Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Kreines


In my paper, I thoroughly detail the characters, A and B, and their relationship to the double movement, despair, and actuality that appear in Kierkegaard’s works Either/Or and The Sickness Unto Death. I claim that the characters are not isolated characters, but two sides of one psychology in dialogue with each other. The realization of this makes the reading of Kierkegaard’s work more interesting and primes it for deeper engagement for the reader. The parallel of psychological concepts such as the id, ego, and superego allows one to recognize the same dialogue that exists in their own inner life and connect more deeply to Kierkegaard’s task.

I show how his religious upbringing and familiarity with tragedy inform his understanding of his own existential questions and provide my interpretation of his solution to the double movement as well as an attempt of my own. Kierkegaard advocates for the leap of faith based on his understanding of the eternal self created in God’s image, with a responsibility to embrace the task of strengthening the self in alignment with God and in rejection of sin and despair. I build on this by including the importance of love and the following passion. I agree that the “true self” cannot be known and it is essential to place your faith in something greater than yourself, such as love or God, to remain in an active relationship with the existential task of strengthening your self through choices.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.