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Freud and Psychoanalytic Theory. Sigmund Freud 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939 According to biographer Ernest Jones, "Freud's Jewishness contributed greatly.

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Presentation on theme: "Freud and Psychoanalytic Theory. Sigmund Freud 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939 According to biographer Ernest Jones, "Freud's Jewishness contributed greatly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Freud and Psychoanalytic Theory

2 Sigmund Freud 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939 According to biographer Ernest Jones, "Freud's Jewishness contributed greatly to his work and his firm convictions about his findings. Freud often referred to his ability to stand alone, if need be, without wavering or surrendering his intellectual and scientific discoveries, and he attributed this ability to his irreligious but strong Jewish identity in an anti-Semitic society, whereby he was accustomed to a marginal status and being set aside as different.“

3 Freud Background continued… In 1930, Freud was awarded the Goethe Prize in recognition of his contributions to psychology and to German literary culture. In January 1933, the Nazis took control of Germany, and Freud's books were prominent among those they burned and destroyed. Freud quipped: “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now, they are content with burning my books.” In June 1938, Freud and his family left Vienna, Austria, eventually settling in London.

4 Relevance Today Fashionable to attack Freud Outdated Unscientific Sexist

5 Relevance Today Nevertheless, all major subsequent theories have been based on his revolutionary, pioneering work Proponents argue it is the first comprehensive theory of human nature

6 Relevance Today Psychoanalysis has had a major impact on Western thought He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his seminal book, The Interpretation of Dreams which appeared in Looking back in 1930, he said of The Interpretation of Dreams, that it contained the most valuable of all the discoveries it has been my good fortune to make. Insight such as this falls to one’s lot but once in a lifetime. � “I must affirm that dreams really have a meaning and that a scientific procedure for interpreting them is possible.” �

7 Freud’s theory is complex because: He kept modifying it as he went along He never presented a comprehensive summary of his final views His theory is more comprehensive than most since it has a number of aspects. For example, he gives us: A theory of motivation A theory of thinking (which includes dreaming, etc.) A theory of personality development (psychosexual theory) A theory of mental structures (id, ego, superego) A theory of psychopathology and symptom formation A theory of psychotherapy

8 Two Fundamental Hypotheses 1. Principle of psychic determinism Nothing in nature happens by chance Nothing in the mind happens by chance 2. The unconscious Conscious rationality is the exception rather than the rule in psychic processes Evidence for this is inferred from: Psychopathology - symptom formation Parapraxes, i.e. slips of the tongue, of the pen, etc. Dreams Free association Hypnosis These two hypotheses interlock

9 The Drives Link with biology Freud hoped to link up his theories with biological knowledge We’re still not able to do that Freud used the term “instincts” in this regard but the term is misleading in English Drive = Tension or excitation looking for release, i.e. need --> motor activity --> gratification

10 The Drives Psychic energy & cathexis Freud postulates a psychic energy analogous to physical energy Amount of psychic energy directed towards memories, thoughts, and fantasies of an object is called “cathexis” � e.g. child’s mother is an object highly cathected with psychic energy Two forms of drive energy (like ying/yang) Libido - sexual/erotic Thanatos - aggressive/destructive Freud assumes these are always fused but not necessarily in the same amounts Cruelty may have an erotic component Acts of love may have an aggressive component

11 The Psychic Apparatus Topographical system Conscious Preconscious Unconscious

12 The Freudian Mind  The conscious mind is the part of the mind that interacts with the outside world. It is the decisions we make and the actual thinking we do.  The unconscious mind is made up of the impulses and instincts that dictate our behavior without us knowing about it; Freud believed these impulses were driven by sexuality, Jung believed they were driven by cultural archetypes, and some other psychologists believe the unconscious mind to be made of drives for power, for love, or for any other number of impulses.

