when I compared his lot with mine. Fortune, how unjust you are! You drive one man about the world and You have no pity on him though he is whipped with wind and snow and cold stops his breath. People treat him worse


than a dog and drive him away from their doors, without asking: "Have you eaten? have you a place to sleep?' And when he asks for anything they are ready to beat him like that peasant who struck me with the whip. And what for? Perhaps this mayor would have acted likewise if he had met me somewhere on my journey, and today he set tables for this same tramp.

What a difference between us! Why, we have the same parents, the same name! And perhaps he is better considered because he is better instructed than I? In my opinion not even for that. Or perhaps because he is nobler and handsomer? No, not for that. He merits consideration only because he has a secure existence, because he has bread. Le him wander into an unknown country; would he be better considered than I? No, a thousand times No. So if I want to merit consideration and respect, I ought first to win this [secure] existence. And how shall I win it and where? Shall I find it in tramping about the world? No I must work, put money together and establish my own bakery. Then I can say boldly that I have [a secure existence] and even a better one than a teacher.[11]

In case 10 the desire for security is very strong but is overwhelmed by the desire for new (sexual) experience of the type which I shall term presently the "desire for response."

10. 1 am a young woman of twenty-five, married seven years. I have a good husband and two dear children; also a fine home. I was quite happy until an unexpected misfortune entered my life, destroying my happiness.

I consider it important to state that as a child I conducted myself decently; people regarded me as a blessing and my parents were very proud of me. As a young girl I strove to marry some good young man and live contentedly.


I had no higher ambition. My dream was realized but unfortunately this did not last long.

Three years ago, my husband's cousin, a young man, came to us. He obtained employment in our town and lived with us. He stayed with us four months altogether. During the first three months he was not in my thoughts at all . . . but during the last month my heart began to beat for him. It was a novel sensation for me and I did not know the meaning of this attraction; I said to myself: I love my husband and my children, why then this strange fascination for my husband's cousin? He surely must have done something to me to arouse this feeling in me, I thought. Fortunately, the young man soon lost his position and left for some distant place. I felt very happy at his departure, though I longed for him very much.

Two years passed thus, during which I resumed my former contented life with my husband until one day my husband informed me that his cousin had returned and planned to live in our town. I had a presentiment of dark clouds that would soon gather over my head, so I requested my husband to find other quarters than our own for his relative, on the pretext that I was not well enough to care for another person in the family. But as my husband reproached me and charged me with lack of interest in his relatives, I had to yield and give my permission for the man to stay with us.

I had decided to be indifferent and act as a stranger toward the boarder that was thrust upon me, so as to avoid trouble. I did not wish to ignite the feeling in my heart toward him by too close contact. I almost never spoke to him, and never came near him. God only knows how much these efforts cost me, but with all my energy I fought against the diabolic feeling in my heart. Unfortunately, my husband misinterpreted my behavior as a lack of hospitality. His resentment compelled me to assume a more friendly attitude toward his relative, as I wished to avoid quarrelling. What followed .,May easily be inferred. From amiability I passed to love


until he occupied my whole mind and everybody else was non-existent for me. Of course no one was aware of my predicament.

One day I decided to put an end to my sufferings by confessing all to my boarder and requesting him to go away or at least leave our house and avert a scandal. Unfortunately, my hope of a peaceful life was not fulfilled, following my confession to the cousin. He remained in our home and became more friendly than ever towards me. I began to love him so intensely that I hardly noticed his growing intimacy with me and as a result I gave birth to a baby whose father is my husband's cousin. . . .

I am unable to describe to you one hundredth part of the misery this has caused me. I always considered an unfaithful wife the worst creature on earth and now . . . I am myself a degraded woman. . . . The mere thought of it drives me insane. My husband, of course, knows nothing about the incident. When the child was born he wanted to name it after one of his recently deceased relatives but . . . I felt as if this would desecrate the grave of his late relative. After oceans of tears, I finally induced him to name the child after one of my own relatives.

But my troubles did not end here. Every day in the week is a day of utter anguish for me and every day I feel the tortures of hell. . . . I can not stand my husband's tenderness toward the child that is mine but not his. When he gives the baby a kiss it burns me like a hot coal dropped in my bosom. Every time he calls it his baby I hear some one shouting into my ear the familiar epithet thrown at low creatures like me . . . and every time he takes the child in his arms I am tempted to tell him the terrible truth. . . . And so I continue to suffer. Mien my husband is not at home I spend my time studying the face of my child, and when I think it appears to resemble its father at such a moment I become terrified at the possibility of the baby's growing up into a real likeness to its father. What would my husband say and do when he noticed the similarity be-


-tween my baby and his cousin? It is this thought that is killing me. . . . [If I should tell my husband I am sure be would drive me away.] I do not care for myself so much as for the child who would be branded with the name given all such children and this would remain a stain upon him for the rest of his life. . . . It is this fear that prevents me from revealing to my husband my crime against him. But how much longer shall I be able to bear the pain and wretchedness? [12]

3. THE DESIRE FOR RESPONSE. Up to this point I have described the types of mental impressionability connected with the pursuit of food and the avoidance of death, which, are closely connected with the emotions of anger and fear. The desire for response, on the other hand, is primarily related to the instinct of love, and shows itself in the tendency to seek and to give signs of appreciation in connection with other individuals.

