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Psychoanalytical Critique of The Great Gatsby

            Literary criticism is a broad term used to define the different theories in which a reader can critique literary works. It began with formalism in the 1920's and has evolved into many different theories that cover gender studies, historicism, deconstruction, etc. Psychoanalytic theory originated from the Austrian psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, who pioneered the technique of psychoanalysis (Rivkin & Ryan, p.389). His theories are all directly or indirectly concerned with the nature of the unconscious mind. Like psychoanalysis, the criticism seeks to find evidence of unresolved emotions, psychological conflicts, guilt, ambivalences, etc. within a literary work. While using psychoanalytic criticism, there are few key questions that can serve as guidelines in psychoanalyzing a work: .
             1. What unconscious motives are operating in the main characters; what core issues are thereby illustrated; and how do these.
             core issues structure or inform the piece?.
             2. Can characters' behavior, narrative events, and/or images be explained in terms of psychoanalytic concepts of any kind?.
             3. What does this work suggest about the psychological beings of its author? Although this question is no longer the.
             primary question asked by psychoanalytic critics, some critics still address it.
             4. What might a given interpretation of a literary work suggest about the psychological motives of the reader (Brizee, 2013)? .
             These questions can be used to get the reader thinking while using a psychoanalytic lens. Not all psychoanalytic critics will interpret the same work in the same way. Under the umbrella of psychoanalytic criticism, there are many different directions a reader can go, just as with any other literary criticism. The goal is to use psychoanalysis to help enrich a reader's understanding of different literary works, and to help see some important ideas illustrated that one might not have seen so clearly without psychoanalysis.

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