Psychological Criticism

The paper “Psychological Criticism” provides detailed overview of modern approaches to psychology and identifies its effect on literary criticism. It is argued that psychological concepts of Sigmund Freud influenced greatly human’s ideas of behavior and actions. Freud’s theories aimed at providing in-depth analysis of wish fulfillment, repression, the unconscious, whereas special attention was paid to human sexuality. Freud significantly contributed development of psychology as science as he proved that process of human mentality should be treated as unconscious.

Sigmund Freud analyzed language, explored symbols and signals in dream, and, moreover, he developed a theory of human cognition. In the paper psychological criticism is defined as “a diverse category” involving three different approaches: investigation of creative process of arts, psychological study of a given artists, and analysis of fiction characters. (p. 2219) The goal of the psychological criticism is to examine the surface of particular literary work and to reveal unspoken motifs, fears and memories.

In the “Nature of Dreams” it is argued that repressed impulse is dominating in dreams and due to it we obtain some kind of expression. Dream-thoughts are referred to as the “collection of sensory images and visual scenes”. (p. 22. 19) When impulses travel we see something new and colorful in our dreams. The “Fairy Tale Motifs” claims that Miss Oates often referred to fairy tale material in her “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? ” The characters and situations are, therefore, presented with corresponding motifs taken from her imagination and fantasy.

The story is provided with irony and fantasy, whereas the main protagonist is “real” representing the generation of young people who grown up without fairy tales. The “Poetic Influence” by Harold Bloom finds the origins of poetry stressing that new poem is response to the old one. He argues that “a poet is not so much a man speaking to men as a man rebelling against being spoken to by a dead man outrageously more alive than himself”. (p. 2223)