There is first of all the devotion of the mother to the child and the response of the child, indicated in the passage from Watson above, and in the following passage from Thorndike.

All women possess originally, from early childhood to death some interest in human babies, and a responsiveness to the instinctive looks, calls, gestures and cries of infancy and childhood, being satisfied by childish gurglings, smiles and affectionate gestures, and moved to instinctive comforting acts by childish signs of pain, grief and misery. Brutal habits may destroy. or competing habits overgrow, or the lack of exetcise weaken, these tendencies but they are none less as original as any fact in human nature.[13]


This relation is of course useful and necessary since the child is helpless throughout a period of years and would not live unless the mother were impelled to give it her devotion. This attitude is present in the father of the child also but is weaker, less demonstrative, and called out more gradually.

In addition, the desire for response between the two sexes in connection with mating is very powerful. An ardent courtship is full of assurances and appeals for reassurance. Marriage and a home involve response but with more settled habits, more routine work, less of new experience. Jealousy is an expression of fear that the response is directed elsewhere. The flirt is one who seeks new experience through the provocation of response from many quarters.

In some natures this wish, both to receive and to give response, is out of proportion to the other wishes, "over-determined", so to speak, and interferes with a normal organization of life. And the fixation may be either on a child or a member of either sex. The general situation is the same in the two cases following.

11. I am the unhappy mother of a dear little son, eight years old. You ask the cause of my unhappiness? I ought to be happy with such a dear treasure? But the answer is, I love my child too much. My love to my son is so great, so immeasurably deep, that I myself am worthless. My own person has not a trace of worth for me. I am as it were dead to all and everything. My thoughts by day and by night are turned toward my child. I see nothing in the world except my beloved child. Nothing exists for me except him. Every one of my thoughts, every desire and wish that awakens in me, turns around the child of my heart. I am nothing. I do not live, I do not exist. I forget myself


as I forget all and everything in the world. I go around the whole day without eating and feel no hunger. I forget that I must eat. I go around often a whole day in my nightclothes because I forget that I have to dress. With soul and body, with mind and spirit I am wrapt up in my child. I have no thought for myself at all.

If clothes come to my mind, I am thinking of a new suit for my boy. I am nothing. And if I think of shoes, I imagine a pair of little shoes on the feet of my dear little boy. I myself am the same as dead. If I go to the country in the summer, I come home on account of my child. I myself do not exist. Every enjoyment in life, every happiness to which I give a thought is connected in my mind with my little boy. I myself am as if I were never at all in the world. The child is everything - my soul and my spirit, my breath and my life. He is the air I breathe. I am nothing. I don't consider myself, I don't think of myself, just as if I had never been in the world.

And so it is when my child is not well, when he has perhaps scratched his finger. . . . Oh, how I suffer then. No pen in the world can describe the terrible despair I feel. I live then as it were in a cloud, I cannot at all understand how my soul then remains in my body. My pain is then indescribable, greater than any can understand. . . . When ray child is well again and his round, rosy cheeks bloom like the flowers in May and he is joyous and full of life and leaps and dances, then I myself look as if I had just recovered from a fever sickness.

Tell me, I beg you, dear editor, what can such a mama do that her dear child shall not become a lonely orphan. For I feel that I cannot continue long as it is. My strength is not holding out and a time must come when no strength to live will remain in me.[14 ]

12. I beg you to advise me, dear editor, how to stop loving is perhaps a ridiculous question but for me it is a


very sad one. It is almost a question of life and death. it is so: I love a person who is not in a position to return my love. It is certain that we can never be united. . . . My love is hopeless but I cannot give it up. I run after the person I love, I follow his steps, knowing that it will do me no good. I have simply attached myself to an innocent person and distress him. My conscience tells me that it is not right. I suffer needlessly and I make suffering for another, but I simply have no inclination to stop.

I cannot live without my lover. When I don't see him at the expected moment I am wild, and I am ready to commit the greatest crime in order to accomplish my purpose. He runs away from me and I chase after him. When be goes away to another city I feel sure that I cannot live another twenty-four hours without him. I feel like throwing myself from a roof. I feel that I am capable of doing any evil deed on account of my love.

Do not think, dear editor, that I pride myself for having such a feeling. No, I do not compliment myself at all. I am provoked with myself, I am ashamed of myself and I hate myself. How can a person be such a rag? I argue with myself, how can I permit my mind to have no control over my heart? But my arguments with myself do me no good at all. It is work thrown away. I can love no one except him, the only one who has captured my heart and soul. I cannot even entertain the thought of ceasing to love him. It is simply impossible.

By what name would you call such a person as I am, dear editor? Perhaps I have gone out of my senses. So give me a word of advice as to how I may become sane again. I neglect everything in the world. Nothing remains in my thoughts except him. Without him everything is dark.

