Presentation on theme: "Freudian Literary Criticism Not necessarily sound psychology, but this angle/approach/lens/view is pure gold when analyzing literature and literary people."— Presentation transcript:
Freudian Literary Criticism Not necessarily sound psychology, but this angle/approach/lens/view is pure gold when analyzing literature and literary people.
Sigmund Freud Father of psychoanalysis. Though many of his theories have been refuted. 1856-1939 Image from Blueherontransitions.com
Pyrite with psychology professors Gold with literature professors Many authors knew/know Freud, so their novels or poems purposely, directly include Freudian notions. Many critics find Freudian principles to fit nicely into literary discourse and analysis.
What Freudian critics do: 1. Examine how each character attempts to re-achieve the narcissistic bliss we get to experience as babies; look for a possible Oedipal complex in any parent-child type of relationship (need not be biologically related characters; any mentor-protégé relationship may be analyzed like this) 2. Examine how each character attempts to re-achieve a narcissistic bliss of ordered predictability and familiarity (this familiarity might be chaos, as in the case of the Joker of The Dark Knighthe is familiar with chaos, so he continually seeks disorder and creates mayhem). Some characters do things that make them miserable, as if they are determined to be miserable (the sympathy they acquire from other characters and the readers is what they have been seeking all along).
What Freudian critics do: 3. Explore the ways the libidos (sex drives) of the author, reader, character(s) work to influence the exhibit. 4. In the Freudian tradition and manner, psychoanalyze all people involved in the exhibit.
Questions Freudian/ Psychoanalytic Critics Ask: Is the id winning in any character? Do any characters represent the id, the superego, or the ego? (Making the story an allegory of symbols.) Are any of the characters repressing any of their true urges, dreams, or goals? Are there any sexual symbols? (Freud researched and forced us to recognize our biological hard-wiring.) Do these symbols imply anything about power? How are the characters seeking stages of narcissistic bliss? What is going on in the mind of any character in an exhibit?
Key Terms in Freudian Theory: superego Id ego oppression repression Oedipal complex Electra complex condensation phallus and phallic symbol dream interpretation displacement narcissism denial narcissistic bliss Freudian slip envy guilt