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From Jeff House’s Writing is Dialogue.  Uses Sigmund Freud’s analysis of the personality and applies it to characters and their motivations.  A psychological.

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Presentation on theme: "From Jeff House’s Writing is Dialogue.  Uses Sigmund Freud’s analysis of the personality and applies it to characters and their motivations.  A psychological."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Jeff House’s Writing is Dialogue

2  Uses Sigmund Freud’s analysis of the personality and applies it to characters and their motivations.  A psychological analysis aims to unearth a character’s hidden impulses (specific elements of personality) and how those impulses can contradict each other as well as go against societal norms.

3  To explain the way our sense of self develops, Freud delineated three aspects of human personality:  Id – the subconscious part of our mind that is marked by impulses toward pleasure, aggression, and instinctual behavior  Superego – the part of the mind shaped by societal rules, checks the impulses of the id  Ego – the resultant personality that guides us in our social behavior as we attempt to balance our private impulses within our social setting

4  Prior to Freud, we equated our identity with what we saw in our conscious behavior.  Freud complicates the issue of identity by saying how we behave is not who we are, but is a result of conflicting desires and impulses  A full understanding of our identity requires more knowledge about our interior world  Psychoanalysts investigated this theory and concluded that our behavior is a compromise between our interior and exterior worlds

5  Freud’s theories are those of the 20 th century, yet they have been successfully applied to works from far earlier.  For example, using the works of Shakespeare, psychological approaches are favorites of both critics and actors. Actors use this approach to determine how to play a certain character.  Any work with well-developed characters can be approached psychologically-Examining behavior of characters to determine what motivates that behavior

6  Understanding how the character’s interior desires conflict with the world around him.  Some protagonists repress impulses that are not socially acceptable (Huck Finn, Blanche DuBois, Holden Caulfield, Edna Pontellier)  Other characters have desires that do not conform with their social environment (Hamlet, Jane Eyre, Poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson).

7  Authors/characters who struggle with their own identity and its place within the larger context of the universe  The super-ego is that part created by the individual’s perception of what god/providence/universe is.  Unable to reconcile self with god, the individual struggles with guilt and self- recrimination (Oedipus, the protagonists of Dostoyevsky and Kafka).

8  Understanding the actions of characters often comes from understanding their conflict (Dimmsdale’s silence, Edna Pontellier’s “suicide,” John Proctor’s act of ripping up his confession)  Can work backwards: examine characters’ actions and determine what inner conflicts are being manifested.


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