He is also unhappy on account of me. I don't let him breathe freely. He might have been happy with another, but I give him no chance. I disturb his life. I will add that this condition has gone on now for several years and there is no prospect of its ending.


Dear editor, give me an advice before I commit a deed after which marriage is impossible. I wait for your wise advice. Perhaps you will be my savior.[15 ]

The varieties of love in women are greater than in men, for we are to include here not only physical passion but parental feeling - that fund of emotion which is fixed on the child. The capacity of response to the child, mother love, is notorious and is painfully evident in document 11, p. 18, where the mother has no thought left for anything but the child. The mother is one who does not refuse. She does not refuse the breast to the lusty child even when she is herself ailing. And while this feeling is developed as a quality of motherhood it is present before motherhood and is capable of being transferred to any object calling for sympathy, - a doll, a man, or a cause. The women of the Malay Peninsula suckle little wild pigs when these are found motherless.

I have seen (through the kindness of Hutchins Hapgood) the life history of a woman who has had sexual relations with numbers of men. At the same time she has always fed men. She has kept a restaurant, partly I think to feed men. When one of her friends committed suicide she dreamed of him for months and always dreamed that she was feeding him. While she was sexually passionate her concern was mainly to satisfy the sexual hunger of others, as she satisfied their food-hunger. When two of her lovers were jealous, unhappy, and desperate, she ran from one to the other like a mother visiting two sick children in different hospitals. More than once she attempted suicide. When she tried to explain herself to me she

(22) said that without some human relationship she felt unbearably lonely, and that she was drawn to lonely men without regard to their social condition. Many of her friends were criminals and she would speak to any bum on a park bench. She was never a prostitute. One of her friends said, "Martha is a woman to whom everything has happened that should logically break a woman's character and spirit. She ought to be a demoralized victim of society. She has done nearly everything that is supposed to ruin and destroy a person, especially a woman, but she is not a bit destroyed. She knows the so-called lowest things in life, but she wants the best and feels it. She feels what is beautiful and fine and loves it. She does things that sometimes mean sordidness in others but not in her. She gets drunk, but is not drunken. She is loose sexually in her acts, but her spirit is as simple as the flowers."

A touching expression of response from a man, a devotion to a parent as deep as mother love, is found in a letter of the psychologist William James, written to his father from England when the death of the latter was anticipated.

13. My blessed old Father: I scribble this line (which may reach you, though I should come too late) just to tell you how full of the tenderest memories and feelings about you my heart has for the last few days been filled. In that mysterious gulf of the past, into which the present will soon fall and go back and back, yours is still for me the central figure. All my intellectual life I derive from you; and though we have often seemed at odds in the expression thereof, I'm sure there's a harmony somewhere and that our strivings will combine. What my debt to you is goes beyond all my power of estimating - so early, so penetrating and so constant has been the influence.


You need be in no anxiety about your literary remains. I will see them well taken care of, and that your words shall not suffer from being concealed. At Paris I heard that Milsand, whose name you may remember is in the Revue des Deux Mondes and elsewhere, was an admirer of the Secret of Swedenborg, and Hodgson told me your last book had deeply impressed him. So will it be. . . .

As for us, we shall live on, each in his way - feeling somewhat unprotected, old as we are, for the absence of the parental bosoms as a refuge, but holding fast together in that common sacred memory. We will stand by each other and by Alice, try to transmit the torch in our offspring as you did in us, and when the time comes for being gathered in, I pray we may, if not all, some at least, be as ripe as you.

As for myself, I know what trouble I've given you at ,various ,times through my peculiarities; and as my own boys grow up I shall learn more and more of the kind of trial you had to overcome in superintending the development of a creature different from yourself, for whom you felt responsible. I say this merely to show how my sympathy with you is likely to grow much livelier, rather than to fade and not for the sake of regrets.

As for the other side, and Mother, and our all possibly meeting, I can't say anything. More than ever at this moment do I feel that if that were true all would be solved and justified. And it comes strangely over me in bidding good-by how a life is but a day and expresses mainly but a single note. It is so much like the act of bidding an ordinary good-night.

Good-night, my sacred old Father! If I don't see you again - farewell! a blessed farewell. Your William.[16]

Usually this feeling is not so profound, as shown in these examples, and may be just sufficient to use as a tool and a play interest. But even then the life may be

(24) so schematized that it plays the main role. Document No. 14 is a single item taken from an autobiography of over three hundred closely written pages in which practically the only type of wish expressed is the desire for response from men, but this wish is never very strong.

