Dear Teacher,

        Sigmund Freud’s theories have huge implications with respect to literary analysis. Behind every important event that occurs in a novel is the individual. According to Freud, understanding the psychological forces that cause characters to do what they do allows us to unravel the mystery of the inner workings of the brain on both conscious and subconscious levels. The Freudian approach to literary criticism seeks to analyze these aspects of individual characters in the novel, thus gaining a better understanding of the desires, dreams, and fears of the characters and helping the reader to formulate his own interpretation of the novel as a whole. Students applying this approach are forced to analyze characters from a psychological standpoint rather than in the context of society or history. Doing so allows the reader to develop a stronger connection with the character, as he or she may realize that his or her id, ego, and superego work much in the same way. Criticism through the lens of Freud’s theories also shows that authors tend to base their characters upon realistic actions and behaviors since ideas such as dreams and desires apply to all psyches. Overall, Freud’s theories help the reader get to the core of what causes characters to act in the manner in which they do. Analyzing works of literature with this approach will give students a deeper understanding of each character's motives, desires, personality, etc. and will hopefully therefore give them further appreciation of the piece.

Freudian Approach Group