The main theme in the short story “iAnna” by Will Self is alienation in the postmodern world (society starting with 1980s, characterised by materialism and lack of individual autonomy). This theme is enhanced by the motif of psychiatry. In a postmodern world of alienated individuals, psychiatry becomes a key field.

Alienation in the postmodern world

The theme of alienation in the postmodern world is explored through the plot, setting, and characters. The story is set in the contemporary society of iPhones, iPads, and social media channels like YouTube and it follows the way two psychiatrists try to solve the case of a schizophrenic woman (Anna Richardson) who believes the world is an iPad.

Anna’s case illustrates how digital technology can lead to extreme cases of alienation, as she is no longer...

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