This essay sample on Example Of Psychoanalytic Criticism provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
Mliterary criticism, the reasoned consideration of literary works and issues. It applies, as a term, to any argumentation about literature, whether or not specific works are analyzed. Plato’s cautions against the risky consequences of poetic inspiration in general in his Republic are thus often taken as the earliest important example of literary criticism.
More strictly construed, the term covers only what has been called “practical criticism,” the interpretation of meaning and the Judgment of quality.
Criticism in this narrow sense can be distinguished not only from aesthetics (the philosophy of artistic value) but also from other matters that may concern New Criticism – New Criticism emphasizes explication, or “close reading,” of “the work itself. It rejects old historicism’s attention to biographical and sociological matters. Instead, the objective determination as to “how a piece works” can be found through close focus and analysis, rather than through extraneous and erudite special nowledge.
It has long been the pervasive and standard approach to literature in college and high school curricula. New Criticism, incorporating Formalism, examines the relationships between a text’s ideas and its form, between what a text says and the way it says it. New Critics “may find tension, irony, or paradox in this relation, but they usually resolve it into unity and coherence of meaning” (Biddle 100).
New Criticism attempts to be a science of literature, with a technical vocabulary, some of which we all had to learn in Junior high school English classes (third-person, denoument, etc. . Working with patterns of sound, imagery, narrative structure, point of view, and other techniques discernible on close reading of the text, they seek to determine the function and appropriateness of these to the self-contained work. New Critics, especially American ones in the 1940s and 1950s, attacked the standard notion of “expressive realism,” the romantic fallacy that literature is the efflux of a noble soul, that for example love pours out onto the page in 14 iambic pentameter lines rhyming ABABCD etc.
The goal then is not the pursuit of sincerity or authenticity, but subtlety, unity, and integrity–and these are properties of the text, ot the author. The work is not the author’s; it was detached at birth. The author’s intentions are “neither available nor desirable” (nor even to be taken at face value when supposedly found in direct statements by authors). Meaning exists on the page. Thus, New Critics insist that the meaning of a text is intrinsic and should not be confused with the author’s intentions nor the work’s affective dimension (its impressionistic effects on the reader).
The “intentional fallacy” is when one confuses the meaning of a work with the author’s purported intention (expressed in letters, iaries, interviews, for example). The “affective fallacy” is the erroneous practice of interpreting texts according to the psychological or emotional responses of readers, confusing the text with its results. To do New Critical reading, ask yourself, “How does this piece work? ” Look for complexities in the text: paradoxes, ironies, ambiguities.
CriticismArchetypal criticism argues that archetypes determine the form and function of literary works, that a text’s meaning is shaped by cultural and psychological myths. Archetypes are the unknowable basic forms personified or oncretized in recurring images, symbols, or patterns which may include motifs such as the quest or the heavenly ascent, recognizable character types such as the trickster or the hero, symbols such as the apple or snake, or images such as crucifixion (as in King Kong, or Bride of Frankenstein)–all laden with meaning already when employed in a particular work.
Archetypal criticism gets its impetus from psychologist Carl Jung, who postulated that humankind has a “collective unconscious,” a kind of universal psyche, which is manifested in dreams and myths and which harbors themes and images that we all inherit. Literature, therefore, imitates not the world but rather the “total dream of humankind. ” Jung called mythology “the textbook of the archetypes” (qtd. in Walker 17). Archetypal critics find New Criticism too atomistic in ignoring intertextual elements and in approaching the text as if it existed in a vacuum.
After all, we recognize story patterns and symbolic associations at least from other texts we have read, if not innately; we know how to form assumptions and expectations from encounters with black hats, springtime settings, evil stepmothers, and so forth. So surely meaning cannot exist solely on the age of a work, nor can that work be treated as an independent entity. Archetypal images and story patterns encourage readers (and viewers of films and advertisements) to participate ritualistically in basic beliefs, fears, and anxieties of their age.
These archetypal features not only constitute the intelligibility of the text but also tap into a level of desires and anxieties of humankind. [Whereas Freudian, Lacanian, and other schools of psychological criticism operate within a linguistic paradigm regarding the unconscious, the Jungian approach to myth emphasizes the notion of image (Walker 3). Psychoanalytic Criticism Psychoanalytic criticism adopts the methods of “reading” employed by Freud and later theorists to interpret texts.
It argues that literary texts, like dreams, express the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary work is a manifestation of the author’s own neuroses. One may psychoanalyze a particular character within a literary work, but it is usually assumed that all such characters are projections of the author’s psyche. one interesting facet of this approach is that it validates the importance of literature, as it is built on a literary key for the decoding.
Freud himself wrote, “The dream-thoughts which we first come across as we proceed with our analysis often strike us by the unusual form in which they are expressed; they are not clothed in the prosaic language usually employed by our thoughts, but are on the contrary represented symbolically by means of similes and metaphors, in images resembling those of poetic speech” (26). Like psychoanalysis itself, this critical endeavor seeks evidence of unresolved emotions, psychological conflicts, guilts, ambivalences, and so forth within what may well be a disunified literary work.
The author’s own childhood raumas, family life, sexual conflicts, fixations, and such will be traceable within the behavior of the characters in the literary work. But psychological material will be expressed indirectly, disguised, or encoded (as in dreams) through principles such as “symbolism” (the repressed object represented in disguise), “condensation” (several located onto another image by means of association). Despite the importance of the author here, psychoanalytic criticism is similar to New Criticism in not concerning itself with “what the author intended. But what the author never intended (that is, epressed) is sought.