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Copy of Psychoanalysis of Wuthering Height

An analysis of Wuthering Height through the psychoanlysis theory lenses.

Andy Paul

on 28 February 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Psychoanalysis of Wuthering Height

Brandon Rodney
Nick Smith
Pascal Couture An analysis of Wuthering Heights through the lenses of the psychoanalysis theory The Repressed Fantasies of Emily Brontë If you read the "absense fo mother" article which is very important to your point, it explains that heathcliff shows a repressed desire to find oneness which shows that Emily Bronte never got a healthy seperation from her mother since she died to early. Youll have to talk about that and baby growth: the mirror stage. Bronte didn't go through it... properly. At the age of 3, Emily Brontë loses her mother to cancer. This prevents her from getting a healthy seperation from her mother. Her novel, Wuthering Heights, contains the repressed fantasies that result. Through the use of Sigmund Freud's Structural , Dynamic and Economic Models, it can be understood that Emily Bronte's characters resulted from a repressed fantasy, outlined by the Oedipus Complex. Introduction The Oedipus Complex The Oedipus Complex is the repressed desire to displace the parent of the same sex and take his or her place in the affections of the parent of the opposite sex
Freud referred to the whole complex of feeling by the word oedipal, naming the complex after the Greek tragic hero Oedipus, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. What is the Oedipus Complex? Oedipus Complex in Wuthering Heights HINDLEY Hindley began the process of the Oedipus complex as per usual desiring his primary caregiver, Ellen Dean. It is important to note here that Hindley's relationship with his mother is not very well documented.
This is an incredibly strange case of the Oedipus complex as Hindley appears to have cast Heathcliff and Ellen in the traditional father mother roles respectively. This is not say that he viewed them as his parents but rather because Ellen was his primary caregiver and she was more affectionate towards Heathcliff than Hindley. Heathcliff Mr. Earnshaw is the law and authority for all in the family and tries to mediate the relations between all the children. We see that Heathcliff has to suppress his fantasies about Catherine, she is unachievable for him, at least as father is alive, The prohibition of Incest is the rule of society imposed on him and according to which he has to live. Later we see that namely the prohibition of incest, the ability to fulfill the desires transferred Heathcliff’s fantasies to obsession. The prohibition of incest is like the child desire for the mother since Heathcliff has no mother it is instead shown through his desire for Catherine. Heathcliff’s unconscious haunts him. Fantasies and dreams about Catherine don’t leave him, they make him look for her and make him demand proximity with him. He is split between the rules of society where incest is prohibited and desires that were hidden in the darkest corners of his mind to possess his step sister. Lockwood Catherine
Lockwood's first dream:
Walking back home = going back to the womb
The pilgrim's staff = phallic object
Absurd because of the incest taboo
Sudden switch to the themes of sin and guilt. Lockwood's second dream: Even more frightening to him than the first.
The cruelty of this dream when he rubs the hand of the child on the broken glass of the window until blood runs. But why is he so scared of the child. Emily Bronte As a result of Catherine's obsessive love for Heathcliff she could not pass the mirror phase
The Mirror Phase is the point at which children first see themselves in the mirrors, recognize themselves as themselves and therefore know of their separateness from mother and world- of their individuality and therefore their identity. IN CONCLUSION.... divided the first three years of a child’s life into three major phases, calling the third phase a “second birth” since it leaves the child for the first time psychologically independent from the mother and able to see the world as being something separate from the self. This second birth stage is not always successful and can cause serious lifelong problems. Husbands in the story outlive their wives/mothers, just like with Emily Bronte
Nelly Dean as the mother or stepmother, "all bad" mother
Heathcliff and Catherine as the mother child relationship. Heathcliff as the mother and Catherine as the child
Nelly Dean and Emily Bronte, mother she lost Just Who is this, "Freud" fellow? To better understand Wuthering Heights through a Psychoanalytic Lens, one must first learn a little about the founder of the Psychoanalytic Theory. The creator in question was neurologist Sigmund Freud, who devised multiple theoretical structures that could characterize parts the unconscious human mind based upon attributes linked to such an area. He did this so he could analyze patients with mental illness through dialogue. The Structural Model
The Id, Ego, and Super-ego Freud believed that the human psyche could be categorized into three main sections. These sections are called the id, the ego, and the super-ego respectively. The Id ("It") Starting with the id, or “it”, this component of the mind is completely unconscious to the human being. It is impossible to rewrite this area of the psyche, as the id is entirely composed of biological, inherited instincts which dictate our primitive wants and needs. It is the impulsive part of the mind which influences how the human being operates based on how much pleasure certain actions produce, and outlines survival patterns without much recognition. All human beings have the id aspect of their minds at birth, as this is the point in life which only instinctive behaviours are viewable. The Ego ("I") The ego, or “I”, is the component of the mind that is created based off of the id’s experiences with the outside world. The ego still wants the human being to fulfill pleasurable desires, but asks of realistic and reasonable approaches to achieving such goals. There is, however, no sense of morally good or evil within the ego, as it simply wants to produce the best outcome for the being. Freud gave an analogy regarding the id being a horse, while the ego is the horse rider. The ego can give some direction to the animal, but in certain instances, the best the ego can do is to stay on and see what happens. The Super-ego ("Above I") The super-ego, or “above I”, is the component of the mind which is created based off of morals and values found in society. It will punish the human being with feelings of guilt if pleasure is obtained through immoral means, and tries to persuade the ego into following a righteous path. If this righteous path is chosen over the immoral options, then the super-ego will reward the being with feelings of pride and self-accomplishment. This relates to Wuthering Heights... How? There are three characters in Wuthering Heights which represent the maturation of the human mind described by Freud. The mind in question belongs to Catherine Earnshaw. The Linda Gold Interpretation One of the past Freudian interpretations of Wuthering Heights comes from a woman named Linda Gold, who believes that Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar represent the id, ego, and super-ego respectively. Catherine is the torn figure that cannot decide whether to be with Heathcliff or Edgar, and doubts her choices throughout the novel. This is just like how the ego is constantly torn between the id and the super-ego. Heathcliff - The Id Heathcliff represents the id for a number of reasons, ranging from his initial appearance in the novel, to his primitive behaviour uninfluenced by the passage of time. “…take it as a gift of God, though it’s as dark almost as if it came from the devil” (Brontë 77). “I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child…” (77). “When it was set on its feet, it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish that nobody could understand” (77). “He dashed his head against the knotted trunk; and, lifting up his eyes, howled, not like a man, but like a savage beast getting goaded to death with knives and spears” (204). Edgar - The Super-ego Edgar Linton represents the super-ego based off of the civilized and gentlemen-like status he obtained growing up at the Thrushcross Grange estate. “You love Mr Edgar because he is handsome, and young, and cheerful, and rich, and loves you” (119). “You’ve made me afraid, and ashamed of you” (112). “…he possessed the power to depart, as much as a cat possesses the power to leave a mouse half killed, or a bird half eaten” (112). “The long light hair curled slightly on the temples; the eyes were large and serious; the figure almost too graceful” (107). Catherine - The Ego Catherine’s behaviour in Wuthering Heights is primarily influenced by Heathcliff and Edgar, with an alternating perspective on which person better suits her. “Why, Cathy, you are quite a beauty! I should scarcely have known you – you look like a lady now…” (93). “Now, before I tell you whether it was a consent, or denial – you tell me which it ought to have been” (118). “It is impossible for you to be my friend, and his at the same time; and I absolutely require to know which you choose” (156). “She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us on his account” (83). All is One It should be noted that, when Heathcliff bribes the sexton to alter the burial configuration of Catherine’s coffin, he infers that they will all become one being within the soil of the earth. This is significant because of the way Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar interact with each other even after death. As Linda Gold describes it, “The three here literally merge into one” (Gold 68), symbolizing that the three were one of the same entity. “I’ll have it made so, and then, by the time Linton gets to us, he’ll not know which is which!” (319). Relating Back To The Thesis... Also, the concept that the human mind is composed of three entities, with the instinctive id being completely subconscious, is mandatory in order to understand the Oedipus Complex. With the Psychoanalytic Theory in mind, it is far easier to understand the nature of Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar. Works Cited Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Ed. David Daiches.
Ontario: Penguin, 1985. Print. Gold, Linda. The English Journal, Vol. 74, No. 3.
(Mar., 1985), pp. 68-73. Print. McLeod, S. A. (2008). Simply Psychology; Id, Ego
and Superego. www.simplypsychology.org.
