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Ewrt 1 c class 19


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  • 1. EWRT 1C CLASS 19
  • 2. AGENDA • Some Questions about Psychoanalytic Criticism • Group Activity: Part 10 • Bishop’s “The Fish” and Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish”: A Psychoanalytic Reading. • Identify and discuss qualities of psychoanalytic criticism as it is applied in this essay. Provide specific examples from the essay, the poem, or the definition/description of Psychoanalytic Criticism.
  • 3. SOME QUESTIONS PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICS ASK ABOUT LITERARY TEXTS 1. How do the operations of repression structure or inform the work? That is, what unconscious motives are operating in the main character(s); what core issues are thereby illustrated; and how do these core issues structure or inform the piece? (Remember, the unconscious consists of repressed wounds, fears, unresolved conflicts, and guilty desires.)
  • 4. 2. Are there any oedipal dynamics—or any other family dynamics—at work here? That is, is it possible to relate a character’s patterns of adult behavior to early experiences in the family as represented in the story? How do these patterns of behavior and family dynamics operate and what do they reveal? 3. How can characters’ behavior, narrative events, and/or images be explained in terms of psychoanalytic concepts of any kind (for example, regression, crisis, projection, fear of or fascination with death, sexuality—which includes love and romance as well as sexual behavior—as a primary indicator of psychological identity, or the operations of ego-id-superego)?
  • 5. 4. In what ways can we view a literary work as analogous to a dream? That is, how might recurrent or striking dream symbols reveal the ways in which the narrator or speaker is projecting his or her unconscious desires, fears, wounds, or unresolved conflicts onto other characters, onto the setting, or onto the events portrayed? Symbols relevant to death, sexuality, and the unconscious are especially helpful. Indeed, the use of dream symbols canbe very useful in interpreting literary works, or passages thereof, that seem unrealistic or fantastic, in other words, that seem dreamlike. 5. What does the work suggest about the psychological being of its author? Although this question is no longer the primary question asked by psychoanalytic critics, some critics still address it, especially those who write psychological biographies (psychobiographies). In these cases, the literary text is interpreted much as if it were the author’s dream. Psychoanalyzing an author in this manner is a difficult undertaking, and our analysis must be carefully derived by examining the author’s entire corpus as well as letters, diaries, and any other biographical material available. Certainly, a single literary work can provide but a very incomplete picture.
  • 6. 6. What might a given interpretation of a literary work suggest about the psychological motives of the reader? Or what might a critical trend suggest about the psychological motives of a group of readers (for example, the tendency of literary critics to see Willy Loman as a devoted family man and ignore or underplay his contribution to the family dysfunction)? 7. In what ways does the text seem to reveal characters’ emotional investments in the Symbolic Order, the Imaginary Order, the Mirror Stage, or what Lacan calls objet petit a? Does any part of the text seem to represent Lacan’s notion of the Real? Do any Lacanian concepts account for so much of the text that we might say the text is structured by one or more of these concepts?
  • 7. ELIZABETH BISHOP’S “THE FISH” • I caught a tremendous fish and held him beside the boat half out of water, with my hook fast in a corner of his mouth. He didn't fight. He hadn't fought at all. He hung a grunting weight, battered and venerable and homely. Here and there his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper, and its pattern of darker brown was like wallpaper: shapes like full-blown roses stained and lost through age.
  • 8. BISHOP’S “THE FISH” AND ELIZABETH BISHOP’S “THE FISH”: A PSYCHOANALYTIC READING. • Identify and discuss qualities of psychoanalytic criticism as it is applied in this essay about “The Fish.” • Provide specific examples from the essay, the poem, or the definition/description of Psychoanalytic Criticism that further support a psychoanalytic reading of the poem.
  • 9. WHAT DO YOU SAY? • Identify and discuss qualities of psychoanalytic criticism as it is applied in this essay. Provide specific examples from the essay, the poem, or the definition/description of Psychoanalytic Criticism.
  • 10. THE TEST 50 POINTS
  • 11. EXAM REVIEW: PRESENTATIONS 4-20 1. Passage Identification: Work and Author 2. Character Identification 3. Terms: Fill in the blank 4. Theory Identification 5. Essay Question
  • 12. EXAM REVIEW 1. Passage identification by work and author: The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; 2. Character identification I was so out of things, I'd never heard of the Jehovah's Witnesses. "Are you a C.O.?" I asked a fellow jailbird. "No," he answered, "I'm a J.W.” 3. Terms: Fill in the blank ________________occurs when a word, image, or event generates two or more different meanings”
  • 13. EXAM REVIEW 4. Identify the Theory • This theory maintains that a literary work contains certain intrinsic features, and the theory “defines and addresses the specifically literary qualities in the text." 5. Short essay/Long answer • Explain New Criticism. You might consider the following: What made New Criticism new? What is the critical focus of New Criticism? What kinds of questions do New Critics ask? How does it intersect with other critical theories?