13 The Psychic Apparatus Structural theory Id—the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the most primitive part of the mind; what we are born with, source of all drives and ur2es, operates according to the pleasure principle and primary process thinking Ego—the organized, realistic part; tests for what’s real; the part of the mind that constrains the id to reality, mediates between id, superego, and environment Superego—the part of the mind that internalizes the values, morals, and ideals of society; it stands in opposition to the desires of the id because of their conflicting objectives, and the id’s aggressiveness towards the ego; the super-ego acts as the conscience, maintaining our sense of morality and proscription from taboos; not bound by reality

14 The Three Tiers of “Self”  The ID seeks pleasure and avoids pain; we normally associate inborn instincts (such as the behaviors of an infant or an animal) with the id.  The EGO seeks to placate the id, but in a way that will ensure long- term benefits (such as trying to get what the id wants without breaking laws or social standards). Mediates between the id and reality. Maintains our “self – how we see our “self” and wish others to see it.  The SUPER-EGO is a lot like a conscience – it punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt. Since the super-ego is concerned with societal norms, it stands in opposition to the id. The development of an individual’s super-ego replaces a parent’s discipline.

15 Projection and Displacement * The transference of uncertain, unsettled or unwanted feelings about ourselves onto someone or something else rather than coming to terms with them ourselves is called projection. * When we displace or reassign our particular energies and/or interests that may threaten our status quo onto something or someone else, it’s called displacement. (Consider a mid-life crisis in which a man might buy a new sports car and date a younger woman in an attempt to displace his worries about aging and his desire for a new life).

16 Theory of the Oedipus Complex Relying on material from his self-analysis and on anthropological studies, Freud developed the Oedipus complex as an explanation of the formation of the ego, the superego, and the id. The traditional paradigm in a (male) child’s psychological coming-into-being is to first select the mother as the object of libidinal investment. This however is expected to arouse the father's anger, and the infant surmises that the most probable form of expression of this is castration. The infant internalizes the rules pronounced by his father. This is how the super-ego comes into being. The father now becomes the figure of identification as the child wants to have his phallus, but resigns from his attempts to take the mother, shifting his libidinal attention to new objects of desire.

17 The Oedipus Complex  Essentially, it involves children's need for their parents and the conflict that arises as children mature and realize they are not the absolute focus of their opposite-gendered parent’s attention.  The literal version of the Oedipal/Electra complex is that the child wants to “marry” their opposite-gendered parent, but might figuratively refer to a desire to go back to an earlier stage of connectedness to that parent (“back to the womb,” if you will).

18 Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism  Adopts the methods of "reading" employed by Freud and later theorists to interpret texts. It argues that literary texts, like dreams, express the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary work is a manifestation of the author's own neuroses. It approaches an author’s work as a kind of textual “talk therapy”.  One may psychoanalyze a particular character within a literary work, but it is usually assumed that all such characters are projections of the author's psyche.  Like psychoanalysis itself, this critical endeavor seeks evidence of unresolved emotions, psychological conflicts, guilt, ambivalences, and so forth within the author’s literary work. The author's own childhood traumas, family life, sexual conflicts, fixations, and such will be traceable within the behavior of the characters in the literary work.

19 Psychoanalytic Criticism, cont’d  Despite the importance of the author here, psychoanalytic criticism is similar to New Criticism in not concerning itself with "what the author intended." But what the author never intended (that is, repressed) is sought. The unconscious material has been distorted by the censoring conscious mind.  Psychoanalytic critics will ask such questions as, "What is Hamlet's problem?" or "Why can't Brontë seem to portray any positive mother figures?"

20 Stop here for “Teens in the media”

21 Dream Formation Dream springs from unacceptable, unconscious wishes Sexual Aggressive Egoistic

22 Function of The Dream To protect sleep Wish fulfillment

23 My Position on Freud & Dreams Agree Day residue Free association Primary process thinking Disagree Sex/aggression as sole drives Censorship Wish fulfillment

24 Freud vs. Jung Dream Theories Freud View of Unconscious Dangerous Personal unconscious Negative id drives of sex/aggression Function of dream Wish fulfillment Logic of dream Primary process & censorship Analytic tool Free association Jung View of Unconscious Potentially dangerous force of nature Personal & Collective unconscious Bright shadow Function of dream Compensation Logic of dream Language of metaphor Analytic tool Amplification

25 fin

26 26 Your Assignment Analyze Hamlet using psychological criticism. Base your information on one of Freud’s theories found in the text. Write a full paper (intro, body, conclusion) at least three pages long showing your analysis. Try to cite specific instances from the play that support why you think Hamlet is doing what he does.


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