Psychological Criticism

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defense mechanisms—ways of avoiding the painful recognition of undesirable thoughts and feelings displacement—when unconscious desires and thoughts are seen in conscious thoughts or dreams through an association with something that symbolically represents another person or event ego—the rational part of the psyche that operates on the reality principle id—the part of the psyche that contains instincts and desires, often unconscious, that motivate human behavior according to the pleasure principle; it encourages us to instantly gratify our impulses Electra complex—the strong attachment of a daughter to her father, such that she is willing to do anything for his affection; counterpart to the Oedipus complex Oedipus complex—the strong attachment of a son to his mother, such that he is willing to do anything for her affection; counterpart to the Electra complex phallic symbol—an image that represents a penis

projection—the perception in other people of unacknowledged negative feelings about oneself repressed—blocked from conscious thought but retained in the subconscious sublimation—the transformation of feelings into something more acceptable superego—the part of the psyche that stores information about the dictates and values first of our parents and later of the society in which we live; the conscience transference—the shifting of uncomfortable feelings and emotions about one person, such as a parent, to another, less authoritative figure, such as a co-worker or a therapist yonic symbol—an image that represents a vagina

I. Psychological Criticism
History and Development
Psychological criticism examines the inner workings of the human mind and applies psychological theories to the interpretation of literature, specifically in the analysis of authors and their characters. This approach draws from the theories of several prominent experts, but most often those of Sigmund Freud (1846–1939). Freud is considered the founder of psychoanalysis, a treatment that requires patients to talk about their dreams, events from their childhoods, and their relationships with their parents in an effort to bring repressed memories and feelings out into the open. Freud had a major impact on our understanding of how the mind works, especially concerning the power the unconscious mind has over our conscious thoughts and actions. As a student, the first thing you need to understand about applying psychological theory to literature is that you do not need to be a psychologist to use the approach. What you do need is a basic understanding of some of the key components of Freudian theory. Freud was a leading neurologist and psychotherapist in Vienna during the latter part of the nineteenth century. His interest in his patients' dysfunctional behaviors inspired him to study the formation, organization, and disorders of the human psyche. His theories in these areas, collected and published in works such as Studies in Hysteria (1895), The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), dominated the field of psychotherapy during the first half of the twentieth century. Despite its technical title, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life is one of Freud's most popular and accessible books, exploring superstition, memory lapses, slips of the tongue (known as "Freudian slips"), and other verbal and physical mistakes. Other important psychoanalysts, including Alfred Adler, Otto Rank, and Carl Jung, built on Freud's work in their own studies of the pathology of the human mind. In this module, we will discuss Freud's basic tenets first, and then we will look at Jung's theories, especially his ideas concerning archetypes, myths, and the collective unconscious. Principles of Psychological Criticism

A psychological approach encourages a deeper understanding of the intricate inner workings of the human mind and clarifies the motivations and actions of literary characters. These insights provide readers with a better...
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