Psychoeducation and Philosophy in a Literature Class – the Case of "Five Hours with Mario" by Miguel Delibes

Towards a More Open and Less Polarized Society

  • Ewelina Topolska Silesian University of Technology
Keywords: Miguel Delibes, liberals, conservatives, psychology, Jonathan Haidt, Karl Popper


The paper presents a novel approach towards the analysis of a classic Spanish 20th century novel, Five Hours with Mario by Miguel Delibes. The author of the paper proposes two interpretative frameworks, of which The Moral Foundations Theory developed recently by Jonathan Haidt is the main one, and Karl Popper’s concept of the open and closed society, a complementary one. The interdisciplinary reading of Delibes’ masterpiece should help students and scholars revive and update their relationship to this worthwhile piece of fiction, as well as provide them with theoretical tools for an in-depth understanding of the differences between the moral outlook of liberals and conservatives, tools applicable both on the level of fiction, as well as in reality.

Author Biography

Ewelina Topolska, Silesian University of Technology

holds a PhD degree in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature, awarded to her in 2014 by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In recent years she has been expanding her knowledge in psychology, obtaining a postgraduate diploma in Bibliotherapy and studying to become a certified counsellor in Positive Psychotherapy. Her research combines humanities with social sciences, with a special focus on the cultural production by Spanish authors and artists. Currently she holds the position of Coordinator of Spanish Studies at the Silesian University of Technology’s Research Institute for Education and Communication.


Alberich J.M., “Cinco horas con Mario o el tiro por la culata”, Boletín de la Real Academia Sevillana de Buenas Letras: Minervae Baeticae, no. 32 (2004).

Burke E., Reflections on the Revolution in France, London 1910.

Delibes M., Five Hours with Mario, transl. by F.M. López-Morillas, New York 1988.

Dewey J., “Art as Experience”, in S.D. Ross (ed.), Art and Its Significance. An Anthology of Aesthetic Theory, Albany 1994.

Fiske A.P., “The Four Elementary Forms of Sociality: Framework for a Unified Theory of Social Relations”, Psychological Review, vol. 99, no. 4 (1992), at <>.

Furnham A., Fenton-O’Creevy M., “Personality and Political Orientation”, Personality and Individual Differences, no. 129 (2018), at <>.

Greene J., The Moral Tribes. Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them, London 2015.

Haidt J., The Righteous Mind. Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, London 2013.

Havel V., “Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies in the Contemporary Global World”, in K. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, London–New York 2011.

Larraz F., “Aspectos ideológicos en Cinco horas con Mario de Miguel Delibes”, Revista Chilena de Literatura, no. 74 (2009). DOI:

Lukianoff G., Haidt J., The Coddling of the American Mind. How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, London 2018.

Oatley K., Such Stuff as Dreams. The Psychology of Fiction, Chichester 2011. DOI:

Pinker S., Enlightenment Now. The Case of Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, London 2019.

Popper K., The Open Society and Its Enemies, London–New York 2011. DOI:

Schaller M., Park J.H., “The Behavioral Immune System (and Why It Matters)”, Current Directions in Psychological Science, vol. 20, no. 2 (2011), at <>.

Singer P., The Expanding Circle. Ethics and Sociobiology, Princeton 1981.

Vilanova A., “Cinco horas con Mario o el arte de entender las razones del otro”, in E. Baena Peña, Enrique, C. Cuevas García, Cristóbal (eds.), Miguel Delibes, el escritor, la obra y el lector. Actas del V Congreso de Literatura Española Contemporánea, Universidad de Málaga, 12, 13, 14, y 15 de noviembre de 1991, Málaga 1992.

Wilson E.O., Consilience. The Unity of Knowledge, New York 1999.

How to Cite
Topolska, Ewelina. 2020. “Psychoeducation and Philosophy in a Literature Class – the Case of "Five Hours With Mario&quot; By Miguel Delibes: Towards a More Open and Less Polarized Society”. Politeja 16 (3(60), 51-65.