Thursday, January 24, 2008

Notes from the Psychoanalytic Groups

These are the notes you all came up with in your groups...thanks again for typing and emailing me the notes. Though other groups submitted, I think this is the best version of the notes.

Psychoanalytic Criticism

· Definition: A form of criticism in which writers use psychological ideas and beliefs in order to analyze a character’s mind set and behaviors.

· Sigmund Freud: The “baby daddy” of Psychology.
· Uses the conscious and subconscious to reveal a characters wants or needs, relating back to childhood and sexual desires.
· Oedipus Complex: Fear of the father (or males in general) and desires for the mother or inadequate mother substitutes. Fear of castration and homosexuality.

Parts of the Psyche

Id- passionate, irrational, unknown, unconscious
Ego- “It” the part of the psyche that experiences and reacts to the outside world and mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
Superego- the part of the personality representing the conscience, formed in early life by internalization of the standards of parents and other models of behavior.

Writers often hide ideas and have the reader to create the meaning of these ideas using the unconscious part of the psyche to analyze these ideas.

How do writers employ such techniques?

§ Dream Sequences: When Joyce writes about Stephen visiting the strumpet. Pg 96-99 in the maroon book.
§ Tone of writing: when the “father” starts talking about the retreat and what is going to happen during it. Beginning on pages 105.
§ Allusions, illusions and delusions – throughout the book

Psychoanalytic Criticism employs three approaches:

First: It investigates the creative process of the artists: what is the nature of literary genius and how does it relate to normal mental function?
Second: psychological criticism is the psychological study of a particular artist.
Third: the analysis of fictional characters.

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