Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism Essay

Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism Essay

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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.




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