What is the name of the condition in which someone believes themself to be inferior to everyone around them? Specifically, what is Dr. Manette's problem in chapter 6 of A Tale of Two Cities? He thinks his name is "One Hundred and Five, North Tower" after being imprisoned for several years. Also, Dickens writes,

In the submissive way of one long accustomed to obey under coercion, he ate and drank what they gave him to eat and drink, and put on the cloak and other wrappings, that they gave him to wear.

  • Could you be more specific? Your question seems to indicate the information in chaper 6 is different from your first question. If so you should summerize in your question, as it is unlikely anyone will read chapter 6 in order to answer this.
    – user3169
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 3:40

1 Answer 1


The psychological term for believing yourself inferior to others is inferiority complex.

The condition can develop in both children and adults and is generally the result of experiencing real or perceived weakness/powerlessness at any stage of life.

Upon further research, I found terms that better fit the specific example of Dr. Manette (i.e. a person who was involuntarily confined for a long period of time in any kind of institution, such as a prison, mental asylum, or hospital). The first, more general term is institutionalization or institutional syndrome. A similar term that applies specifically to ex-prisoners is prisonization.

  • Not exactly what I was looking for, but thanks anyway! :) I appreciate your help :) Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 3:31
  • @kiwialacorn I see how my answer doesn't apply perfectly to the circumstances of Dr. Manette. In a psychology paper by Craig Haney, he mentions the term prisonization as a "shorthand expression for the negative psychological effects of imprisonment." There might be some "catchier" alternatives, but this word works for describing Dr. Manette's condition/behavior after being in prison for so many years.
    – pyobum
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 4:55
  • Also check here for information about the related but slightly more general terms institutionalization and institutional syndrome.
    – pyobum
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 5:03

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