Mini Blog Post on Psychoanalytic Criticism

We possess a facet of the mind known as the unconscious, or the receptacle for all of our repressed instincts, which have been stifled by the guiding laws of society and civility. These repressed desires may find their way into the conscious, and may come to fruition in direct acts or by expressing them in an indirect fashion. Freud claims the unconscious often breaks through in times where the ego is unable to actively police the conscious. Like dreams, expressions through mediums such as writing can prove similar in its ability to allow unconscious thoughts to be expressed indirectly.  The two fields of psychoanalytic criticism, Object Relations and Neo-Freudianism, while differing in many ways, agree that the unconscious finds its way into indirect expressions through similar means. While Object Relations focuses upon the way “self” interacts with society viewing the ego as a manifestation of identity through anxieties, Neo-Freudianism argues that the ego is nothing but a constructed falsity, a “mirage,” and that one’s self can never be fully known, nor can the unconscious be mastered. “Self” is compared with language, whereas you are only given the signified, never the “signifier.” I understand the difference between the two schools of thought, however the only difference, it seems to me, is that of designation of identification. After finishing reading for the second time, adding to annotations and making a completely separate sheet of notes, I had felt pretty confident that I knew the theory, as well as the difference between the two facets. I now feel, as I sit here writing about it, that I could benefit from clarification between the two separate facets. I get the difference of how they view ego, and that there’s such thing as having a clear image of ones self in Object Relation as apposed to Neo-Freudianism, where you can never achieve such clarity. I guess more discussion would help because I cant even form a question about what I don’t understand, I just know I’m not completely confident in it.


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