unresolved conflicts , and guilty desires Is it possible to relate a character’ s patterns of adult behaviour to early experiences in the family (as represented in the story)? What do these behaviour patterns and family dynamics reveal?
Some Questions Psychoanalytic Critics Ask about Literary Texts How can characters’ behaviour, narrative events, and/or images be explained in terms of regression, projection, fear of or fascination with death or sexuality ?
I know you’ re sick of this book… What’s with the recurrent images of an apple? What does the apple symbolize? Why is a girl holding the apple? What does this say about the author’s repressed desires? What about the apple is sexual? Does the image of an apple have any religious meaning?
Some Questions Psychoanalytic Critics Ask about Literary Texts In what ways can we view a literary work as a dream ? How might recurrent or striking dream symbols reveal the ways in which the narrator/author is projecting his unconscious desires, fears, wounds, or unresolved conflicts onto other characters or the events portrayed? Look for symbols relevant to death and sexuality (yonic and phallic symbols)
Some Questions Psychoanalytic Critics Ask about Literary Texts What might a given interpretation of a literary work suggest about the psychological motives of the reader ? For example, if a group of critics see Hamlet as a devoted son while underplaying his contribution to the family dysfunction, what might that say about the repressive tendencies of that group of critics? Maybe acknowledging Hamlet’ s faults as a bad son and boyfriend forces the reader to acknowledge similar faults in his/her own relationships?