When reading the folktales and myths, even in the more modern literature, psychologists assign many symbols and theories to the things they read. ‘The tower next to the lake is a sexual metaphor’ they say. 
I have always had a hard time buying into all the symbology and deeper meaning to literature. How and why would any author bother writing in this sub-layer of meaning into their work? It would be exhausting and difficult to consider all of the theories and interpretations within your work as you wrote it. 
So, I’d taken to brushing the ‘deeper meanings’ of stories off as psycobabble and supposition. 
Recently, I developed a new appreciation for the analysis of these things. Myths, anyway. 
The way myths are developed, the way that years and generations and entire communities are included in the content of the myth showed me that interpreting the symbology in myth is actually valid, in a way. The presence of the majority of the symbols is unintentional, for the most part. However, the content that people find interesting, the tower beside a lake, for instance, shows a subconscious interest and a deeper meaning, simply because people find it interesting, even if they don’t exactly know why. 

This concept applies the exact same to modern writing, even film. The symbols are put there because they are interesting, not because they are symbols. 

I’m glad I finally have an appreciation for the unconscious aspect of literature. 


One thought on “Psychoanalysis Validated. For me, anyway.

  1. I agree, I always found a lot of the psycho-analysis of literature to seem very far-fetched as well. Honestly I usually find it even more far-fetched when it’s applied to people. But now that we’ve learned how to apply some of these theories they seem a little more reasonable. The Jungian theory in particular seems a lot less ridiculous once you’ve applied it to a myth and actually found an interesting conclusion from your analysis. On the other hand, I still have a very hard time believing that Jung’s analysis could actually be very helpful to a person who needed psychiatric help. Nevertheless, when applied to myths these theories certainly seem to tell us interesting and informative things.

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