My Psychoanalytic Views of Two Short Stories Essay

1453 Words Feb 9th, 2014 6 Pages
Psychoanalysis In order to understand the true meaning of some stories we must understand the what psychoanalysis is. Psychoanalysis was thought up by a man know as Sigmund Freud also know as the Founding Father of Psychoanalysis. Being a major cocaine addict, his theories were often ridiculed and were thought to be perceived as hallucinations as a result of the cocaine use. Freud’s theories however sparked an all new era of Psychology. Although Freud’s theories seemed very radical, when put into life situations they actually make perfect sense. Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism refers to literary criticism or literary theory which, in method, concept, or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud. …show more content…
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne shows how easily people are manipulated when tempted with a primitive desire. Goodman Brown, a puritan traveling to a religious gathering, is greeted by a strange man who serves as the symbol of revelation regarding the human mind. The pure mind of Goodman Brown ultimately gives-in to temptation because of the weak human will through the use of an object: the strange man's staff. Hawthorne uses the strange man to imply that him alone would not suffice to cause Brown’s downfall and that the ego would prevail over the id. The man’s staff is used to symbolize two things: The first representation reveals the outside force that corrupts man. Before the Fall, the serpent appeared to Eve and tempted her, causing mankind's ultimate downfall. Throughout the story, the staff is referred to as that "dark" stick and "snake-like staff". These references are acclaimed when Goody Cloyse, a corrupted Puritan, greets the strange man by leaning on the staff, as a human would hug an old lover and identifies him as Satan. The staff, which "bore the likeness of a great black snake" and "could almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent", represents evil in a very real sense, but this does very little to offer any depth to the psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, says the conflict between the id and superego relates to aggression

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