Defeating the Malaise : Walker Percy's Arts of Redemption in Love In the Ruins and The Second Coming
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The author states that according to Percy, the malaise is unique to the twentieth century. Only if we see it can we take back control of our lives from any larger forces that seem to be directing it whether the boss or our husbands and wives or the journalists that explain so much of our experience for us, or even our own beliefs and attitudes, which can subtly take control of us so that our actions, emotions, and even our conversations are ruled by them. Percy demands individual power and choice, as we've seen in his novels. He believes we can get out of the malaise by reclaiming our lost sovereignty.