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Critical Approaches to Literature HUMA 3300.001

by: Nicholas Notetaker

Critical Approaches to Literature HUMA 3300.001 HUMA 3300.001 (Ming Dong Gu)

Marketplace > University of Texas at Dallas > Arts and Humanities > HUMA 3300.001 (Ming Dong Gu) > Critical Approaches to Literature HUMA 3300 001
Nicholas Notetaker
GPA 2.76

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Summary of Chapter 6: Psychological approach
Critical Approaches to Literature
Dr. Ming Dong Gu
Class Notes
Psychological approach
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicholas Notetaker on Tuesday April 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HUMA 3300.001 (Ming Dong Gu) at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Dr. Ming Dong Gu in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Critical Approaches to Literature in Arts and Humanities at University of Texas at Dallas.


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Date Created: 04/05/16
Critical Approaches to Literature March 8th­22nd, 2016 Chapter 6: the psychological approach Overview:  All literature rests on a psychology  Psychological approaches to literary studies can be traced back to Aristotle  Psychoanalysis puts psychological approaches on a rigorous and systematic basis  Freud's notion that art is an expression of neurosis  Catharsis: purging of dangerous emotions  Psychoanalysis and psychology are different:  Psychology is big and psychoanalysis is small and a part of it Key terms:  Oedipus complex  Tonic symbols  Phallic symbols The psychological approach: Freud:  Aims and principles  Are King Claudius and Queen Gertrude of Hamlet morally right or wrong? o King Claudius is morally wrong o Queen Gertrude is morally balanced The use and abuses of the psychological approach:  The use: psychological approaches provide insight into the thematic and symbolic  mysteries of a work of literature, and mysteries of a work of literature, and enhance other  readings. critics who take such approaches seek the possible motives behind the literary  work, reading between the lines for authors and characters' psychological conflicts  The Abuse: The approach is abused when it is made an exclusive approach. Abuses and  misunderstandings of psychological approaches include its tendency to limit  interpretation, ignoring the aesthetic value of the text in favor of psychoanalyzing author  and characters Freud's theories:  theory of the libido: sexual energy  Phallic and tonic symbols, male and female Freud's theories:  theory of the libido: sexual energy  Phallic and yonic symbols, male and female o Phallic is the shape of male genitals o Yonic is the shape of female genitals   Unconscious Motivation: psychological forces over which we have limited control  motivate Most of our actions. The mind is divided into the conscious and unconscious;  most of an individual's mental processes are driven by the unconscious and ultimately by  sexuality. Due to social taboos and pressure, sexual impulses, desires and memories are  repressed Freud's model of the mind:   Freud divided the mind into the ID, the ego, and the superego o Id­libido or unconscious, the pleasure principle o Ego­ the conscious sense of self, the reality principle o Superego­ learned rules and customs, the morality principle Topographical model: Iceberg Model  consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg while the unconsciousness is everything  below the water Three component parts of the mind:  Materials pass easily back and forth between the conscious and the pre conscious.  Material from these two areas can slip into the unconscious. Truly unconscious material  can't be made available voluntarily, according to Freud   The Id: only component of personality that is present from birth. According to Freud, the  ID is the source of all psychic energy, making it the primary component of personality o The ID is driven by pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification  of all desires, wants, and needs.  The Ego­ component of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality. The ego  develops from the ID and ensures that the impulses of the ID can be expressed in a  manner acceptable in the real world. The ego functions in both the conscious,  preconscious, and unconscious mind o The ego operates based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the id's  desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways  The Superego­ component of personality to develop is the superego. The superego is the  aspect of personality that holds all of our internalized moral standards and ideals that we  acquire from both parents and society­­our sense of right and wrong.  o The super ego provides guidelines for making judgments Two parts of the superego:  The ego ideal­ includes the rules and standards for good behavior. [Do's]  The conscience­ includes info about things that are viewed as bad by parents and society.  These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments or  feeling of guilt and remorse. [Don't's] The superego acts to perfect and civilize our behavior. It works to suppress all unacceptable  urges of Id and struggles to make the ego act upon idealistic standards rather than upon realistic  principles The interaction:  The key to a healthy personality is a balance between the tree  Freud did not abandon the topographical model. He combined it with the structural  model.  Most of what we do is motivated by the unconscious, especially sexuality/libido A newborn baby, according to Freud, is bubbling with energy (Libido; psychic energy) and  indulges in pleasure seeking:  Oral (0­18 months)  Anal (18 months­ 3 1/2 years)  Urethral (18 months­ 3 1/2 years)  Phallic (3 1/2 years­ 6 years)  Oedipal (3 1/2 years­ 6 years)  Latency (6 years to puberty)  Genital (Puberty­ adulthood) Oedipus complex:   a little boy's love of the mother and hate for the father  The son's strong feelings for an attachment to the mother, and subsequent struggle with  the father Other theories  inspired by Freud, Jacques Lacan developed his own version of the unconscious Jacques Lacan:   A follower of Freud who is very influential in post­structuralism literary theory. The psychological approach in practice: Phallic and Yonic symbols  The Washington Monument is a Phallic symbol  The Vietnam memorial is  a Yonic symbol Theory of Ernest Jones:   Reason for hamlet's delay in avenging his murdered father  Hamlet's misogyny, especially to Ophelia  His ambivalence toward father figures: identifies with the ghost, the good father; hates  Claudius; loathes Polonius


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