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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Critical Theory Today / Psychoanalytic Criticism I Summary

Critical Theory Today / Psychoanalytic Criticism I

Book Summary   by:TheCoynessMistress     Original Author: Lois Tyson
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In her book called Critical Theory Today Tyson talks about the different approaches which is used during the interpretation of a literary text. Tyson begins her book with the "psychoanalytic criticism" which is mainly based on Sigmund Freud and Lacan.
The problematic behaviour and attitudes of adults which stem from the childhood fears, angers, distresses is one of the main themes of the section. The base of such behaviours and attitudes are the psychoanalytical concepts such as sibling rivalry, inferiority complexes and defence mechanisms in Freudian terms. The bond between the each parent and the child is significiant in terms of his/her psychological development and it plays an important part in the child's future relationships with the other sex. First of all, the absence of a parent in the life of a child may cause that child to develop "low self-esteem." Low self-esteem is the belief that we are less worthy than other people around us hence we deserve to be punished. The punishment in this context is the absence of the the parent. An other important result of such an absence of a parent is "the fear of abondonment." The fear of abondonment is the belief that our friends and our loved ones are doing to desert us becasue they do not really care about us. The presence of such a fear might lead to the "fear of intimacy" which prevents the the child to develeop healty relationships becasue the trauma which is created as a result of the absence of the parent will haunt the child in his/her following relationships. The child, who is in need of re-living his relationship with the absent parent, will put his/her partner in the absent parent's place. That will lead him/her to choose partners who is indifferent and distant to him/her. Such attributes of such a partner will be reminiscent of his/her bond with the absent parent for the child and through re-living the same type of relationship he/she will try to fix the former relationship with the parent. However if the partner begins to pay attention the child will lose interest in that person becasue the partner will no longer stand for the absent parent. As seen the absence of the parent will turn the child's future relationship into a vicious circle and the child will be unsatisfacted in any ways.
To sum up the absence of a parent is quite damaging for the child becasue most of the problems of the adult life stems from our childhood relationships with our parents.
Published: February 29, 2008   
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