the refusal to let something go
Denial is the refusal to accept that something is or has become closed. How many people continue to make a point after they have won the argument? More than just not accepting a conclusion, Denial can also be not accepting that a process will just keep repeating. A repeating process has a cycle. In a story, a character comes into such a circle at one point and follows it around back to start. At that point, a theme of Denial would have that character refusing to believe that he has been just been chasing his own tail. At the leap of faith he will just push off again and keep on circling a no-win situation in the hopes it will change this time around. Inertia does not always travel in straight lines.
syn. not accepting, refusal to end, unwillingness to let go, refusal to back down, stubbornness