Psychoanalytic Criticism

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1. (c.) Psychoanalytic Criticism
Psychoanalytic Criticism was first mooted by the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. It deals with the mind of the author at the time of writing hence the “psycho” aspect of it. The text is seen as a dream and the readers unravel the mysteries of the dram as they read and endeavor to gain understanding of the text. In this theory, the author’s mind, the impact of the text on the reader and the third character are of paramount importance. This theory came from psychology. It is a theory that has undergone evolution since it was propounded hence many other similar theories have stemmed from it. The basic tenets will be discussed here. (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/psychology) From the psychoanalytic perspective, the act of writing is some form of escapism where the writer takes the opportunity to evade his harsh realities and frustrations. The author finds refuge in writing and as he expresses himself, he will be inadvertently venting his pent up pressures and achieving a sense of release and peace from within in the process. (Makamani,2009:65) It is assumed that the writer enters a state of abnormality, like a person in a trance and in that subconscious that inscribes what is to be written about hence most authors’ works end up as near autobiographies. A case in point is Chinua Achebe in his poem “Refugee Mother and Child” in which a vigorously narrates and describes the squalid and inhuman conditions of the refuge camps during the colonial era in Nigeria. The reader can tell from the strength of the words and the vivid description in vitriolic diction that this in nothing but a first hand experience. He could have intended to simply describe the situation but his psyche takes over and as readers, we have an insight into his bitterness and anger. Psychoanalysis concerns itself more with what the author never intended to say than the obviously stated feelings. It deals with he covert more than the overt....
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