Thursday, 18 March 2010

Psychoanalytic literary criticism....

Sigmund Freud born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September, 1939), was a Jewish-Austrian neurologist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry.Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind and the defense mechanism of repression and for creating the clinical practice of psychoanalysis for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient (technically referred to as an "analysand") and a psychoanalyst. Freud is also renowned for his redefinition of sexual desire as the primary motivational energy of human life, as well as his therapeutic techniques, including the use of free association, his theory of transference in the therapeutic relationship, and the interpretation of dreams as sources of insight into unconscious desires. He was also an early neurological researcher into cerebral palsy. Freud was also a prolific essayist, drawing on psychoanalysis to contribute to the history, interpretation and critique of culture.

While some of Freud's ideas have fallen out of favor or have been modified by Neo-Freudians, and modern advances in the field of psychology have shown flaws in some of his theories, Freud's work remains seminal in humans' quest for self-understanding, especially in the history of clinical approaches. In academia, his ideas continue to influence the humanities and social sciences. He is considered one of the most prominent thinkers of the first half of the 20th century, in terms of originality and intellectual influence.

Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways:He simultaneously developed a theory of how the human mind is organized and operates internally, and a theory of how human behavior both conditions and results from this particular theoretical understanding. This led him to favor certain clinical techniques for trying to help cure psychopathology.He theorized that personality is developed by the person's childhood experiences.

In his later work, Freud proposed that the human psyche could be divided into three parts: ego, super-ego, and id. Freud discussed this model in the 1920 essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle,and fully elaborated upon it in The Ego and the Id (1923), in which he developed it as an alternative to his previous topographic schema (i.e., conscious, unconscious, and preconscious).The id is the impulsive, child-like portion of the psyche that operates on the "pleasure principle" and only takes into account what it wants and disregards all consequences.

The term ego entered the English language in the late 18th century; Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) described the game of chess as a way to "...keep the mind fit and the ego in check". Freud acknowledged that his use of the term Id (das Es, "the It") derives from the writings of Georg Groddeck. The term Id appears in the earliest writing of Boris Sidis, in which it is attributed to William James, as early as 1898.

The super-ego is the moral component of the psyche,which takes into account no special circumstances in which the morally right thing may not be right for a given situation.The rational ego attempts to exact a balance between the impractical hedonism of the id and the equally impractical moralism of the super-ego;it is the part of the psyche that is usually reflected most directly in a person's actions.When overburdened or threatened by its tasks, it may employ defense mechanisms including denial, repression, and displacement.The theory of ego defense mechanisms has received empirical validation,and the nature of repression, in particular, became one of the more fiercely debated areas of psychology in the 1990s.

Freud believed that humans were driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive (libido/Eros) (survival, propagation, hunger, thirst, and sex) and the death drive (Thanatos).[39] Freud's description of Cathexis, whose energy is known as libido, included all creative, life-producing drives. The death drive (or death instinct), whose energy is known as anticathexis, represented an urge inherent in all living things to return to a state of calm: in other words, an inorganic or dead state.

Freud recognized the death drive only in his later years and developed his theory of it in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Freud approached the paradox between the life drives and the death drives by defining pleasure and unpleasure. According to Freud, unpleasure refers to stimulus that the body receives. (For example, excessive friction on the skin's surface produces a burning sensation; or, the bombardment of visual stimuli amidst rush hour traffic produces anxiety.)

Conversely, pleasure is a result of a decrease in stimuli (for example, a calm environment the body enters after having been subjected to a hectic environment). If pleasure increases as stimuli decreases, then the ultimate experience of pleasure for Freud would be zero stimulus, or death.[citation needed]

Given this proposition, Freud acknowledged the tendency for the unconscious to repeat unpleasurable experiences in order to desensitize, or deaden, the body. This compulsion to repeat unpleasurable experiences explains why traumatic nightmares occur in dreams, as nightmares seem to contradict Freud's earlier conception of dreams purely as a site of pleasure, fantasy, and desire. On the one hand, the life drives promote survival by avoiding extreme unpleasure and any threat to life. On the other hand, the death drive functions simultaneously toward extreme pleasure, which leads to death. Freud addressed the conceptual dualities of pleasure and unpleasure, as well as sex/life and death, in his discussions on masochism and sadomasochism. The tension between life drive and death drive represented a revolution in his manner of thinking.

Around 1910, Alfred Adler began to pay attention to some of the conscious personality factors and gradually deviated from the basic Freud’s ideas, namely, the perceptions of the importance of infant hunger for life and the driving force of the unconscious cruelty.After some time, Adler himself realized that his thoughts are farther away from Freud's psychoanalysis, and then he called his system “individual psychology".

No comments:

Post a Comment