14. At Wichita I went to school till I was about sixteen. Between ten and sixteen I had lots of little sweethearts. I have never been able to be happy without an atmosphere of love or at least flirtation. To such a degree is this true that I fear this story will be little else than the record of my loves and flirtations, happy and unhappy. I liked to kiss little boys from the start, but never cared to kiss the girls. I have had many women pals all through my life, but I never cared to kiss them, as many girls do. I suppose I am what my friend the newspaper man calls a man's woman. Certainly I am miserable unless there is a man around, and I generally want several. Until recently I have always been in love with two at the same time. But somehow since I met Harry it is different. My love for the other sex was always of an innocent kind. I loved men as the birds love sunshine. It is not a passion, but a necessity, like the air. I am light-hearted and buoyant by nature, and never thought of doing wrong. And yet the ugly side of this passion has always been forced upon me.[17 ]

In many girls the awakening of love and its fixation on an object is slow or incomplete. The girl in the following example is cold as a stone toward everything but herself. Her affection is turned inward. She is the type called narcissistic, in love with herself, like the mythical Narcissus. Probably the appearance of a child will extrovert her feeling to some extent.


15. 1 have a sister of sixteen, very beautiful and proud of herself. She is of the type who care only for themselves. She would drown her parents, brothers and sisters in a spoon of water if she could only gain something by it, and without suffering the slightest remorse. Besides, she is very obstinate and must have her own way regardless of anything. . . . But my father and mother and the rest of the family wished her to possess the ordinary school education, so that her ignorance might not be an impediment in her future life, so we put our efforts together and sent her to business school, and thank God she managed somehow to finish the course.

Well, she is now working for the past six months. She has a very good position with a large firm and earns $20 a week. Out of this, mother does not get even a cent, though she sleeps and boards at home. Moreover, she borrows money from mother whenever she can but she never repays it. As if this were not enough trouble, she acts very improperly toward the whole family. She possesses absolutely no sense of shame nor sense of pity and behaves like a wild person in the house; she scolds and shouts and is especially cruel to our younger sisters and brothers.[18]

And in certain characters, almost invariably men, the desire for response is barely sufficient to keep them in contact with or on the fringe of humanity.

16. Many a man leads in London a most solitary, unsociable life, who yet would find it hard to live far away from the thronged city. Such men are like Mr. Galton's oxen, unsociable but gregarious; and they illustrate the fact that sociability, although it has the gregarious instinct at its foundation, is a more complex, more highly developed, tendency. As an element of this more complex tendency to sociability, the instinct largely determines the form of the recreations of even the cultured classes, and is the root of


no small part of the pleasure we find in attendance at the theatre, at concerts, lectures, and all such entertainments.[19]

Frequently in marriage the wife provides the main fund of response and the husband is assimilated to the child. In No. 17 the wife has had a love adventure, is living with another man, but is planning to visit her husband clandestinely and look after him a bit.

17. My Own Dear Dean: So you would like to know if I am happy. Well, dear, that is one thing that will never be in my life again. It has gone from me forever. I don't want you to think that Clarence is not good to me, for he could not be better - I have a nice home that he has bought, and chickens and a lovely garden, and if Marjorie was his very own he could not be better to her. But he is terribly jealous, and it makes it very hard for me, for, God knows, never give him cause. Oh, Dean, dear, wait until you see how I have changed. If I could only live my life over it would be so different. . . .

Now, dear, please don't feel that you have no interest in life, for you have our dear little girl, and just as soon as she is big enough to be a comfort to you - well, she is yours.

Dean, if you only knew how badly I want to see you. Now, listen -Clarence leaves here August 31 for Vancouver and will be there until September 6. . . . So, if you could send me my fare one way, why, then he could not refuse to let me go. . . . Let me know what you are planning, for I want to see you and cook you some good old meals again. . . . Yours only, Patsy. [20]

In No. 18 a conventional woman permits herself to have a single new experience in the field of response, as compensation for a married relation which lacks everything but security, and then returns to her security.


18. American woman, forty-five years old, married. Husband is a prosperous real estate broker, a member of many clubs, a church warden, director of several corporations, a typical business man of the type termed "successful", a good citizen "without one redeeming vice."

She is a beautiful woman, albeit tired and faded. Her hair is prematurely white, her youthful face with deep-set brown eyes has a wistful contradictory appearance. Has many sides to her nature, can play ball with her boys as well as she can preside at a meeting. Is a good companion, has many friends, and leads a busy life as head of a prosperous household. Has five children, four boys and one girl. One would not guess that she is an unsatisfied woman; her friends all think her life ideal and, in a sense, she does not deny it. This in substance is her view of married life though not literally word for word:

" I suppose there can never be a school for marriage how could there be? - yet how sad it is that every one must begin at the same place to work out the same problem. I had a good father and mother. They did not understand me but that was probably more my fault than theirs; I never confided in my mother overmuch. My father considered my mental progress at all times and I owe him much for the manner in which he made me think for myself, strengthened my views, and guided my education. When I left finishing school I played in society for two years and many of the men I met interested me, though none compelled me. I had never been given any clear conception of what marriage should be in the ideal sense. I knew vaguely that the man I married must be in my own class, good and honorable, and rich enough to maintain a dignified household. I had more of a vision of love at sixteen than at twenty-six, the year I married, though I was sure I loved my husband and I do -that is he is as much a part of my life as my religion or ray household conventions. He is wholly a product of civilization and I discovered too late there is an element of the


savage in most women. They wish to be captured, possessed-not in the sense the suffragists talk about; it is really a sense of self-abasement, for it is the adoration of an ideal. They wish to love a man in the open - a fighter, a victor - rather than the men we know who have their hearts in money making and play at being men. Perhaps it cannot be remedied, it is only a bit of wildness that will never be tamed in women but it makes for unhappiness just the same.

