Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism Essay

Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism Essay

Length: 2483 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

I strongly believe that every person who reads a book, listens to the radio, or watches a

program on television will make their own assumptions. I know I do. Most of us will ask, “Why

did the main character make that decision?” Or “What were they thinking?” Could it be that the

author of the story is protruding their own subconscious thoughts and beliefs through their

characters? Absolutely, most critics have adapted psychoanalytic literary criticism theory based

upon the works of psychoanalysis by famous psychologists Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and

Jacques Lacan to literary works. 'Psychoanalytic literary criticism does not constitute a unified

field....However, all variants endorse, at least to a certain degree, the idea that

fundamentally entwined with the psyche' (wiki).The three literary works which will be analyzed

in this essay are “A Woman Like Me”, “Swaddling Clothes”, and “The Necklace” using

psychoanalytic criticism theories of literary works of the authors, characters, and text.

What is Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism? All psychoanalytic approaches to literature

have one thing in common, the critics begin with a full psychological theory of how and why

people behave as they do. A theory that has been developed by a psychologist/psychiatrist/

psychoanalyst outside of the realm of literature. They have applied this psychological theory as a

stand to interpret and evaluate a literary work. Because psychoanalytic theories have been

developed outside the realm of literature, they are not tied to a specific aesthetic theory

(McManus). If we read psychoanalytically we can interpret literature with a better understanding

of the works an...

... middle of paper ...

... Xi. "A Woman like Me." The International Story. New York, NY: Cambridge University,

2005. 152-162. Print.

Yukio, Mishima. "Swaddling Clothes." The International Story. New York, NY: Cambridge

University Press, 2005. 132-136. Print.

"Yukio Mishima." Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 22 July 2011.

Web. 2 Aug. 2011. < >.

Xiao Hong Lee, Lily, and Clara Wing-chung Ho. "Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women,

Volume 2- Xi Xi." Google Books. N.p., 22 July 2011. Web. 2 Aug. 2011.




Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Psychoanalytic Criticism on Emily Dickinson

- Psychological criticism is known as the type of criticism that analyses the writer’s work within the realms of Freud’s psychological theories. Such approach can be used when trying to reconstruct an author’s position throughout their literary writings, as well as understanding whom the author was and how their mind created such works. When considering the work of Emily Dickinson, psychoanalytic criticism comes into play with the role of explaining the many meanings behind her poetry, as to make the reader relate to such poetry on a deeper level or not to who she was as a human being....   [tags: freud, poetry, meanings, desires, concepts]

Term Papers
1087 words (3.1 pages)

Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism in Harry Potter Essay

- Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism in Harry Potter The inhabitants of a faraway country known for its ivory towers and for its export of literary monographs were forever quarreling over who might best represent them. One day two tiny factions decided to join forces: the adherents of the Princess Childlit and the followers of Prince Psychian, the great-great-grandson of Empress Psyche. Both groups had for a long time felt themselves unduly spurned… by the powerful Board of Canonizers who had ruled Arkedemia for over a century....   [tags: Lacan Children's Books Papers]

Term Papers
4051 words (11.6 pages)

Heart of Darkness: Psychoanalytic Criticism Essay

- Heart of Darkness: Psychoanalytic Criticism Psychoanalytic criticism originated in the work of Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who pioneered the technique of psychoanalysis. Freud developed a language that described, a model that explained, and a theory that encompassed human psychology. His theories are directly and indirectly concerned with the nature of the unconscious mind. Through his multiple case studies, Freud managed to find convincing evidence that most of our actions are motivated by psychological forces over which we have very limited control (Guerin 127)....   [tags: Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud Psychology]

Term Papers
4505 words (12.9 pages)

Psychoanalytic Criticism Essay

- Psychoanalytic Criticism Introduction The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud spent much of his life exploring the workings of the unconscious. Freud's work has influenced society in ways which we take for granted. When we speak of Freudian slips or look for hidden causes behind irrational behavior, we are using aspects of Freudian analysis. Many literary critics have also adopted Freud's various theories and methods. In order to define Freudian literary criticism, we will examine how various critics approach Freud's work....   [tags: Psychology Freud Psychological Papers]

Term Papers
1152 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Psychoanalytical Criticism of Shakespeare’s Macbeth

- One of the facets of psychoanalytic theory is the role of the unconscious and the conscious. In the text, Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice Charles Bressler claims that Freud’s contemporaries viewed the conscious as only observing and recording external reality and claimed that the conscious accounted for the basis of reason and analytical thought while the unconscious merely accumulates and retains our memories (121). Therefore, many psychoanalytic theorists believed that the conscious was solely accountable for our behavior and daily actions (Bressler 121)....   [tags: Freud, Lacan, Macbeth Essays]

Term Papers
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Varying Approaches to Literary Analysis Essay

- Formalist: The formalist strategy tends to focus on the formal aspects of a piece of work. A formalist critic views literature as a work of art rather than a reflection of the author. This strategy is helpful when analyzing drama and fiction because the words and images shape the work itself. When analyzing a more complex story, a formalist critic will raise questions about the complexities. Formalist strategies reveal meaning and reinforce the theme of a text. Biographical: Biographical simply means of or pertaining to a person’s life....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Term Papers
957 words (2.7 pages)

Modernism and New Criticism Essay

- Modernism and New Criticism The ways in which we define the importance of texts is constantly changing. We can look back and see critical theories used, such as Historical Criticism, Reader-Response Criticism and Psychoanalytic Criticism. Each of these theories offers a different way to interpret a text. However, when looking back over the texts of a specific era, shouldn’t the type of criticism we used for a book be based on that time period. Defining the Modernist Era of literature seems almost impossible, since the definition of modernism often seems to constitute anything from being “new and common” to “new and uncommon” (Barzun)....   [tags: Modernism New Criticism Literature Essays]

Term Papers
2988 words (8.5 pages)

Psychoanalytical Criticism of Lady Macbeth Essay

- Psychoanalytical criticism is a form of literary critique, which uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature. The focus of this essay is to use Psychoanalytical criticism while analyzing Lady Macbeth’s character in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. However, before I begin my examination of Lady Macbeth’s character, I feel that concept of psychoanalytical theory needs some introduction. One of the more prevalent Psychoanalytical theorists after Freud was Jacques Lacan....   [tags: Shakespeare, Macbeth Essays]

Term Papers
1643 words (4.7 pages)

Psychoanalytical Criticism Essay

- Psychoanalytical criticism is a form of literary critique, which uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature. Lacanian critics examine psychoanalytic phases such as the Symbolic and apply this phase while interpreting literary texts. Lacanian critics also associate the literary work’s content to broader Lacanian concepts, such as the Phallic and the Other. The focus of this essay is to apply these psychoanalytical techniques while interpreting Lady Macbeth’s character in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth....   [tags: Psychology, Freud, Lacan]

Term Papers
2761 words (7.9 pages)

Essay about A Psychoanalytic Reading of Hedda Gabler

- A Psychoanalytic Reading of Hedda Gabler Attempting a psychoanalytic reading of a given text is a bit like attempting to understand a city by examining its sewer system: helpful, yet limited. There are several reasons for using psychoanalysis as a critical literary theory; the critic might be interested in gleaning some sort of subconscious authorial intent, approaching the text as a "cathartic documentation" (my own term) of the author's psyche; the method might be useful in judging whether characters are well-rendered, whether they are truly three-dimensional and, therefore, worth our while as readers (thus satisfying the pleasure principle); finally, in a larger sense, the psychoa...   [tags: Hedda Gabler Essays]

Free Essays
786 words (2.2 pages)