Shame-to-cynicism conversion in The Citadel and The House of God

Arthur Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


This article considers the dynamics of shame and cynicism in A J Cronin’s The Citadel (1937) and Samuel Shem’s The House of God (1978). The protagonists of both novels are forced into shameful situations. Their response to these situations is increased cynicism. This results in a feedback loop: cynicism begets shame, which, in turn, causes more cynicism. Drawing on Bonnie Mann’s work on shame-to-power conversion, the article suggests that the novels stage a shame-tocynicism conversion, which anticipates possible links between cynicism and shame in medical education. The overwhelming success of both novels in shaping the popular imaginary of healthcare professionals means that this dynamic, far from being isolated to the novels, might speak to shared concerns in the education scholarship
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Humanities
Early online date16 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Shame-to-cynicism conversion in The Citadel and The House of God'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this