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Psychoanalytic Criticism

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Lilian Ebhamen

on 21 January 2015

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Transcript of Psychoanalytic Criticism

Psychoanalytic Criticism
Psychoanalytic Criticism

Works Cited
Wright, Elizabeth. <i>Psychoanalytic Criticism: Theory in Practice</i>. London: Methuen, 1984. Print.
Delahoyde, Michael. "Intorduction To Psychology." Web.
Web. 16 Jan. 2015. &lt;https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/722/04/&gt;.
"Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism." <i>Princeton University</i>. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. &lt;https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Psychoanalytic_literary_criticism.html&gt;.
"VirtuaLit: Critical Approaches." <i>VirtuaLit: Critical Approaches</i>. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. &lt;http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/virtualit/poetry/critical_define/crit_psycho.html&gt;.
"Psychoanalytic Approaches." <i>Psychoanalytic Approaches</i>. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. &lt;http://www2.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/psychcrit.html&gt;.
Brooks, Peter. <i>Psychoanalysis and Storytelling</i>. Oxford, UK: Blackwell,
1994. Print.
"Psychoanalysis | Simply Psychology." Web. 16 Jan. 2015. &lt;http://www.simplypsychology.org/psychoanalysis.html&gt;.
sychoanalytic Criticism
Literary texts, like dreams, express unconscious desires and anxieties of the author; literary work is a manifestation of the author's subconscious
".. dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of unconscious activities of the mind," (Wright,7).
Psychoanalytic Criticism seeks evidence of unresolved emotions, psychological conflicts, guilts, etc, within the text
The author's own childhood traumas, family life, sexual conflicts and such will be traceable within the behavior of characters and the plot that takes place
Psychoanalytic Criticism Origins
Sigmund Freud
Jacques Lacan
Psychoanalytic Criticism was later developed by
Jacques Lacan

who was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud"
Lacan's Adaptation to Psychoanalytic Criticism
defined as literary criticism or theory which is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis which was first introduced by Sigmund Freud in 1896
Freud and Psychoanalytic Criticism
Psychoanalysis was first introduced by Freud in 1896 initially as way to treat the mental illnesses of his patients.
These observations led Freud to theorize that the patient's issues could be associated with repressed memories, or rather, of issues in the unconscious realm.
¹ The idea that children ages 3-5 develop a sexual yearning for the parent of the opposite sex (Freud,419)
² Repressed memories
³ Theory the brain is divided into 3 parts
From these observations, Freud developed several theories such as the
Oedipus Complex¹, The Unconscious² , and the Ego,Id and Superego³,
which would later be re- conceptualized by
Jacques Lacan
in the 20th century.
Lacan's Psychoanalysis is an attempt to integrate Freud's ideas with
Lacan expanded on Freud's concepts, while introducing his own . "He believed that these additions to Freudian psychoanalysis would help strengthen it, and thus restore some of the ideas of Freud that had fallen out of fashion," (Davison, 2).
These ideas include:
The mirror stage
The first significant stage in development ; occurs when the infant (6-18 months) learns to recognize their own reflection.
The Three Orders
Lacan expanded on the the iceberg model of Freud and talks about the symbolic order, imaginary order, and the Real
Applying Freudian + Lacanian Ideas to Literature

The mirror stage
R.I.S Knot
Applied Post-Structuralism
Uses the Unconscious mind as a reason behind actions
Id,Ego,and Super ego
Oedipus Complex
The unconscious is structured like a language; post-structuralism
Psychoanalytic Approaches

The Author:
The theory is used to analyze the author and his/her life
The Characters:
The theory is used to analyze one or more of the characters, psychoanalysis becomes a tool that explains the characters behaviors and motivations
The Audience:
The theory is used to explain the appeal of the work for those who read it
The Text:
The theory is used to analyze the role of language and symbolism within the work

