Psychoanalyzing the Grasshopper: Society, Work and Repressed Play in Suits’ Riddle

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In this article, I draw on psychoanalysis to provide a novel understanding of Suits’ theory of games by analyzing the riddle in the Grasshopper’s recurring dream, which Suits presents in his seminal and eponymous book. To do so, I first provide an overview of the psychoanalytical roots of Suits’ thought, namely Eric Berne’s transactional theory and Norman W. Brown’s critical account of Freud’s thought. Subsequently, I examine the Grasshopper’s dream by revising Suits’ use of psychoanalytical notions. To conclude, I argue that Suits deploys the dream to criticize the glorification of work and repression of play in human society, especially in modern capitalist society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalSport, Ethics and Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Philosophy


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