My sex life had never been dominant. I had a common- place adolescence with physical longings and sensations which were not explained to me and which did me no harm. My relation with my husband was perfectly orthodox, and vaguely I longed for something different. My husband was shocked at any demonstration on my part. If I was impulsive and threw myself in his arms he straightened his tie before he kissed me. Once at our cottage in the mountains I suggested that we spend the night in the woods. I saw a possibility of our getting nearer each other physically and spiritually if we could get out in the wilderness away from the restraints and niceties of our luxurious household. That was the first time I ever felt like a traitor. He told me quite sternly to go to bed, I was not a wild Indian and could not act like one. I went to the nursery for the night and snuggled close to my little boy and was glad he was young and slender and hoped he would never grow fat and complacent. I had noticed for the first time that my husband was growing stout, like any other church-warden.

"Since that time I have never been wholly happy. It was not the foolish incident, it was the fundamental principle, and underlying our civilization. Our babies came rather closely together and I was glad that the mother element in me needed to be uppermost. My husband was perfectly content with life, I satisfied him at dinner parties, I could dress well and talk well, managed the household money to advantage and was at hand - tame, quite tame, when he wished to kiss me. I do not mean to sound sar-


-castic and bitter. It is not what my husband is which troubles me, but what he is not; I think I speak for many women. I am more mated to the vision of what my children's father might have been than to the good kind man whom I teach them to love and respect.

"Perhaps you have guessed I am coming to a confession: I met the man in England two summers ago, but he is an American and is in this country now, a friend of ours whom we both see quite often. Something in both of us flared the very night we met. He and Lawrence (my husband) get along famously; they both believe in many of the same ideals and discuss kindred subjects, but my brain and his supplement each other in a way which is hard to explain. I did not mean to love him. It is an upper strata of myself ; I love Lawrence; I mean I belong to him, am part of his very being and he of mine, but I am myself when I am with this other man and I refuse to think what a different self it might have been had I known him before. The very morning after I faced the awful fact that I was thinking of a man other than my husband, Lawrence put a bouquet at my plate at the breakfast table. It was a red geranium, a tiny pink -rose, and some leaves of striped grass. Poor Lawrence.

Our adventure in love came rapidly. He understood me perfectly and I knew that he cared. We have never told Lawrence for we do not intend to do anything more that is wrong. He has spent several evenings at the house when Lawrence was away. There was no deception about this it just happened and we have talked and kissed and faced life in the open. We decided quite calmly, and without passion, that we would have each other entirely just once. I wanted the complete vision of what my love could mean. If it is wrong I cannot think so; at any rate I would not give up the memory of that time. It was only once and it was a year ago. We both knew there could be no continued sex relation. When I have an opportunity I kiss him and he me. Lawrence never kisses my lips, so they belong to him. He has helped me to be more patient, and understanding of


my life as it has been and must be. I have my children and must live out the life for their sakes and for Lawrence who loves me, tamed and domesticated.

If life could be what it would mean to give him a child, but life in its entirety cannot be - for me. Probably that is the creed of many women." [21]

It is unnecessary to particularize as to the place of response in art. The love and sex themes are based on response, and they outweigh the other themes altogether. Religion appeals to fear, fear of death and extinction, and promises everlasting security, or threatens everlasting pain, but in the New Testament the element of response, connected with the concrete personalities of Jesus and Mary, predominates. Any hymn book will contain many versified love letters addressed to Jesus. There are on record, also many alleged conversations of nuns with Jesus which are indistinguishable in form from those of human courtship.

19. Angela da Foligno says that Christ told her he loved her better than any woman in the vale of Spoleto. The words of this passage are fatuous almost beyond belief: "Then He began to say to me the words that follow, to provoke me to love Him: 'O my sweet daughter! O my daughter, my temple! O my daughter, my delight! Love me, because thou art much loved by me.' And often did He say to me: 'O my daughter, My sweet Spouse!' And he added in an underbreath, 'I love thee more than any other woman in the valley of Spoleto."' To amuse and to delight Gertrude of Eisleben, He sang ducts with her "in a tender and harmonious voice." The same saint writes of their " incredible intimacy ; and here, as in later passages of Angela da Foligno, the reader is revolted by their sensuality.


