Psychological Literary Criticism

Question Description

The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize yourself with Psychological literary criticism (also called Psychoanalytical literary criticism) and apply some of its tools in analyzing a short story.


  1. Review Psychoanalytical literary theory from the following
    this video on Psychoanalytical literary criticism:
  1. Choose two main characters from one of the stories we have read in this unit.
    • Identify an important conflict these two characters share (either between each other or a conflict from outside the relationship).
  2. Consider how psychological factors within the two people affect resolving this conflict.
    1. Recall that the video talks not only about the Id, Ego, and Superego, but also about stress, depression, PTSD, grief, and so on.
    • In particular, look at different ways the characters view masculinity.
    • Do varying ideas of masculinity cause, or exacerbate, the conflict?
  3. Write three paragraphs about the following, using direct quotations and paraphrases (with in-text citations) to support your claims):
    • First paragraph
      • Identify the two characters and the conflict you will analyze.
    • Second paragraph
      • Analyze psychological factors that seem to be motivating these characters, especially in what it means to be, for example, a "good" man or a "strong" father or a "loving" husband.
    • Third paragraph
      • Explain how these factors and this conflict contribute to meanings of the story..
  4. Post a three-paragraph response

Final Answer


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