Case vignettes are used, allowing the reader to feel that he or she is accompanying Vaillant and his wife throughout the United States to visit with the subjects. I felt as though I knew many of these people. Pseudonyms, as metaphors, were chosen to either reflect their character’s life accomplishments or connect the reader with familiar literary or historical figures. For example, in discussing issues of mature defenses, Vaillant uses figures such as the gracious Susan Wellcome. A discussion of emptiness and failure uses the life of Gwendolyn (Miss) Havisham in Dickens’s Great Expectations. The bearer of the Keeper of Meaning is Mark Stone (Marcus Aurelius—the first-century Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher). Then there is the perfectly content Judge Oliver (Wendell) Holmes, and who will ever forget Ellen (Helen) Keller, vital in spite of multiple losses of function.