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Freud's Psychological Criticism Of Novel Heart Of Darkness

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What is psychological literary criticism? What is Freud's Theories and how to apply in the novel Heart of Darkness? The psychological criticism: An approach to literary criticism that interprets writings, authors and readers through a psychological lens. Focus on expressing the subconscious at work, looking at psychology in the narration itself as well as in the author. It was founded in the late nineteenth century until the early twentieth century by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory and treatment for depression and anxiety disorders. The purpose of analytical psychotherapy is to bring suppressed memories and emotions into light, or to make the subconscious into conscious thought. The theory states that our minds extend beyond conscious consciousness, and that the subconscious (or inner conscious) has a great influence on our actions.

The mind is divided into three parts:

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  • The Id: the pulsed part of our psychology, which responds directly and immediately to instincts.
  • Ego: It works according to the principle of reality, which works to find realistic ways to satisfy our sometimes chaotic demands.
  • Superego: It includes morals and values ​​learned from parents and other influences. A split in conscience and an ideal soul. Freud's theories were considered shocking in origin, and they sparked more controversy and debate over time. Regardless of the controversy, these theories have remained highly influential in many areas, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, art, and literature.

Freud's Theories In Relation to Heart of Darkness.

  • Marlowe: Marlow identifies with Kurtz, because of the similarities between their identities. Marlowe struggles to keep himself from giving up his identity throughout the book, but he manages to keep his identity in harmony with the ego, while Kurtz is completely in control. This is the primary difference between Marlowe and Kurtz.
  • Kurtz: Kurtz has been proven to be Marlow's changing ego. Kurtz's primary traits of greed and violence are revealed in an environment free of social constraints, which highlights a negative take on the unconscious mind. His identity gradually becomes very strong, leading Kurtz to go crazy, and ultimately to his death.
  • Accountant: Since Marlow represents the powerful ego and Kurtz represents a strong identifier, the accountant that Marlow meets is a strong Superego. Upon seeing anyone else's greedy acts, the accountant adjusts himself and does what he knows is right.

As a whole, looking at the heart of darkness from a Freudian perspective, we can see that Marlow's journey to Africa can also be seen as a journey into his unconscious mind. We can also see the importance of each of Freud's three elements in the unconscious mind, and how a balance between ego, Id, and superego is necessary. Dreams and nightmares 'They were behind, in my opinion, the wonderful suggestion of words heard in dreams, and the phrases spoken in nightmares.' 'No, it is impossible; it is impossible to pass on the sense of life of any particular era of one's existence - what makes its truth and meaning - its penetrating and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, and we dream alone.' The Spirit 'But his soul was crazy. He looked into himself, and through the heavens that I tell you, he has become crazy. 'He also struggled with himself. I saw him - I heard it. I saw an unimaginable secret from a spirit that knows no restraint, faith or fear, but blindly struggles with itself.' Mind 'I remembered the old doctor', it would be interesting for science to immediately monitor the mental changes of individuals, 'I felt that I became scientifically interesting.' 'The human mind is capable of anything - because everything is in it, all the past and also the future.'

In conclusion, Heart of Darkness highlights Sigmund Freud's theory of psychoanalysis, on more than one front. The debate about inner consciousness is highlighted by Conrad's own experiences and by his description of Marlowe, Kurtz, and others. This novel shows us a dark, crooked journey into the unknown, forcing us to realize that the darkest of the unknown may be within us . Psychological disturbances and internal moral conflicts are the basis of the novel because the internal evil struggle is the human struggle with their morals and their battle with their hidden evil. Through Marlowe, Conrad can express his feelings towards a man in the dark and how we can quickly turn dark in the opposite direction.

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Freud’s Psychological Criticism Of Novel Heart Of Darkness. (2021, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/freuds-psychological-criticism-of-novel-heart-of-darkness/
“Freud’s Psychological Criticism Of Novel Heart Of Darkness.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/freuds-psychological-criticism-of-novel-heart-of-darkness/
Freud’s Psychological Criticism Of Novel Heart Of Darkness. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/freuds-psychological-criticism-of-novel-heart-of-darkness/> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
Freud’s Psychological Criticism Of Novel Heart Of Darkness [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 12 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/freuds-psychological-criticism-of-novel-heart-of-darkness/
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