Freud organized these events into developmental stages involving relationships with parents and drives of desire and pleasure where children focus "..different parts of the body...starting with the mouth...shifting to the oral, anal, and phallic phases..." (Richter 1015).
These stages reflect base levels of desire, but they also involve fear of loss (loss of genitals, loss of affection from parents, loss of life) and repression: "..expunging from consciousness of these unhappy psychological events" (Tyson 15).
Tyson reminds us, however, that "...repression doesn't eliminate our painful experiences and emotions..unconsciously behave in ways that will allow us to 'play out'..conflicted feelings about the painful experiences and emotions we repress" (15).
To keep all of this conflict buried in our unconscious, Freud argued that we develop defenses: selective perception, selective memory, denial, displacement, projection, regression, fear of intimacy, and fear of death, among others.
Typical questions: Jungian criticism attempts to explore the connection between literature and what Carl Jung (a student of Freud) called the “collective unconscious” of the human race: "...racial memory, through which the spirit of the whole human species manifests itself" (Richter 504).
Jungian criticism, which is closely related to Freudian theory because of its connection to psychoanalysis, assumes that all stories and symbols are based on mythic models from mankind’s past.
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Freud argued that both boys and girls wish to possess their mothers, but as they grow older "..begin to sense that their claim to exclusive attention is thwarted by the mother's attention to the father..." (1016).
Children, Freud maintained, connect this conflict of attention to the intimate relations between mother and father, relations from which the children are excluded.