Conclusion - Урок 2 - Psychoanalytical criticism - Theory and critical approaches - children’s literature

Children’s literature

Part I. Theory and critical approaches


9. Psychoanalytical criticism


Hamida Bosmajian




The revisions and transformations by which psychoanalytical theories and criticisms continue to construct themselves have retained so far the concept of the unconscious and its powerful influence on the ego’s development and struggle in the world. Children’s literature, whose language signifies the substitutions and displacements necessitated in that struggle, intimates and makes acceptable the dream of desire. It is a great irony of our psychoanalytic age that the psychological self-help narratives for young readers abandon consideration of the powers of the id in favour of the social adjustment of the young ego and that they do so, usually, in the language of low mimetic accessibility where the mode of romance and poetry is gone. That phenomenon is itself worthy of psychoanalytical interpretations of authors, texts and readers.



Applebee, A. N. (1978) The Child’s Concept of Story, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Barzilai, S. (1990) ‘Reading “Snow White”: The Mother’s Story’, Signs 15, 3: 515-34.

Bettelheim, B. (1976) The Uses of Enchantment, New York: A. A. Knopf.

Bloom, H. (1973) The Anxiety of Influence, New York: Oxford University Press.

Bosmajian, H. (1985) ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Eactory and Other Excremental Visions’, The Lion and the Unicorn 9: 36-49.

Chodorow, N. (1978) The Reproduction of Mothering. Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender,

Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Cooper, J. C. (1983) Fairy Tales: Allegories of the Inner Life, Wellingborough: Aquarian Press.

Daniels, S. (1990) ‘The Velveteen Rabbit. A Kleinian Perspective’, Children’s Literature 18: 17-30. Egan, M. (1982) ‘The Neverland of Id. Barrie, Peter Pan, and Freud’, Children’s Literature 10. 37-55.

Franz, M.-L. von (1977) Individuation in Fairy Tales, Zurich. Spring.

- (1978) An Introduction to the Psychology of Fairy Tales, Irving, TX. Spring.

Freud, S. (1908/1963) ‘The Relation of the Poet to Daydreaming’, Character and Culture, trans. Strachey, J., New York. Macmillan.

- (1913/1963) ‘The Occurrence in Dreams of Material from Fairy Tales’, Character and Culture, trans. Strachey, J., New York. Macmillan.

- (1962/1975) Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, trans. Strachey, J., New York. Harper Collins.

Frye, N. (1957) Anatomy of Criticism, Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.

Gallop, J. (1982) The Daughter’s Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis, Ithaca, NY. Cornell University Press.

Gilbert, S. and Gubar, S. (1979) The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination, New Haven, CT. Yale University Press.

Greenacre, P. (1955) Swift and Carroll: A Psychoanalytic Study of Two Lives, New York. International Universities Press.

Hillman, J. (1980) ‘The Children, the Children!’ Children’s Literature 8. 3-6.

Hogan, P. (1990) ‘What’s Wrong with the Psychoanalysis of Literature?’, Children’s Literature 18. 135-40.

Holland, N. (1968) The Dynamics of Literary Response, New York. Oxford University Press.

- (1970) ‘The “Unconscious” of Literature. The Psychoanalytic Approach’, in Bradbury, N. and

Palmer, D. (eds) Contemporary Criticism, Stratford-upon-Avon Series 12, New York. St Martin’s. Horney, K. (1950) Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle toward Self-Realization, New York. Norton.

Jung, C. G. (1931/1966) ‘On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry’, The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature. Collected Works vol. 15, trans. Hull, R. F. C., New York. Random House.

- (1946/1954) ‘Psychic Conflicts in a Child’, The Development of Personality. Collected Works vol. 17, trans. Hull, R F. C., New York. Random House.

- (1964) ‘Approaching the Unconscious’, Man and His Symbols, New York. Doubleday.

Klein, M. (1955/1975a) Envy and Gratitude, New York. Delacorte.

- (1925/1975b) Love, Guilt and Reparation, New York. Delacorte.

Knoepflmacher, U. C. (1990) ‘The Doubtful Marriage. A Critical Fantasy’, Children’s Literature 18. 131-4.

Krips, V. (1993) ‘Mistaken Identity. Russell Hoban’s Mouse and His Child’, Children’s Literature 21. 92-100.

Lacan, J. (1977) Ecrits, trans. Sheridan, A. New York. W. W. Norton.

Lauter, E. and Rupprecht, C. S. (1985) Feminist Archetypal Theory. Interdisciplinary Revisions of Jungian Thought, Knoxville, TN. University of Tennessee Press.

Maslow, A. (1968) Toward a Psychology of Being, New York. D. Van Nostrand.

Murphy, A. (1990) ‘The Borders of Ethical, Erotic, and Artistic Possibilities, Little Women’, Signs 15, 3. 562-85.

Natov, R (1990) ‘Mothers and Daughters. Jamaica Kincaid’s Pre-Oedipal Narrative’, Children’s Literature 18. 1-16.

Nodelman, P. (1992) The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, New York. Longman.

Paris, B. J. (1974) A Psychological Approach to Fiction, Bloomington, IN. Indiana University Press. Phillips, J. and Wojcik-Andrews, I. (1990) ‘Notes toward a Marxist Critical Practice, Children’s Literature 18. 127-30.

Rollin, L. (1990) ‘The Reproduction of Mothering in Charlotte’s Web’, Children’s Literature 18. 42-52.

Rose, J. (1984) The Case of Peter Pan or The Impossibility of Children’s Fiction, London: Macmillan.

Rosenthal, L. (1980) ‘The Development of Consciousness in Lucy Boston’s The Children of Green Knowe’, Children’s Literature 8: 53-67.

Rushdy, A. H. A. (1991) ‘ “The Miracle of the Web”: Community, Desire and Narrativity in Charlotte’s Web, The Lion and the Unicorn 15, 2: 35-60.

Rustin, M. and Rustin, M. (1987) Narratives of Love and Loss: Studies in Modern Children’s Fiction, New York: Verso.

Segel, E. (1986) ‘ “As the Twig Is Bent ...”, Gender and Childhood Reading’, in Flynn, E. A. and Schweikart, P. (eds) Gender and Reading, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Smith, J. and Kerrigan, W. (1985) Opening Texts: Psychoanalysis and the Culture of the Child, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Steig, M. (1990) ‘Why Bettelheim? A Comment on the Use of Psychological Theories in Criticism’, Children’s Literature 18: 125-6.

Tatar, M. (1992) Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Winnicott, D. W. (1971) Playing and Reality, New York: Tavistock/Routledge.

Wright, E. (1984) Psychoanalytic Criticism, New York: Methuen.

Zipes, J. (1979) Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

- (1990) ‘Negating History and Male Fantasies through Psychoanalytic Criticism’, Children’s Literature 18: 141-3.


Further reading

Bloch, D. (1978) ‘So the Witch Won’t Eat Me’ Fantasy and the Child’s Fear of Infanticide, New York: Grove Press.

Jung, C. G. (1964) Man and His Symbols, New York: Doubleday.

Tucker, N. (1981) The Child and the Book: A Psychological and Literary Exploration, New York: Cambridge University Press.