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Psychoanalytic/Freud Criticism. Sigmund Freud. 1856 - 1939. The unconscious activities of our mind. Austrian psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis. Guilt. Shameful experiences. Dreams. Sexual desires. FEAR. The Unconscious Mind . To the…. PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICISM.

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sigmund freud
Sigmund Freud

1856 - 1939

The unconscious activities of our mind

Austrian psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis


Shameful experiences


Sexual desires


to the
To the…


the beginning of psychoanalytic criticism
The Beginning of Psychoanalytic Criticism
  • Freud’s belief in the significance of dreams leads to the study of psychoanalytic criticism
  • They are also revealed in creative arts – such as in literature
  • “A work of literature is a fantasy or a dream” (Murfin 507)
  • Analyzing literature is similar to analyzing dreams – also applies Freud’s theories

Once upon a time, there was a person who had lots of MONEY!

He is stressed out from studying a test…

By: “these people”

analyzing literature in depth
Analyzing Literature (in Depth)
  • Manifest content & latent content
  • Manifest content – the surface of a work
  • Latent content – the real desire (hidden)
        • because writers often express their secret unconscious desires and anxieties indirectly in text
  • Psychoanalytic literary critic tries to expose the latent content of a work
analyzing literature in depth1
Analyzing Literature (in Depth)
  • Latent form – writers often disguise their unconscious mind through principles such as
  • Symbolism - the repressed object represented in disguise
  • Condensation – thoughts or persons condensed into a single image
  • Displacement – anxiety or wish displaced onto the image of another
personality model
Personality Model
  • In a later generation, psychoanalytic critics analyze characters within the novel using Freud’s famous Personality model
  • Critics see them as a projection of author’s psyche
  • Personality structure:
      • Id – the child
      • Superego – the conscience
      • Ego – the thinking part of both id and superego

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë