Literary Psychoanalytic And Feminist Criticism

Psychoanalytic criticism is respectable by literary critics even after a century of literary interpretations attained by method of methods belonging to this critical point of view. This type of literary criticism has affected many other critical approaches like the feminist one. Because the early on 1970's, feminist experts have hired "tools" owned by psychoanalytic criticism in order to review the portrayal of ladies in literary masterpieces. However, feminists never apply psychoanalytic theory in the traditional manner. Instead, they choose to adapt these ideas and solutions to their own goal. Feminist literary critics disapprove of (what they call) Freudian chauvinistic views on woman's psyche (that they choose to "psychoanalyse" in their own terms, in their own manner). Therefore, feminist analysts agree to the normal psychoanalytic design of literary interpretation only to a certain level (by challenging it and adding new alternatives and new perspectives to it).

The purpose of this newspaper is to discuss literary analyses that derive from a combination of psychoanalytic and feminist criticism. I've chosen analyses of Charlotte Bront's Jane Eyre and Shirley and Emily Bront's Wuthering Levels because they enable (and even render as necessary) this type of combination. These three literary works were compiled by authoresses who lived in a culture marked by discrepancy (a "split") between looks and truth. Victorian society is best referred to by the Freudian conditions of "repression" (of the instinctual aspect of the personality) and "pathological symptoms" to which sublimation usually leads. This social background is mirrored in the books mentioned, which is why I consider them the perfect choice for the literary application of psychoanalytic theory.

Moreover, the feminist analyst Elaine Showalter includes these writings in the "feminine period" in the progression of the female literary custom, which transforms them in to the ideal literary text messages to be analysed from a feminist point of view. During this level (seeing from 1840 to 1880), women used male pseudonyms and composed in an effort to equal the intellectual accomplishments of the male culture, which afflicted the shade, diction, structure and characterisation of these literary creations. The main characteristics of the phase are properly illustrated by the works and lives of the Bronts when i proved in the subchapter entitled "The Sociable Position of Charlotte and Emily Bront as Victorian Women Writers" (in the chapter "Charlotte and Emily Bront in Social Context and Feminine Tradition"). The Bronts thought compelled to make use of male pseudonyms in order to benefit from a "fair" (undiscriminating) reading with their texts. When they did uncover their true identities, Charlotte and Emily Bront's literary creations (as well as their integrity as authors) were fiercely attacked by male critics and freelance writers.

Because of the issues that female writers of this level dealt with, the novelty they taken to the literary field and the huge step they required in order to break with the tradition that got silenced women and averted them from writing, I think that this is the main stage of the three discovered by Showalter. Furthermore, the knowledge of the essence of this stage is necessary for the understanding of the complete female literary traditions, since it symbolizes the "roots" (beginnings) of women's culture. Because of this, Wuthering Levels, Jane Eyre and Shirley aren't only the perfect types of texts to be analysed from a psychoanalytic point of view, but also a great choice in terms of literary materials that allows for feminist methods.

I have chosen these two critical literary perspectives scheduled to my own involvement in psychoanalysis and feminist issues. I think that I have a bent for psychology and the cultural circumstances where I grew up led to my taking to feminist beliefs. Therefore, this subject offers me the opportunity to explore "domains" which I find attractive, allowing me, at the same time, to combine love with intellectual research - a mixture which may provide the best results possible.

My diploma newspaper is set up on five chapters that i shall quickly present. The first two chapters (entitled "Introductory Things to consider on Feminist Literary Criticism" and "Introductory Concerns on Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism") are (as the headings themselves suggest) introductory chapters which present the theory put on the chosen literary creations throughout my newspaper. Both chapters add a general display of feminist/ psychoanalytic criticism predicated on Linda H. Peterson's Wuthering Heights casebook. The main one on feminist solutions also includes an research of a few of the main critical essays of ten highly regarded feminist experts, as well as commentary on their work and impact on literary criticism (provided by Risk Adams in his Literary Theory Since Plato and Literary Theory Since 1965). Similarly, the chapter on psychoanalytic perspective includes a presentation of the theory of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan and Carl Gustav Jung (based on Hazard Adams' two literature and Richard Harland's Literary Theory from Plato to Barthes: An Introductory Background). Furthermore, I also achieved a (quite personal) conversation of the essays I considered relevant to this issue of my newspaper.

The third chapter (entitled "Charlotte and Emily Bront in Public Context and Feminine Tradition") involves three subchapters: "Victorian Sociable Background", "The Social Position of Charlotte and Emily Bront as Victorian Women Writers", and "Jane Eyre, Shirley and Wuthering Levels - within and Set apart from Feminine Tradition". The second subchapter focuses on Bront sisters' social status which reflected the attitude that Victorian contemporary society experienced towards women freelance writers and even ladies in general. The 3rd subchapter is meant show the level to which Emily and Charlotte Bront were inspired by their ancestors and, therefore, preserved important elements owned by the tradition that was "born" in the 18th century. This entire section is principally about inserting the Bronts in a social framework and their work within the development of feminine literary tradition in order to set the premises necessary for the feminist method of the three novels.

The fourth chapter (Wuthering Levels) includes literary applications of psychoanalytic theory to Wuthering Heights, a presentation of various feminist perspectives on the novel and a subchapter focused on approaches that combine both types of critical perspectives. The final section ("Jane Eyre and Shirley") has an identical structure to the 3rd one, the sole noteworthy difference being the last subchapter where I relate mental discourse in the Victorian age to Charlotte Bront's fiction by using Sally Shuttleworth's Charlotte Bront and Victorian Mindset.

Although this paper may seem somewhat lengthy, the intricate subject matter requires more research than other (typical) diploma paper subject areas. Having chosen not one, but two literary critical perspectives and three novels to analyse, I've had to double the necessary (intellectual) effort and space focused on the theoretical and practical parts of the paper. However, it is this choice that has flipped the writing of my diploma newspaper into both challenging and an enjoyable experience (since the critical strategies that I have used in my research are [as already brought up] linked with "domains" I am very interested in). Regardless of the amount of the paper, I've not been able to achieve everything that I attempt to (or that the subject suggests). On account of space limit, I have had to concentrate on two of the mentioned books and on one of the two perspectives I have chosen. Therefore, the analysis of Shirley is only meant to underline and provide a term of evaluation for certain aspects in the evaluation of Jane Eyre and the emphasis is on feminist point of view and its reference to psychoanalytic perspective.

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