Jack Reacher – Never Go Back – Psychoanalysis Pre-Release

Jack Reacher is a character in a superbly written exciting action packed series by author Lee Child. ‘Never Go Back’ is Child’s newest book to be released this upcoming September. As a fan of the Reacher series, I am looking forward to this upcoming release. As a Psychotherapist I do find myself analyzing the character; Jack Reacher. This particular blog’s focus offers an open ended discussion as to why Reacher is so focused on going to Virginia to meet Susan Turner (the woman on the other end of the phone). I look forward to finding out the true answer when ‘Never Go Back’ is released. This may seem like a silly blog for those who are not into analyzing and dialoguing about interesting “not real” characters. No actually, not so silly. Hey, us Psychotherapists have our down time too (chuckle). Reading the Reacher series has been one of my favorite down time activities.

Are You A Reader Of The Jack Reacher Series?

For those of you who are not readers of the series, this blog may feel out of context for you. I highly recommend you read the series and then come back to this blog. If you enjoy books that offer the reader a character that is fascinating, strong and insightful, a series that provides an exciting pace of action and thrill on every line with stories that keep you on the edge of your seat – then Child’s series is for you.

If you are indeed a fan of this particular series, and you have read all the books to date and are awaiting the release of ‘Never Go Back’, read further- as this blog may peak your interest. Feel free to share your own analysis as well.

Analysis – Why Reacher Is Really So Intent On Meeting The Woman Behind The Phone (Susan)

The death of Reacher’s mother, plus the loss of the reality of who Reacher thought she was (you remember the moment when he discovered her past), piled on top of the loss of his one true love due to the relationship end (i.e., the daughter of his mentor), along with the experience of the woman who loved Reacher’s brother – might this all be the subconscious drive for Reacher to connect with the woman on the other end of the phone in Virginia? Remember what happened with Reacher’s brother’s x-lover? Her dying reality was that Reacher was actually his brother! Reacher of course took it in stride. But . . . how might that have truly affected him within subconsciously? Might all of these female relational significant experiences be impacting Reacher in a way he has never been affected before? Can even Reacher’s beaker fill? What subconscious role may these female relational experiences be playing in the seemingly uncharacteristic like impulse plaguing and pushing him to go to Virginia to meet a woman he only spoke with on the phone?

Let us not forget about the fact that Reacher’s past closest connections have either passed away (parents, brother, mentor, . . . ), or although not deceased are still passed and thus no longer a part of what is. Could this be included in on the “why” for the psychological drive for him to connect with Susan? Why Susan in particular one may wonder. For Susan is “the now” yet one could analyze and suggest she is “a”, or perhaps “the” symbol of his past (e.g., her job is who he was, sat at his old desk, read his old file, saw a picture of the younger Reacher . . . ). Is it possible that what Reacher really is in search of is himself? Is he trying to uncover and discover (find) who he is now at this phase and stage of his life? Not a “mid-life crisis”, per say, as Reacher is not one to experience such a thing . . . right? Rather is it a mid-life evaluative discovery of sorts? Is it possible he is in search of connection, as all of his connections of meaning are gone? Is he in search of relational connection? No, no, not settling down in one spot, but yet still, in search of connection? Perhaps the longing for Reacher, and having it all for Reacher would be to have connection and individuation. To have relational connection at the same time as keeping his individual separation continuing on the road – may be a piece of the puzzle to fill Reacher’s current need.

Reacher may be a solo man, but he is still a man and as humans we are who we are in relationship to our relationships. He has always connected in relationship to others, brief for many, but intimate depth connection with all those he has helped. In his interactions with women he is a man of passion and presence. Reacher does feel. And, long time relationships for some, in his own way there’s been deep inner connection. So, what is Reacher really in search of in his desire to meet Susan in this upcoming soon to be released ‘Never Go Back’? Reacher has been so intent to go to Virginia.

Or rather is it as simple as, in true Reacher character that his “spidey senses” were tingling on a subconscious level and thus he thinks she needs help? Is that what this is all really about? Is that why the need to go to Virginia? Because if it is one thing we know about Reacher, he is a rescuer, a hero of sorts. If his gut thinks Susan is in jeopardy he will stop at nothing to save her.

Shout Out- Thanks To Lee Child And Tom Cruise

It will be interesting to read Child’s next book when it comes out next month. A shout out thank you to Lee Child for such a great series, such an interesting character. And, a shout out to actor Tom Cruise for bringing the Reacher character to the movies.


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