Monday, January 6, 2020

Using Psychoanalysis to Understand Human Behavior Essay

Using Psychoanalysis to Understand Human Behavior According to Goethe, We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe. Despite the hyperbolic nature of Goethe’s statement, it holds some truth. Because of this element of truth, society looks to psychoanalysis as an important tool for understanding human nature. Furthermore, psychoanalytic criticism of authors, characters, and readers has a place in literary criticism that is as important as the place of psychoanalysis in society. This is because of the mimetic nature of much of modern literature. In fact, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan wrote, If psycho-analysis is to be constituted as the science of the†¦show more content†¦Other researchers mention Freud, and Allen cites one other article of this type, but as Allen notes, Even those critics who touch on Freud do not emphasize the relationship between his clinical theories†¦and the literary action in Invisible Man.(3) Allen’s own work focu ses on the fact that Freud’s book Totem and Taboo appears in Invisible Man, and she describes how the action of Invisible Man, possibly at the intention of Ellison, mirrors the theory of Totem and Taboo. The use in this paper of three psychoanalysts to study the character of the invisible man makes this an article emphasizing psychoanalysis. Even though the focus of this current paper is quite different from Allen’s, some concerns she had about the limitations of such a study still must be recognized. One limitation to a psychoanalytic study is that Freud himself is limited and has become less than popular.(4) The use of Jung and Lacan in addition to Freud will combat this limitation. Another limitation is that Invisible Man is such a multifaceted work that it deserves analysis of all its parts.(5) However, this study will take on only a small part of the text because of the post-modern attitude valuing studies of specific parts of texts in detail. A final limitation i s that psychoanalysis is a field of speculation, and, as the editor of The Critical Tradition points out, †¦the hazards of speculation about characters are even greater than about authors†¦AnotherShow MoreRelatedHistory of Psychology852 Words   |  4 PagesPsychology is said to be the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The study of human behavior, development, and learning; and also seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion, and behavior. 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