Assignment 3: Literary Analysis Paper from a Psychoanalytical Perspective
The major writing assignment for this week is to compose a paper of at least two pages in which you write interpretively from a psychoanalytical perspective about the assigned drama written on in W3: Assignment 2, not on The Awakening. You are to do this by applying a psychoanalytical critical perspective or lens to the story. Review the Week 3 PowerPoint located on page 1 of this week’s lecture, “Psychoanalytic Ways of Reading” to understand how to organize your paper.
Considering some of these critical questions will help you in your analysis:
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- How do the literary elements in this drama, such as symbolism, irony, conflict, etc., help reveal the psychoanalytical motivations of the characters?
- As you view the characters, both those you see and hear and those who are only discussed, what in their motivations, relationships, actions, and speech causes you to have a greater understanding of their psychoanalytical states?
- In dramas, the playwright not only creates the characters and gives them speeches that help make them “real” for the audience, but he or she also relies on the audience to interpret the characters and respond to them based on how an actor portrays them. As you consider the characters, what experiences do they have that reflects the way the playwright wants you to interpret the character?
- Could you combine your knowledge of the psychoanalytical critical perspective with that of the feminist perspective discussed last week to further analyze the play, and/or its playwright, and/or the characters?
- Are there feelings or emotions that seem to be glossed over? Which motivations or desires might a character be suppressing and why? Do you sense a power struggle between any of the characters? Who holds the power and why?
- Is there any character who seems less than authentic? Please explore why you sense this about the character as sometimes, the reader (or viewer) is not privy to all of a character’s emotions, nor even the “truth” about the character. Does the playwright expect you to come to your own conclusions about a character?
Choose a specific character, a situation, a symbol, etc., from the assigned play and provide analyses from the psychoanalytical critical perspective. There is no one correct way to proceed. Instead, choose a character, symbol, idea. or feeling that interests you. You might want to reread the online lecture at this point to refresh your memory concerning the psychoanalytical perspective.
In your paper:
- In the introduction, which serves as a foundational element of the paper, consider offering your definition of psychoanalytical perspective. Show the reader that you understand how to analyze using a psychoanalytical perspective.
- You will analyze the drama and use excerpts that support your ideas about the character, audience, theme, or symbol. Consider the questions noted above and do some free-writing. Think of yourself as an analyst or psychologist and have some fun with this.
- In the introduction of your essay, provide a brief summary of the play that contextualizes your interpretation. Then, rather than continue on with plot summary, use your analysis to fill in the gaps. You will end your essay with a sound concluding paragraph where your ideas are reiterated and you have brought the reader to a new place of understanding.
- Since you will be providing logical backup for your analytical statements, you will need to cite specifics from the plays. Be sure to use APA format.
Assignment Schedule Overview:
By Thursday, August 2, 2012, post your rough draft to the appropriate topic in this Discussion Area.
By Friday, August 3, 2012, post constructive comments on the rough drafts of two classmates, using the peer review worksheet provided.
By Sunday, August 5, 2012, post your final draft to the W3: Assignment 3 Dropbox.
As you prepare to write this paper, make sure you understand how many things you are being asked to do. Reread the prompt so that is clear to you. Then, as with other papers you have written, work through the writing process. The major writing assignment for this week is to compose a paper of at least two pages in which you write analytically and interpretively about the assigned text.
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