What are the similarities and differences between Marxist theory and psychoanalytic theory in literature?

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Although Sigmund Freud, writing several decades later, was aware of Karl Marx’s theories, Freud’s ideas were primarily concerned with the interior, universal states of human consciousness. Marx, conversely, addressed the social dimensions of human life that formed the basis of political and economic behaviors and institutions. In his lectures published in 1933, Freud acknowledged that psychoanalysis owed a debt to Marx, but he remarked that a social theory must remain incomplete because there is not a unilateral, causative direction. Since the 1910s, many scholars have sought ways to bring the two apparently distinct bodies of theory together.

Notable among these efforts are the works of Louis Althusser. His attention to theories of reading point out the importance of individual perspective as shaped by ideology. The strong influence of Freud on Althusser’s works fed into a stated goal concerning literary...

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