Essay Psychoanalytic Criticism : Sigmund Freud

Essay Psychoanalytic Criticism : Sigmund Freud

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Psychoanalytic Criticism
Sigmund Freud was an explorer of the human mind and the unconscious desires that are embedded in the brain. In his method of psychoanalysis, he explained human behavior. The most important aspects of psychoanalysis are the unconscious desires, the id, ego, super ego, and the Oedipus complex. Also included are the aspects of dreams, defenses, and the influence of childhood experiences. Freud also used his theory to treat psychological disorders. Psychoanalysis can be seen in literature if the reader can ask the right questions while analyzing. Psychoanalysis explains human behavior and development, and can be seen in different forms of literature.
Consciousness is our awareness, while unconsciousness is our unawareness. The unconscious drives and desires are unexpressed memories, feelings, and wishes that are repressed in our minds. Unconscious drives are hidden “feelings, memories, and instinctual drives” which Freud believed had to do with “sexuality and violence” (Rivkin and Ryan 389). Human’s unconscious feelings or emotions motivate behavior even though we are unaware of these drives. These contained desires are repressed, meaning that they are filed away from our consciousness because they are too disturbing to recognize. Repression can be said to cause a “second self, a stranger within, a place where all that cannot for one reason or another be expressed or realized in civil life takes residence” (Rivkin and Ryan 389). Much of what people repress is troubling memories from our childhood. Freud recognized that much of our unconscious is based on our childhood and the experiences that are faced during this time of life. If a child had a hostile experience with one parent, this experience will be...


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... She cries for her mother and screams into the phone. She thinks in her head, “I’m not going to see my mother again…I’m not going to sleep in my bed again” (Oates 311). She was so scared of the situation that she regressed back to needing her parents’ protection.
Psychoanalysis explains human behavior and shows how we unconsciously store unwanted events and desires. The basic points of psychoanalysis are unconscious desires, childhood events, repression, the Oedipus complex, defense mechanisms, dreams, and the id, ego, and superego. Psychoanalysis can be seen in any literature if one looks close enough and asks the right questions. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates shows many examples of psychoanalysis. In conclusion, psychoanalysis, pioneered by Sigmund Freud, explains how our unconscious drives influence our behavior.















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