Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


English; College of Arts & Sciences


The purpose of this paper is to examine Irvine Welsh’s 1998 book and 2014 film version of “Filth” through a psychoanalytic lens. Using Jacques Lacan’s theory of the Self and the Other, it can be determined that Bruce Robertson is the Self and the image of his absent wife Carole is the Other since he bases his own identity off of her. The changing reasons why Bruce kills himself in the book and film mimic the reasons behind the Scottish independence movements of 1979, 1997 and 2014. Therefore, it can be determined that Welsh deliberately writes Bruce Robertson to mirror Scotland and its various independence movements through the creation of stereotypical images of himself and his absent wife as well as the acceptance of a fractured identity through his death.


This research was presented at the Fifth Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference at the University of Delaware on April 6th, 2015.