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Ewrt 1 c class 11 psyc crit qhq

class 11

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Ewrt 1 c class 11 psyc crit qhq

  1. 1. EWRT 1C Class 11
  2. 2. AGENDA  Lecture/Discussion: Sigmund Freud Psychoanalytic Theory Psychoanalytic Criticism  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. 3.  6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939  Sigmund Freud (Sigismund Schlomo Freud), was an Austrian neurologist usually credited with creating psychoanalytic theory and, by extension, psychiatric therapy.  According to biographer Ernest Jones, "Freud's Jewishness contributed greatly to his work and his firm convictions about his findings. Freud often referred to his ability to stand alone, if need be, without wavering or surrendering his intellectual and scientific discoveries, and he attributed this ability to his irreligious but strong Jewish identity in an anti-Semitic society, whereby he was accustomed to a marginal status and being set aside as different.“ Sigmund Freud
  4. 4. Freud: Background continued…  In 1930, Freud was awarded the Goethe Prize in recognition of his contributions to psychology and to German literary culture.  In January 1933, the Nazis took control of Germany, and Freud's books were prominent among those they burned and destroyed. Freud quipped: “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now, they are content with burning my books.”  In June 1938, Freud and his family left Vienna, Austria, eventually settling in London.
  5. 5. Today, some people argue that Freud’s work is outdated, unscientific, and sexist; nevertheless, all major subsequent theories have been based on his revolutionary, pioneering work: Freud developed a language that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. Freud believed that unconscious sexual drives were the basis for all human behavior, and that dreams were an important indicator for understanding human behavior.
  6. 6. The Drives Freud hypothesized two forms of drive energy: Libido - sexual/erotic Thanatos - aggressive/destructive  Freud assumes these are always fused but not necessarily in the same amounts  Cruelty may have an erotic component  Acts of love may have an aggressive component
  7. 7. Freudian Components of Personality The Conscious Mind includes that which we are aware of. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about rationally. The Preconscious Mind is the part of the mind that represents ordinary memory. While we are not consciously aware of this information at any given time, we can pull it into consciousness when needed. The Unconscious Mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences.
  8. 8. The ego Mediates between the id and reality; it maintains our “self – how we see our “self” and wish others to see it.  The SUPER-EGO is a lot like a conscience – it punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt. Since the super-ego is concerned with societal norms, it stands in opposition to the id. The development of an individual’s super-ego replaces a parent’s discipline. The Three Tiers of Self  The ID seeks pleasure and avoids pain; we normally associate inborn instincts (such as the behaviors of an infant or an animal) with the id.  The EGO seeks to placate the id, but in a way that will ensure long-term benefits (such as trying to get what the id wants without breaking laws or social standards).
  9. 9.  Conflicts between the Id, Superego and Ego arise in unconscious mind  They come out in various ways – Slips of tongue (“Freudian slip”) – Dreams – Jokes – Anxiety – Defense Mechanisms Conflicts of Personality Components
  10. 10. Freudian Slip  A slip of the tongue in which a word that the speaker was subconsciously thinking about is substituted for the one that he or she meant to say.  "For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex... uh... setbacks." -A Freudian slip by President George H.W. Bush
  11. 11. Dreams  According to Freud, dreams always have a manifest and latent content. The manifest content is what the dream seems to be saying. It is often bizarre and nonsensical. The latent content is what the dream is really trying to say. Dreams give us a look into our unconscious.  Example of the manifest content: A young woman dreams that “She is going through the hall of her house and strikes her head against the low-hanging chandelier, so that her head bleeds.”
  12. 12.  She has no reminiscence to contribute, nothing that really happened. The information she gives leads in quite another direction. “You know how badly my hair is falling out. Mother said to me yesterday, ‘My child, if it goes on like this, you will have a head like the cheek of a buttock.’” Thus the head here stands for the other part of the body. We can understand the chandelier symbolically without other help; all objects that can be lengthened are symbols of the male organ. Thus the dream deals with a bleeding at the lower end of the body, which results from its collision with the male organ. This might still be ambiguous; her further associations show that it has to do with her belief that menstrual bleeding results from sexual intercourse with a man, a bit of sexual theory believed by many immature girls. From: Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. 1920. Part Two: The Dream XII. Analysis of Sample Dreams The Latent Content, according to Freud
  13. 13.  Jokes, like dreams and slips of the tongue, bear the traces of repressed desires. Sexual and aggressive thoughts, which are forbidden in polite society, can be shared as if they are not serious. Humour then becomes a way of rebelling against the demands of social order. As Freud wrote in a later essay, ‘humour is not resigned it is rebellious’ (1927/1990, p.429).  Ridicule: If we break social codes, then we fear that others might laugh at our infringements, mocking our inappropriate behaviour. Thus, fear of mockery may be the key means for maintaining social order. Humour, far from being principally rebellious, also fulfills a deeply conservative function
  14. 14.  Hiding Hate: The anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger publically offered “a good technique for baptising Jews: aspiring converts to Christianity should be held under water for 10 minutes.” Jokes like this express extreme hostility, but those who enjoy such jokes can excuse them as ‘just jokes,’ not thinking of themselves as harbouring murderous intentions.  Asserting Power: [When the Nazi’s took over,] a majority of the Christian population celebrated. Jews were forced to scrub the streets with toothbrushes. The crowds gathered to laugh at respectable citizens so demeaned. [. . .] This was not humour as rebellion but the humour of power. Meyers, C.S. “Freud and the Language of Humour”
  15. 15.  Fear of intimacy—the chronic and overpowering feeling that emotional closeness will seriously hurt or destroy us and that we can remain emotionally safe only by remaining at an emotional distance from others at all times. [. . .] Fear of intimacy can also function as a defense. If this particular defense occurs frequently or continually, then fear of intimacy is probably a core issue.  Fear of abandonment—the unshakable belief that our friends and loved ones are going to desert us (physical abandonment) or don’t really care about us (emotional abandonment).  Fear of betrayal—the nagging feeling that our friends and loved ones can’t be trusted, for example, can’t be trusted not to lie to us, not to laugh at us behind our backs, or in the case of romantic partners, not to cheat on us by dating others. Core Anxieties
