analyze one of the plays, poems, short stories we have covered in this course from the literary perspective : psychoanalysis
1. Psychoanalytic perspective
Psychoanalytic literary criticism refers to literary criticism or literary theory that, in method, concept or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis
begun by Sigmund Freud. As a consequence, a psychoanalytic interpretation should refer to aspects of psychological theory such as the unconscious,
repression, wish fulfilment and desire, trauma, hysteria, dreams, and the Oedipus and Electra complexes. You might also explore Jungian theory, which
contains concepts such as the shadow.
1. Discuss different perspectives
When you incorporate discussion of different critical perspectives, it is not enough to simply recount what each critic has to say. You need to show that you
have the ability to think critically about what they are saying, and then create your own interpretation in response.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What is the critic’s opinion?
How is their opinion formed? What do they consider and what do they ignore?
What aspects of their opinion do you agree or disagree with? Why?
Here are some examples of how to do this within an essay on Heart of Darkness:
As his concern resides primarily with the use of Africa as a foil, Achebe overlooks the importance of the Intended to the narrative. Achebe’s belief that Conrad
is ‘a thoroughgoing racist’ precludes him from recognizing …
While McIntire and Achebe both express concern about Conrad’s representation of the ‘natives’, McIntire’s feminist perspective leads her to emphasize …
Seeking to represent the viewpoints of the marginalized ‘other’, both Achebe and McIntire assert …
Both writers express concern with the depiction of the tribal woman, yet their interpretations of this character differ because …
Try using some these phrases in bold to your text (not exactly these)– they will enhance your analysis while also revealing that you are engaging with and
comparing the literary perspectives.
And finally …
This task is asking you to read critically and think deeply. Rather than blindly accepting everything you read, have a pen in your hand when you are reading a
piece of literary criticism and annotate it. If you disagree with something you read, note your response. If you agree, note why and add additional evidence to
support the point. By doing this, you will be well on your way to forming your own interpretation.
As with any essay, this one needs a proper introductory paragraph, body paragraphs that SUPPORT the thesis statement, evidence from the story in the form
of SHORT quotes and/or paraphrases with in-text citations, and commentary following quotes/paraphrases. The last page will contain the works cited
entries. Use this template Download templateto create work cited entries. Consult the explanation of the template Download explanation of the templatefor
correct formatting of each of the place holders. The word “YOU” and “YOUR” are not to be used in college writing. Do not write in first person.