Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Charles Dickens Hard Times English Literature Essay

Charles Dickens Hard Times English Literature Essay The research paper explores the basic ideas related to Psychoanalysis in the context of Charles Dickens Hard Times. Sigmund Freud laid the foundation of ‘Psychoanalysis’. The research paper is based on Freudian Psychoanalysis as it attempts to study the characters in this novel in its light. The psychoanalytic theory refers to the concept of the development of personality and its changing dynamics. It studies the influence of childhood impressions on the personality development of the adults and on their mental functioning. It focusses on the ideas based on personality which include the division of psyche into the id, the ego and the superego, repression, transference and fantasy. The research paper studies and analyses these ideas in relation to the characters in this novel. It also explores the ideas in the mind of the author in the light of this novel. Keywords: Psychoanalysis, personality development, id, ego, superego, repression, transference, parentification, fan tasy Psychoanalysis is a psychological and psychotherapeutic theory because it deals with the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours and it is also used for therapeutic interaction or treatment of a patient by a psychologist or a psychiatrist. It is devised by an Austrian neurologist called Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. This field has evolved over a period of time but has also been the target of scathing criticism. Charles Dickens’ (1812-1870) Hard Times (1854) is a study in psychoanalysis because the characters in this novel depict the mental functions and behaviours of individuals in real life. In this novel, Louisa Gradgrind, the daughter of Thomas Gradgrind and wife of Josiah Bounderby, experiences a nervous breakdown as she realizes that she despises her husband Josiah Bounderby but may be romantically inclined towards James Harthouse. She is not sure of her feelings towards James Harthouse as she is unable to experience any emotion whatsoever. She feels miserable and is unable to rectify the situation. She finally makes a candid confession in front of her father. She tells her father: â€Å"And I so young. In this condition, father – for I show you now, without fear or favour, the ordinary deadened state of my mind as I know it – you proposed my husband to me. I took him. I never made a pretence to him or you that I loved him. I knew, and, father, you knew, and he knew, that I never didà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦Ã¢â‚¬  (Hard Times 212) â€Å"I am coming to it. Father, chance then threw into my way a new acquaintance, a man such as I had no experience of; used to the world; light, polished, easy; making no pretences; avowing the low estimate of everything, that I was half afraid to form in secret; conveying to what degrees, that he understood me, and read my thought. I could not find that he was worse than I. There seemed to be a near affinity between us. I only wondered it shoul d be worth his while, who cared for nothing else, to care so much for me.† (Hard Times 213)

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