 . . . In the diary of Marie de l'Incarnation there is such an entry as "entretien familier avec J.-C."; and during such interviews she makes use of a sort of pious baby talk, like a saintly Tillie Slowboy.[22]

In general the desire for response is the most social of the wishes. It contains both a sexual and a gregarious element. It makes selfish claims, but on the other hand it is the main source of altruism. The devotion to child and family and devotion to causes, principles, and ideals may be the same attitude in different fields of application. It is true that devotion and self-sacrifice may originate from any of the other wishes also -desire for new experience, recognition, or .security -or may be connected with all of them at once. Pasteur's devotion to science seems to be ,mainly the desire for new experience, -scientific curiosity; the campaigns of a Napoleon represent recognition (ambition) and, the self-sacrifice of such characters as Maria Spiridonova, Florence Nightingale, Jane Addams is a sublimation of response. The .-,women who demanded Juvenile Courts were stirred .,by the same feeling as the mother in document No. 11, whereas the usual legal procedure is based on the wish to have security for life and property.

4. THE DESIRE FOR RECOGNITION. This wish is expressed in the general struggle of men for position in their social group, in devices for securing a recognized, enviable, and advantageous social status. Among girls dress is now perhaps the favorite means of securing distinction and showing class. A Bohemian immigrant girl expressed her philosophy in a word: "After life is mostly what you wear." Veblen's volume,

(32) Theory of the Leisure Class , points out that the status of men is established partly through the show of wealth made by their wives. Distinction is sought also in connection with skillful and hazardous activities, as in sports, war, and exploration. Playwriters and sculptors consciously strive for public favor and "fame." In the "achievement" of Pasteur (case 6) and of similar scientific work there is not only the pleasure of the "pursuit" itself, but the pleasure of public recognition. Boasting, bullying, cruelty, tyranny, "the will to power" have in them a sadistic element allied to the emotion of anger and are efforts to compel a recognition of the personality. The frailty of women, their illness, and even feigned illness, is often used as a power-device, as well as a device to provoke response. On the other hand, humility, self-sacrifice, saintliness, and martyrdom may lead to distinction. The showy motives connected with the appeal for recognition we define as "vanity"; the creative activities we call "ambition."

The importance of recognition and status for the individual and for society is very great. The individual not only wants them but he needs them for the development of his personality. The lack of them and the fear of never obtaining them are probably the main source of those psychopathic disturbances which the Freudians treat as sexual in origin.

On the other hand society alone is able to confer status on the individual and in seeking to obtain it lie makes, himself responsible to society and is forced to regulate the expression of his wishes. His dependence on public opinion is perhaps the strongest factor impelling him to conform to the highest demands which society makes upon him.

20. The chief difference between the down-and-out man and the down-and-out girl is this. The d.-a.-o. man sleeps on a park bench and looks like a bum. The d.-a.-o. girl sleeps in an unpaid-for furnished room and looks very respectable. The man spends what little change he has - if he has any - for food and sleeps on a bench. The girl spends what little change she has - if she has any - for a room and goes without food.

Not because she has more pride than the man has. She hasn't. But because cops haul in girls who would sleep on benches, and well-meaning organizations "rescue" girls who look down and out. A pretty face and worn-out soles are a signal for those who would save girls from the perilous path, whereas an anaemic face in a stylish coat and a pair of polished French heels can go far unmolested. . . .

You will argue that any woman with an empty stomach and a fur coat ought to sell the coat for a shabby one and spend the money for food. That is because you have never been a lady bum. A fur coat gets her place; that a full stomach never would. It is her entrée into hotel washrooms when she is dirty from job hunting. It gets her into department-store rest rooms when she is sore of foot. And in the last stages it gets her help from a certain class of people who would be glad to help her if she had suddenly lost her purse, 'but who never would if she had never had a purse.

And then, most important of all, it helps her to hang on to her last scraps of self-respect.[23]

21. Alice . . . wants to be somebody, to do great things, be superior. In her good moods, she is overwhelmed with dreams of accomplishment. She pines to use good English to be a real lady. There is pathos in her inquiry as to what you say when a boy introduces you to his mother how to behave in a stylish hotel dining room. Such questions have an importance that is almost greater than


the problem of how to keep straight sexually. Winning of social approval is an ever-present, burning desire, but she has no patterns, no habits, no control over the daily details of the process whereby this is gained. When one tries to place her in a good environment with girls of a better class, she reacts with a deepened sense of inferiority, expressed in more open, boastful wildness. She invents adventures with men to dazzle these virtuous, superior maidens. The craving for pleasures and something to make her forget increases.[24]

22. One of the most tragic lives we have ever known now ended, and perhaps happily, with the death of the girl at twenty years of age - was that ensuing from unusually mixed parentage. An intelligent, English-speaking Chinaman married an American woman of no mean ability. One of their children was a girl, who developed splendidly both physically and mentally. She was an exceptionally bright girl, who at fourteen had already commenced a delinquent career which only ended with her death. . . . The fact that she was different, so obviously different, from other girls attending the public and private schools to which she went, and that there were many little whisperings about her, served greatly to accentuate her inner distress. Her capabilities and ambitions were great, but how was she to satisfy them? As a matter of fact, neither the mother nor I could ever find out that any great social discomforts came to this girl; the struggle was all within. She behaved most extravagantly as a direct reaction to her own feelings, of the depth of which she had rarely given any intimation at home. With us she essayed to remember and to reveal all that had gone on in her mind for years back: How could her mother have married this man? Was she really this woman's child? To what could she attain with this sort of stigma upon her? Did she not properly belong to a free-living stratum of society ?


