Real Life vs. Eternal World

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"A common complaint about the psychological analysis of character is that it does violence to the literary values of fiction by reducing the novel to a case history, the character to his neurosis" (Paris 222).

Do you think that this is true in real life? How about when a psychologist does a case study or when they analysis someone who has had a mental disorder? I believe that the point that I am trying to make is that by analyzing a character based on psychological views will result mental destruction or disillusion. It seems that we, readers of literature, analysis a character or subject in too much detail which results in an explanation that is very far from the original argument or study.

I thought that when Paris said "We must recognize that literature and criticism belong to different universes of discourse" (222) that it was true.

This concept applies directly with my title about the real world and the eternal world. Literature and criticism are separate divisions because each term represents a different role or study of material. The real world imposes many problems on a daily basis that can be fixed or not which results in humans trying to determine the value and meaning of the eternal world. In other words, the real world is obviously different from the eternal world because we can only question the eternal world.

But wait...

If we can only question the eternal world, then it would be like criticism because we can only offer our opinion of a piece of literature. There is no right or wrong answer just as there is no right or wrong answer of the eternal world.

Do you believe that psychology focuses too much on the internal message of characters or scenes? Or do you think that it provides us with another option in order to create a specific type of criticism?

Click here for the web page devoted to Paris.

1 Comment

Well Derek...I just wrote you a really long response that got erased so I'm going to abbreviate what I just tried to say...I'm so mad right now.

I first said that I think that we need to look at characters as if they are real if the author took the time to make them life-like. An example of this is Bruce Wayne in the new Batman movies. Bruce has every reason to be angry at the world. As a small child, his parents were killed right in front of him. The girl he loves fell for another man and then died, yet he still keeps going and upholds his one rule: to never kill. After people caused him so much pain he does his best to protect them. Why does he do this? Is it because it is the only think he has that is of value to him. Of course he's a billionaire but you can see that that doesn't even come close to filling the void that's within him. And in the last movie, when he takes on the blame for the people Harvey Dent murdered was amazing. He took responsibility for crimes he didn't commit to protect the people from learning their beloved "White Knight" had gone dark (literally).

The reason why I chose to do Paris's article is because I always find myself analyzing people and even characters in books or movies as I like to do with Batman. It's just fun to try to think like someone else and it takes you into another world where you don't have Lit. Crit. homework to worry about (lol). If the author takes so much time to make his characters realistic, we should take the time to examine the characters as if they were real people.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on March 11, 2009 7:14 PM.

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