How does repression structure the work?
How can characters' behavior, events, etc be explained through psychoanalytic concepts?
Psychoanalytic Criticism is unique in that it embodies how the unconscious mind affects several aspects within the literary work
Psychoanalytic Criticism is complicated due to the fact that it has undergone several changes at the hands of numerous psychoanalysts, each adding their own perspectives to the movement started by Freud.
Distinctions Cont.
Carl Jung
Alfred Adler
Karen Horney
All of whom broke off from Freud's original ideas to develop and reconceptualize their own
Whereas New Historicism and Marx Criticism analyze public power structure
Psychoanalytic Criticism
Looks for "underlying elements in culture and literature that can be connected," (Brizee, Tompkins, Structuralism and Semiotics).
Feminist Criticism
Feminist Criticism is concerned with "...the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic, political,social, and psychological oppression of women," (Tyson).
Reader-Response Criticism
Marxist Criticism
Marxist Criticism concerns itself with "class differences, economic and otherwise," (Brizee,Tompkins, Marxist Criticism)
Reader response criticism "considers readers' reactions to literature as vital to interpreting the meaning of the text," (Brizee, Tompkins, Reader-Response Criticism).
Psychoanalytic Criticism, along with the other schools of critcism all embody and develop on other schools of criticisms
For example, In terms of Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism, it incorporates Saussure's Structuralism while expanding on Freud's original concepts
Along with the Psychoanalytic Criticism ,schools of literary Criticism post 20th century such as

Criticisms all began to focus on how the
is affected
elationships cont.

The Marxist viewpoint considers "the
the historical and socio-cultural context of the work.." (Hutchinson, 6).
The Feminist approach uses "a wide variety of issues related to gender, concerning the
the work itself, the reader...," (Hutchinson, 5
Psychoanalytic Criticism can be applied to not only literature, but film and music as well.
With Psychoanalytic Criticisms, the critic still aims to find repressed truths about the author/main figure within the work
A report published by the Psychoanalytic Association found that psychology departments treat psychoanalysis purely as a
"historical artifact,"
whereas subjects such as "art,literature,history,film, and other humanities subjects were more likely to treat psychoanalysis as
an ongoing and relevant topic
," (Cherry, 5).
Psychoanalytic Criticism in
Batman as we all know is known for prompt justice in times of crime.
The Author:
Given Batman's tragic background, psychoanalysts look for clues within the author's own childhood and experience that reflect Batman's behavior
The Character:
Batman's cold exterior and his double life between batman and Bruce Wayne suggest the author's internal conflict between identity
The Audience:
Psychoanalysts also look to the audience which in Batman's case , is of a younger audience which may reflect on the author's own childhood as well
The Text:
In this case the storyline or plot suggest that the author's "Id" may have selfless and heroic tendencies just as Batman did
Psychoanalytic Criticism in
"Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death and Good God let me give you my life"
It is often easier to do a psychoanalytic Criticism of music because artist hide the true intentions of their songs in between the lyrics.
The Author/Artist:
Has animosity towards the church as he refers to it as "an organization that undermines humanity," (Hozier)
The Character:
The character, as Hozier describes in the lyrics is of one who follows the church blindly and loyally like "dogs"
The Audience:
those who agree with the church as he probably has repressed anger towards those who follow the church
The Text
: Using Psychoanalytic Criticism,
We can see that the lyrics are speaking of the many weakness of the church and how Hozier has has animocity towards the church
Psychoanalytic Criticism in
'Take Me to Church' -Hozier
The World
Perry Smith
The Author:
Capote's difficult childhood may have influenced him to write In Cold Blood, and Breakfast at Tiffany's where in each situation, the main characters often have pasts that they're trying to escape
The Characters:
Perry from In Cold Blood has an abusive and controlling relationship with his father, one where Perry is constantly trying to seek his father's approval. "I had this great musical ability. Which dad didn't recognize or care about," (Capote, 133).
The Audience:
People involved with the Criminal Justice system or psychologists
The Text:
Psychoanalytic Criticism looks at Perry's poor financial background, abusive father and unstable living environment as an explanation for Perry's behavior
Psychoanalytic Criticism as aforementioned can be applied to numerous subjects.
Despite what most Critics think, Psychoanalysis is more than an "historical artifact" as it holds truths evident in today society. If we can apply psychoanalysis in today's modern medicine, we stand a better chance of understanding their behaviors and hopefully a cure
Works Cited Cont.
Boeree, George. "Freud and Psychoanalysis." <i>Freud and Psychoanalysis</i>. Web. 16 Jan. 2015. &lt;http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/psychoanalysis.html&gt;.
"Lacanian Psychoanalysis." <i>Lacanian Psychoanalysis</i>. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. &lt;http://changingminds.org/disciplines/psychoanalysis/articles/lacanian_psychoanalysis.htm&gt;.
Johnston, Adrian. "Jacques Lacan." <i>Stanford University</i>. Stanford University, 2 Apr. 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2015. &lt;http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/lacan/&gt;.
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