This girl wandered and wavered. She tried religion, and she tried running away from home and living with other people; she assumed a Japanese alias and tried to make a new circle of acquaintances for herself.[25]

In many cases, both in boys and girls, particularly at the period of adolescence, the energy takes the form of daydreaming, that is, planning activity, and also of "pathological lying", or pretended activity. The wishes are thus realized in an artistic schematization in which the dreamer is the chief actor. The following, from the diary of a sixteen-year-old girl is in form a consistent expression of the desire for recognition, but very probably the form disguises a sexual longing, and the daydream is thus an example of the sublimation of the desire for response, as frequently in poetry and literature.

23. I am between heaven and earth. I float, as it were, on a dream-cloud which carries me up at times into a glorious atmosphere, and again nearer the mucky earth, but always on, always on. I see not man, I see not the children of man, the big ME lies in my head, in my hand, in my heart. I place myself upon the throne of Kings, and tramp the dusty road, care-free. I sing to myself and call me pretty names; I place myself upon the stage, and all mankind I call upon for applause, and applause roars to me as the thunder from the heavens. I reason that mine is not inevitable stagemadness which comes to all females of my pitiful age; mine is a predestined prophecy, mine is a holy design, my out coming is a thing to be made way for.

I bathe myself in perfumed waters, and my body becomes white and slender. I clothe myself in loosened gowns, silks soft as thistledown, and I am transported to scenes of glory The even stretch of green, bedecked with flowers


to match the color of my pale gold gown, is mine to dance and skip upon. A lightness and a grace comes into my limbs. What joy is mine! I leap and spring and dart in rhythm with nature, and music leaps from my steps and movements and before my eyes are men. Men and women and children with heads bent forward, with eyes aglow with wonder, and with praise and love for this essence of grace and beauty which is 1. What more, what more! I hang upon this idol of a dream, but it is gone. The height of happiness is reached; alas, even in dreams there is an end to happiness, the bubble bursts, and the dust and noise of earth come back to me. I shut my eyes and ears to these and seek consolation among the poor. In dreams I go often among them. With my heaping purse of gold, I give them clothes and beds to sleep upon, I give them food to nourish them and me, to nourish and refresh my fame. But do I give my gold away, and does my purse cave inwards? Ali, no! Come to my aid, my imagination, for thou art very real to me today. An endless store of gold is mine in banks of state. My name is headed on the lists of all, my money does increase even as I hand it to these poor. The poor bless me, they kneel and kiss my hands. I bid them rise, and the hypocrisy of my godless soul bids them pray and in this find restoration.

I grow weary as I walk, and truth is even harder yet to bear than ever before. I am sad, I have nothing, I am no one. But I speak soothingly to myself, bidding me treat my hungry self to food, and I promise that the night shall be long and the dreams and journeys many.[26]

On the contrary, 24 is in form a desire for response, but the details show that the girl feels keenly the lack of recognition. The response is desired not for itself alone but as a sign and assurance of comparative worth.


24. 1 am in despair, and I want to pour out my bitter heart. When I have once talked out my heart I feel better afterwards.

Dear editor, why can I not find a boy to love me? I never make a bit with young, people. I never have any success with them. I associate with young people, I like them, they like me, but nobody ever runs after me. No boy is crazy about me. All my girl friends are popular with young men. Every single one has a boy or more who is in love with her and follows her steps. I alone have no luck. Do not think, dear editor, that I am burning to marry; it is not yet time for that. But the thought that I am left out makes me very wretched. It distresses me and it hurts me to my soul's marrow to know that no one desires me, that people are indifferent toward me. Oh how happy I should be if ,-somebody would love me, if somebody would come to see me. It must be such a sweet pleasure to feel that some one -is interested in you, that some one comes to see you, comes -to you especially, on account of yourself. Oh, why can I :not have this happiness!

When I go to a party and when I come back I feel so low and so fallen. Young men crowded around my companions like flies around honey. I alone was an exception. I have not a jealous nature, but no other girl in my place would feel ,,Otherwise. Can you show me a way to win a boy's heart? 'What sort of quality must a girl possess in order to attract a young man?

It is true I am no beauty. But what do all the girls do? They fix themselves up. You can buy powder and paint in the drug stores. My companions are not more beautiful than I. I am not sleepy. When I am in the company of young people I am joyous, I make myself attractive, I try best to attract attention to myself. But that is all thrown to the dogs.

Dear editor, if you only knew with how much care I make my clothes. I go through the great stores to select out the most beautiful materials. I annoy the dressmaker to


death until she suits me exactly. If it happens that a hook somewhere on the dress is not in the right place, or a buttonhole has a single stitch more or less than it should have, I have the greatest distress, and sharpest heartache.