  16. 16.  Low self-esteem—the belief that we are less worthy than other people and, therefore, don’t deserve attention, love, or any other of life’s rewards. Indeed, we often believe that we deserve to be punished by life in some way. Insecure or unstable sense of self— the inability to sustain a feeling of personal identity, to sustain a sense of knowing ourselves.  Insecure or unstable sense of self—the inability to sustain a feeling of personal identity, to sustain a sense of knowing ourselves. This core issue makes us very vulnerable to the influence of other people, and we may find ourselves continually changing the way we look or behave as we become involved with different individuals or groups.  Oedipal fixation (or oedipal complex)—a dysfunctional bond with a parent of the opposite sex that we don’t outgrow in adulthood and that doesn’t allow us to develop mature relationships with our peers. (Tyson 26–27) Core Issues
  17. 17. Defense MechanismsDefense Mechanisms
  18. 18. McLeod, S. A. (2009). Defense Mechanisms. Retrieved from
  19. 19. Other Influential Psychoanalytic Theorists  Carl Jung: Jungian criticism attempts to explore the connection between literature and what Carl Jung (a student of Freud) called the “collective unconscious” of the human race: "...racial memory, through which the spirit of the whole human species manifests itself" (Richter 504). Jungian criticism, closely related to Freudian theory because of its connection to psychoanalysis, assumes that all stories and symbols are based on mythic models from mankind’s past.  Jacques Lacan: a post-Freudian psychoanalytic theorist, focused on language and language-related issues. Lacan treats the unconscious as a language; consequently, he views the dream not as Freud did (that is, as a form and symptom of repression) but rather as a form of discourse.  Julie Kristeva: Her interest in psychoanalysis was also inspired by Jacques Lacan's re-interpretation of Freud, although Kristeva has also carefully distinguished her own ideas from those of Lacan. Kristeva was particularly critical of what she saw as an inherent misogyny in Lacan's and Freud's theories; her own system of thinking therefore attempts to rethink sexual development in such a way as to value the importance of the feminine. For this reason, she has been especially influential on theories of gender and sex.
  20. 20. PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM aims to show that a literary or cultural work is always structured by complex and often contradictory human desires.
  21. 21. What does Tyson Tell us about Psychoanalytical Theory  Psychoanalytic concepts have become part of our everyday lives, and therefore psychoanalytic thinking should have the advantage of familiarity.  Most of us have acquired a very simplistic idea of what these concepts mean, and in their clichéd form they seem rather superficial if not altogether meaningless.  We fear that psychoanalysis wants to invade our most private being and reveal us to ourselves and to the world as somehow inadequate, even sick, and the result is very often a deep-seated mistrust of “psychobabble.”
  22. 22. If we take the time to understand some key concepts about human experience offered by psychoanalysis, we can begin to see the ways in which these concepts operate in our daily lives in profound rather than superficial ways, and we’ll begin to understand human behaviors that until now may have seemed utterly baffling. And, of course, if psychoanalysis can help us better understand human behavior, then it must certainly be able to help us understand literary texts, which are about human behavior. Tyson on Psychoanalytic Criticism
  23. 23.  Adopts the methods of "reading" employed by Freud and later theorists to interpret texts. It argues that literary texts, like dreams, express the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary work is a manifestation of the author's own neuroses. It approaches an author’s work as a kind of textual “talk therapy.”  One may psychoanalyze a particular character within a literary work, but it is usually assumed that all such characters are projections of the author's psyche.  Like psychoanalysis itself, this critical endeavor seeks evidence of unresolved emotions, psychological conflicts, guilt, ambivalences, and so forth within the author’s literary work. The author's own childhood traumas, family life, sexual conflicts, fixations, and such will be traceable within the behavior of the characters in the literary work. Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism
  24. 24.  the author: the theory is used to analyze the author and his/her life, and the literary work is seen to supply evidence for this analysis. This is often called "psychobiography."  the characters: the theory is used to analyze one or more of the characters; the psychological theory becomes a tool that to explain the characters’ behavior and motivations. The more closely the theory seems to apply to the characters, the more realistic the work appears.  the audience: the theory is used to explain the appeal of the work for those who read it; the work is seen to embody universal human psychological processes and motivations, to which the readers respond more or less unconsciously.  the text: the theory is used to analyze the role of language and symbolism in the work. Psychoanalytic literary criticism is often extended to one or more of the following:
  25. 25. 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.)
  26. 26. 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)?
  27. 27. 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 can be 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.
  28. 28. 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?
  29. 29. Discussion Questions  Post #9: What is the purpose of psychoanalytical criticism?
  30. 30. Q: How can psychoanalytic criticism be applied in real life situations? Q: If I could, would I eradicate core issues from my life? Q: If psychoanalytic criticism is about revealing our private beings to ourselves and to the world, what does that say about the author’s subconscious before he/she writes the text? Q: How can identifying human flaw in literature through psychoanalytic criticism help readers understand and/or improve themselves? Q: Does Lacanian psychoanalysis contradict traditional psychoanalysis? Q: Based on the Tyson’s Dream and Dream symbols section, how can we know which dream symbols tell our psychological statements? Q: (Question from the ending of the chapter […]) In what ways can we view a literary work as analogous to a dream?
  31. 31. 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.
  32. 32. 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. In Groups
  33. 33. 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.
  34. 34. Homework  Post #10: 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.