Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Carl Gustav Jung and Jacques Lacan. The basic tenets of psychoanalysis include the following:
*human behavior, experience and cognition are largely determined by innate and irrational drives; those drives are largely unconscious; *attempts to bring those drives into awareness meet psychological resistance in the form of defense mechanisms; *beside the inherited constitution of personality, one's development is determined by events in early childhood; *conflicts between conscious view of reality and unconscious (repressed) material can result in mental disturbances such as neurosis, neurotic traits, anxiety, depression etc. *the liberation from the effects of the unconscious material is achieved through bringing this material into the consciousness (via e.g. skilled guidance). Under the broad umbrella of psychoanalysis there are at least 22 theoretical orientations regarding human mental development. The various approaches in treatment called "psychoanalysis" vary as much as the theories do. The term also refers to a method of studying child development. Freudian psychoanalysis refers to a specific type of treatment in which the analytic patient verbalizes thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst induces the unconscious conflicts causing the patient's symptoms and character problems, and interprets them for the patient to create insight for resolution of the problems. In its emphasis on discovery of the source of symptoms, psychoanalysis is first and foremost a method of interpretation.
Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism
The Frame of Literary Reading in Psychoanalysis
psychoanalytic literary criticism is based on the premise that the mind has both a conscious and unconscious realm, and The object of it can be the psychoanalysis of the author or of a particularly interesting character in a given work. In this directly therapeutic form, the criticism is very similar to psychoanalysis itself, closely following the analytic interpretive process discussed in Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams and other works. Critics may view the fictional characters as a psychological case study, attempting to identify such Freudian concepts as Oedipus complex, penis envy, Freudian slips, Id, ego and superego and so on, and demonstrate how they influenced the thoughts and behaviors of fictional characters. However, more complex variations of psychoanalytic criticism are possible. The concepts of psychoanalysis can be deployed with reference to the narrative or poetic structure itself, without requiring access to the authorial psyche (an interpretation motivated by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan's remark that "the unconscious is structured like a language"). Early psychoanalytic literary criticism would often treat the text as if it were a kind of dream. This means that the text represses its real (or latent) content behind obvious (manifest) content. The process of changing from latent to manifest content is known as the dream work, and involves operations of concentration and displacement. The critic analyzes the language and symbolism of a text to reverse the process of the dream work and arrive at the underlying latent thoughts. The danger is that 'such criticism tends to be reductive, explaining away the ambiguities of works of literature by reference to established psychoanalytic doctrine; and very little of this work retains much influence today'. 'The development of psychoanalytic approaches to literature proceeds from the shift of emphasis from "content" to the fabric of artistic and literary works'. The analyst listens carefully for subtle linguistic clues that will help him...