How do I tackle characterization using psychoanalytic literary theory?  

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To use psychoanalytic literary theory on a character, you perform a similar analytic process to what Freud would have performed on a person. In other words, you examine a character's id, ego, and superego, and look for the root of the person's internal motivations. A character's superego is his or...

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To use psychoanalytic literary theory on a character, you perform a similar analytic process to what Freud would have performed on a person. In other words, you examine a character's id, ego, and superego, and look for the root of the person's internal motivations. A character's superego is his or her moral code, while his or her id is the instinctual force behind the person's actions. The ego tries to mediate between the two forces. In addition, the character might be subject to unconscious motivations, such as the Oedipal Complex, which is the desire to murder one's father and marry one's mother. The character's internal desires might be revealed through Freudian slips, or mistakes that show unconscious or hidden desires. A character's dreams are another way to access his or her unconscious desires. In other words, a character's real emotions might be hidden, but could be revealed through dreams or Freudian slips. 

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