Language Associated with Babo


"Babo is reduced to that primitive mode of denomination, the fixing or objectifying of the other by means of the gaze, or "evil eye" of envy, mentioned by Freud in his essay" (Wright 396).

I, first, want to say that Angela and I are going to be doing a psychoanalysis of Batman and this essay was very interesting. I understand that it was referring to "Life is a Dream," but we will be doing Batman, if all goes well.

I thought that Wright made a great argument and case about psychoanalysis in "Life is a Dream." This is very true because if we study the language, then we can see how important it is for the characters and how they are represented.

So, is close reading the key to a psychoanalysis reading of a text?

I think that Babo is represented, as described in the quote, as being a very negative character in "Life is a Dream." Why is this and why does it take a psychoanalysis reading to discover it?

Well, on one hand, if we use The Yellow Wallpaper and use a psychoanalysis reading, then we discover that the narrator is becoming isolated based on, John, her husband. Is it the psychology aspect of the story that drives her insane in the end or is it only her isolation. Interesting...

Melville used very specific language in his story, "Life is a Dream" in order to make his characters represent a specific meaning or personality. Captain Delano is described very differently than Cereno. There is also a sense of trust between the two from the very beginning when they meet.

A question for all:

Is psychoanalysis necessary or essential when trying to criticize a specific piece of literature? Or does literature just require close reading and the outcome in order to determine if it is psychoanalysis or not?

Click here for the web page devoted to Wright.


Psychoanalysis always gives me a hard time because from past English classes I always tried to not write about the characters as if they were real people, instead using them as only symbols or structure figures. However, with this type of criticism, don't you almost have to study them as if they are real?

You pose a good question, Derek, about whether we need to psychoanalyze a piece of literature. I think that we need to psychoanalyze to a certain extent, if we wish to truly grasp the essence of a work. In order to understand the character’s motives and actions, we need to comprehend what makes the character tick. Close reading helps build a case for the psychoanalysis.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on March 29, 2009 2:25 PM.

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