Freud defines psychoanalysis as having “a dimension that is only partially accessible to consciousness and then only through indirect means such as dreams or neurotic symptoms” (Rivkin and Ryan 389). In other words, all humans have an “unconscious” that holds repressed desires, feelings, memories, and instinctual drives (sexual and violent).
There are thoughts and intentions that people keep repressed within themselves, whether they are aware of them or not.
Another way to think of the conscious vs. the unconscious is comparing it to the internet. The conscious being normal internet, and the unconscious being the deep dark web. The internet allows you to find anything you want, and so do your consciousness, allowing you to think anything. But the dark web is filled with lots of illegal and scary stuff and is closed off and can’t be accessed unless by hackers and bad, scary people. Similarly, people who are expressing their unconscious drives directly are in the field of psychosis and schizophrenia (Rivkin and Ryan 391).
If being human means that you have a conscious and an unconscious, then anything being done as a human falls under those same categories. The things we read or write can have hidden meanings in the work, which makes it fall in either categories. Similarly with watching something. Our view on something is formed revolving our hidden psychoanalysis.
While studying literature, we are supposed to analyze the author’s work. We may look at the the time period and the history of what’s happening, the author’s background to see what he/she is going through while he/she was writing the piece of literature. Many aspects come together to try to understand why the author wrote what he/she wrote. But we can’t quite look into what the author was thinking while writing the piece.
What Freud noticed is “that literary texts are like dreams; they embody or express unconscious material in the form of complex displacements and condensations.” (Rivkin and Ryan 394). These literary pieces are basically a window to the author’s mind and thoughts and most importantly his/her deep drives (conscious or unconscious). Even if the literature is fiction.
Psychoanalysis is the dark web of our minds. Should we be able to access it?