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:
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 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.
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
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
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
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).
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).
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.