Web. Through The Generations The roles of the id, ego, and super-ego are believed to continue forth into the next generation of offspring. In essence, young Catherine reassumes the ego of her mother. Linton Heathcliff takes on the form of the super-ego, while Hareton Earnshaw resembles the id. Linda Gold explains that “The youthful and passionate Catherine Earnshaw both dies and lives transformed in the person of her daughter and namesake, Catherine Linton. Therefore, it can be argued that the entire saga of two generations of Earnshaws, Lintons, and Heathcliffs is the odyssesy of a single personality” (71). Characterizing these three based upon the components of mind makes understanding the characters far more simple. Heathcliff, Catherine Earnshaw, and Edgar Linton take the forms of the id, ego, and super-ego based upon Freud’s Structural Model. These characters are portrayed as being one of the same entity, with Catherine being torn in the middle. The Topographical Model Dreams in Wuthering Heights Dynamic and
Economic Models The structural model explains the conflict between the different parts of a person, The other models explains
how the conflict is dealt with Conscious: Preconscious: Unconscious: Thoughts and sensory awareness That which can be voluntarily brought back to consciousness e.g. memories All that is censored from the consciousness The Dynamic Model "Psychoanalytic Theory." Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory: Apendites, scholars, Terms. Ed. Irena R. Makaryk. Toronto: University of Toronto, 2000. The Economic Model Tension which occurs from the unconscious, equal, opposing forces of inappropriate desires and repression create 'compromise formations'. Innapropriate
Desires Repression Compromise formations are
the unconscious desires which
surface in acceptable manners. The distribution and circulation of psychic energy among objects, the mind and the body in order to maintain psychic equilibrium. Condensation Displacement The combination of many
affects in one idea The displacement of an
affect into a different
idea [Sublimation] [Identification] Catherine's Dream Lockwood's Dream Condensation Fear of marriage with Edgar
Understanding that seperation from Heathcliff and her childhood bed will destroy her Displacement “Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry they flung me out, into the middle of the heath on top of Wuthering Heights, where I woke sobbing for joy” (121). Psychological abuse of being forced to church and to conform to society Physical abuse
from the church community “We were journeying to hear the famous Jabes Branderham preach from the text – ‘Seventy Times Seven’; and either Joseph, the preacher, or I had committed the ‘First of the Seventy-First,’ and were to be publicly exposed and excommunicated” (65). “The whole assembly, exalting their pilgrim’s staves, rushed round me in a body, and I, having no weapon to raise in self-defence, commenced grappling with Joseph, my nearest and most ferocious assailant, for his.” (66) "Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights: Essays, Articles, Revies." Ed. Patsy Stoneman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Heathcliff Jacques Lacan and Literature Condensation = Metaphor
Displacement = Metonymy Relating back to the thesis... It is evident that Wuthering Heights is a form of sublimation of Emily Bronte's affects. “He [Edgar Linton] had a sweet, low manner of speaking, and pronounced his words as you [Lockwood] do: that's less gruff than we talk here, and softer.” (110) "About twelve o’clock that night was born the Catherine you saw at Wuthering Heights: a puny, seven-months’ child; and two hours after the mother died. (201)” Desire of Equality "the Bronte's sisters were repressed by an authoritarian father" (Patsy Stoneman)" Desire of Childhood In her death, she creates two child: Catherine Linton, her dauther, and Catherine Linton, her ghost. Repression of his Love He is considered inferior "You may come and wish Miss Catherine welcome, like the other servants" (94). "I [Nellie] found they had christened him 'Heathcliff'; it was the name of a son who died in childhood..." (78). Heathcliff loves Catherine but must repress it until Mr. Earnshaw dies because he is the only one to consider him part of the family "Miss Cathy and he were now very thick" (78). "Rich, sir!' she returned. 'He has nobody knows what money, and every year it increases. Yes, yes, he's rich enough to live in a finer house than this: but he's very near - close-handed; and, if he had meant to flit to Thrushcross Grange, as soon as he heard of a good tenant he could not have borne to miss the chance of getting a few hundreds more. It is strange people should be so greedy, when they are alone in the world!" (75). "And supposing you persevered in your obstinate fast..." (363). Heathcliff's, Catherine's and Lockwood's struggle with their repressed affects are a form of condensation and displacement of Emily Bronte's own repressed desires and emotions. One of these repressed affects form the oedipus complex. Emily Bronte has her own oedipus complex which is shown through several characters in Wuthering Heights who also demonstrate their own version of the oedipus complex. You loved Wuthering Heights because it allowed you to fulfill your repressed desires. Edit: This is a misconception. However, Emily Bronte has definitly suffered from patriarchy as she had to pretend to be a man to sale her books.
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