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Presentation on theme: "CRITICAL TEXTUAL ANALYSIS--TYPES, PART 4 (PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY)"— Presentation transcript:


2  A. Freudian Psychoanalysis ◦ 1. First formulated by Freud ◦ 2. Concerned with internal psyche structures & the complex relations between them ◦ 3. Drives, desires, & wants are geared towards satisfaction  a. Motivation is primarily pleasure-seeking (or hedonistic)  b. Blocked motives lead to frustration, producing pain.

3  c. Pain eliminated from the conscious mind via repression into the unconscious or unorganized mind (or the id)  d. Control of the id role of consciousness (the ego)  e. The internalized ideas of others, plus self-criticism, creates the super-ego  4. Defense mechanisms ◦ a. Condensation--combination of two or more ideas, desires, or memories into a single episode, image, symbol, or sign

4 ◦ 1) Condensation occurs in dreams, where the manifest content (remembered events) represents repressed, underlying wishes & memories (the latent content); e.g. a locked door ◦ 2) Condensation also operates in innuendo & punning (similar to metonymy (part for whole/whole for part)  b. Displacement ◦ 1) Process by which significance of something is transferred (displaced) onto something else ◦ 2) Similar to metaphoric transposition ◦ 3) Redirect energy away from a frustrating goal & towards a more vulnerable target

5  c. Projection ◦ 1) Process by which ideas, images, & desires are imposed on an external environment. ◦ 2) Projection denies unpleasant self-accusations, projecting such accusations onto others (fueling scapegoating, prejudice, etc.)  d. Identification ◦ 1) Process by which the individual merges at least some of another's identity with his/her own ◦ 2) Three ways--can extend into someone else, can borrow from someone else, or can confuse identity with someone else (Rycroft)

6  e. Narcissism ◦ 1) While some self-love is necessary to function, it is problematic if lead to self-absorption, egoism, selfishness, childishness, etc. ◦ 2) Narcissists seem self-assured, but in reality are extremely anxiety-ridden & insecure. ◦ 3) A problem in identify formation--develop feelings of superiority to protect from feelings of inadequacy ◦ 4) Not the same as egoism--egoists may be selfish, but are often realistic, whereas narcissists are not ◦ 5) Narcissists often deny their self-love; may assume a mask of humility, being altruistic, etc. ◦ 6) Or may be super-confident, self-assured but with grandiose ideas

7  f. Sublimation ◦ 1) Rechanneling sexual impulses from primary gratification into more socially acceptable gratifications (e.g. shopping, gambling) ◦ 2) Civilization forces us to renounce uninhibited instinctual gratifications (esp. sex & aggression), creating guilt for such impulses ◦ 3) Operates in fetischizing or the substitution of desire onto a less threatening image, usually something that can serve as a substitute phallus

8 ◦ 4) Mulvey notes that the "male gaze" of the camera evokes visual pleasure (sublimation & resolution of the castration complex) by both overvaluing women characters as fetish objects & undervaluing them (punishing them for being sexual objects)  g. Voyeurism ◦ 1) A person with a privileged, yet hidden view, esp. who watches the sexual (forbidden) activities of others, yet without their permission. ◦ 2) Produces guilt (because the scene is private) & a sense of power (it reveals knowledge which we "shouldn't" possess) ◦ 3) Voyeurism implies omnipotence

9  5. The Oedipal (or Castration) Complex ◦ a. The process of maturation found in everyone-- natural instead of environmental ◦ b. Mature through 4 stages—oral, anal, latent, & phallic ◦ c. Myth of Oedipus shows how children resolve crises occurring during puberty (phallic stage)  1) Boys have castration anxiety (fears of castration by the father); eventually leads to an identification with the father & a rejection of the mother  2) Girls have penis envy (fantasy that they have lost their penises); eventually leads to a re-identification with the mothers

10  d. There is also a reverse Oedipal complex, involving fantasies of incest with the same sex parent, & murderous wishes toward the parent of the opposite sex  e. A controversial concept, yet also often used to critique literature & film (e.g. Hamlet, Freud argued, plays out a version of the complex). ◦ 1) Brenner (1974) argues that "for a literary work to have a strong, or, even more, a lasting appeal, its plot must arouse and gratify some important aspect of the unconscious oedipal wishes of the members of its audience" (p. 235) ◦ 2) An example is the original Star Wars, which can be "read" as a working out of Luke's Oedipal complex

11  1. Jacques Lacan believed that Freud's hypotheses must be interpreted symbolically rather than essentially  2. Language structures the social subject  3 Reinterpretation of psychoanalysis through semiotics & structuralism  4. Posited 3 stages in place of Freud's oral, anal, & phallic stages of growth: ◦ a. Preverbal phase--undifferentiated identity with the mother, pre-oedipal, instinctual

12  b. Mirror phase ◦ 1) the moment when the child sees itself as a self, in a mirror--separates from the mother & sees self as a subject ◦ 2) More representative of femininity than the symbolic phase. with its assumption of narcissism ◦ 3) The child experiences pleasure (jouissance) at seeing itself, yet also alienation & dismay, since separate from the mother (the first object of desire)

13  c. Symbolic phase ◦ 1) Child enters into the Symbolic, or the realm of language (language replaces the penis/phallus) ◦ 2) Gaining the power to speak (through socialization) provides the child with the primary tool needed to operate in the public world ◦ 3) To gain the power to speak means to repress the hidden desires for the mother, which kicks in a (symbolic) Oedipal complex ◦ 4) Boys can identify with the "rule of the father" & resolve the Oedipal crisis by taking the place of the father, separating fully from the mother, then transferring their affections to an adult woman

14  6) Girls, however, are characterized by "lack"--they don't possess a phallus, therefore cannot identify with the father  7) Girls must separate from the mother, transferring the forbidden desire to the father (or father substitute); yet, they also cannot separate from the mother, since already “castrated”  8) Without a "voice," girls are thus Other, that which is an object outside of the realm of the symbolic ◦ d. Ideas very useful to feminist critics, esp. when combined with other concepts

15  5. Difference ◦ a. Both language & unconscious signify by means of binary oppositions ◦ b. Difference, as Other, controls the mind; the Other & (male) desire become sexualized  6. Jouissance ◦ a. The totality of enjoyment--sexual, spiritual, physical, & conceptual ◦ b. Exists outside linguistic norms (in the realm of the poetic), therefore more associated with women, who are also constituted outside of society ◦ c. Women have the capacity for a decentered, multiple sexuality, "the sex which is not one“ (Irigray )






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