Psychoanalysis & Structuralism

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Human, Literature Pages: 14 (2846 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Psychoanalytic Criticism
Classical Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud
Theory of the Psyche
Humans are motivated, even driven, by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware, that is unconscious The world through psychoanalytic lens
Individual human beings
Psychological history
Childhood -> adolescent -> adult behavior
Goal: help us resolve problems
Patterns of behavior – destructive (in some way)
The Unconscious
The storehouse of those painful experiences and emotions
Guilty pleasures
Unresolved conflicts
Repression – to hide forcefully those unhappy psychological events (especially when we are very young) Repression
Does not eliminate our painful experiences and emotions
We unconsciously behave in ways that will allow us to “play out” without admitting it to ourselves The Family
Very important because we are each a product of the role
The “birth” of the unconscious lies in the way we perceive our place in the family and how we react to this self-definition Oedipal conflict
Competition with the parent of the same gender for the attention and affection of the opposite gender Freudian theory
Sibling rivalry
Penis envy – “women are naturally envious of men” (for authority) Castration anxiety – men afraid of losing power

Starting points
Developmental stages (Oedipal attachments, sibling rivalry, and the like) We go through all of these experiences, natural -> part of maturing and establishing identities If we fail to outgrow: PROBLEM

Serves our unconscious desires not to recognize or change our destructive behaviors because we have formed our identities around them Contents of our unconscious are kept in the unconscious
We keep the repressed repressed in order to avoid knowing what we tell we cannot handle knowing Selective Perception
Selective Memory

Temporary return to a former psychological state, which is not just imagined but b/relieved A return either to a painful or pleasant expression
Defense: carries our thoughts away from some present difficulty (active reversal) Anxiety
Experienced when our defenses momentarily break down
Most common core issues
Fear of intimacy
Fear of abandonment – emotional/physical
Fear of betrayal
Low self-esteem
Insecure or unstable sense of self
Oedipal fixation (Oedipus complex)
Core issues define our being in fundamental ways
Do not consist of occasional negative feelings
Passing episodes of insecurity
Dysfunctional, destructive – psychoanalysis
Involves the return of the repressed
Painful or frightening guilty experience
Resurfacing but you want to keep it repressed

Form of therapy
Controlled working in and with anxiety

Breaking down defenses
To effect basic changes in the structures of our personality

During sleep, the unconscious is free to express itself, and it does so in our dream Censorship
Protection against frightening insights into our repressed experiences and emotions Dream distortion

Latent Content
The “message” our unconscious expressed in our dreams, which is the dream’s underlying meaning Altered so we do not readily recognize it
Though such processes referred to collectively as
Primary Revision
Dream displacement
Occurs whenever we use a “safe” person, event, or object Condensation
Occurs during a dream whenever we use a single dream image or event to represent more than the unconscious wound or conflict Manifest Content
What we actually dream, once primary revision has disguised the unconscious message or the dream’s latent content dream images : manifest content :: meaning of images : latent content

In interpreting our dreams then, our goal is to recall the manifest content and try to uncover the latent content We are very liable to unconsciously change the dream in order to further protect ourselves from it Secondary Revision

Dream Interpretation...
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