When I go somewhere to a dance I am full of hopes, my heart is beating with excitement. Before leaving the house I take a last look in the mirror. When I return home I have the blues, I feel cold. My teeth grind together. So much exertion, so much strength lost, all for nothing. A boy has talked to me, another boy has given me a smile, still another boy has made me a little compliment, but I feel that I am not near and dear to any one. I feel that my face has not been stamped on the heart of any one.[27]

From the foregoing description it will be seen that wishes of the same general class - those which tend to arise from the same emotional background - may be totally different in moral quality. The moral good or evil of a wish depends on the social meaning or value of the activity which results from it. Thus the vagabond, the adventurer, the spendthrift, the bohemian are dominated by the desire for new experience, but so are the inventor and the scientist; adventures with women and the tendency to domesticity are both expressions of the desire for response; vain ostentation and creative artistic work both are designed to provoke recognition; avarice and business enterprise are actuated by the desire for security.

Moreover, when a concrete wish of any general class arises it may be accompanied and qualified by any or all of the other classes of wishes. Thus when Pasteur undertook the quest described above we do not know what wish was uppermost. Certainly the love of the work was very strong, the ardor of pursuit, the new

(39) experience; the anticipation of the recognition of the public, the scientific fame involved in the achievement was surely present; he invited response from his wife and colleagues, and he possibly had the wish also to put his future professional and material life on a secure basis. The immigrant who comes to America may wish to see the new world (new experience), make a fortune (security), have a higher standing on his return (recognition), and induce a certain person to marry him (response).

The general pattern of behavior which a given individual tends to follow is the basis of our judgment of his character. Our appreciation (positive or negative) of the character of the individual is based on his display of certain wishes as against others and on his Modes of seeking their realization. Whether given wishes tend to predominate in this or that person is dependent primarily on what is called temperament, and apparently this is a chemical matter, dependent ,:on the secretions of the glandular systems. Individuals are certainly temperamentally predisposed certain classes of the wishes. But we know also, and I shall illustrate presently, that the expression ,of the wishes is profoundly influenced by the approval of the man's immediate circle and of the general public. The conversions of wild young men to stable ways, from new experience to security, through marriage, religion, and business responsibility, are examples of this. We may therefore define character as an expression of the organization of the wishes resulting from temperament and experience, understanding by "organization " the general pattern which the wishes as a whole tend to assume among themselves.

The significant point about the wishes as related

(40) to the study of behavior is that they are the motor element, the starting point of activity. Any influences which may be brought to bear must be exercised on the wishes.

We may assume also that an individual life cannot be called normal in which all the four types of wishes are not satisfied in some measure and in some form.


  1. John B. Watson: "Practical and Theoretical Problems in Instinct and Habits", in "Suggestions of Modern Science Concerning Education", by H.S. Jennings, J.B. Watson, Adolf Meyer, W.I. Thomas, p. 63.
  2. Records of the Juvenile Court of Cook County (Illinois).
  3. Josiah Flynt: "How Men Become Tramps", Century Magazine, Vol. 50, p. 944 (October, 1895).
  4. R. Saleilles: "The Individualization of Punishment", p. 283.
  5. Letter from "Railroad Jack" (Manuscript).
  6. Records of the Girls' Protective Bureau (Manuscript).
  7. F. Dostoievsky: "The House of the Dead", p. 25.
  8. "Primary-Group Norms in Present Day Society", in "Suggestions of Modern Science Concerning Education", p. 162.
  9. Chief City Magistrate William McAdoo, in New York World, December 18, 1920.
  10. Ruth True: "The Neglected Girl", p. 50.
  11. W.I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki; "The Polish Peasant in Europe and America", in "Life Record of an Immigrant", Vol. 3, pp. 246 and 251.
  12. From the section entitled "A Bintel Brief" in Forward (a New York newspaper in the Yiddish language), April 12, 1920.
  13. E.L. Thorndike: "The Original Nature of Man", p. 81.
  14. Forward, February 8, 1922.
  15. Forward, March 8, 1922.
  16. "Letters of William James", p. 218. The Atlantic Monthly Press.
  17. Hutchins Hapsgood: "The Marionette" (Manuscript).
  18. Forward, December 17, 1920.
  19.  E.L. Thorndike: "The Original Nature of Man", p. 87.
  20. Chicago American, May 13, 1915.
  21. Edith L. Smith, in collaboration with Hugh Cabot: "A Study in Sexual Morality", Social Hygiene, Vol. 2, p. 532.
  22. Burr, "Religious Confession and Confessants", p. 356.
  23. "The Lady Bum", by One of Them. New York Times, Book Review and Magazine, January 1, 1922.
  24. Jessie Taft: "Mental Hygiene Problems of Normal Adolescence", Mental Hygiene, Vol. 5, p. 746.
  25. William Healy: "Mental Conflicts and Misconduct", p. 217.
  26. Jessie Taft: "Mental Hygiene Problems of Normal Adolescence", Mental Hygiene, Vol. 5, p. 750.
  27. Forward, September 30, 1921.

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