scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 744
PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICISM THE FIRST STONE Helen Garners controversial novel The First Stone 1995 tells the story of a sexual harassment case in a Melbourne university and attempts to analyse the power relations between men and women By applying psychoanalytic criticism to this novel it clearly becomes an interesting work of investigative journalism that could be classed as valued Australian literature Psychoanalytic Criticism is defined by Moon 1992 p97 as seeing literary texts as representing the unconscious thoughts and desires shared by members of a culture It provides a way of exploring the social construction of personal identities especially through the readers interaction with the text Psychoanalysis is a theory developed by Sigmund Freud where concentration is placed on the unconscious life of individuals however recent conceptions of psychoanalysis see it as a way of decoding the sexual symbolism of literary texts in order to uncover the authors unconscious obsessions Stevens and Stewart 1996 pp108-109 state that Freud viewed literature as the fantasy projection of the artist and that if fantasies exist in the unconscious of the artists they also reside in the unconscious of the audience So in relation to Garners controversial novel The First Stone not only is it a compelling work of imagination but it could be classed as a work of fantasy It seems that this novel is a far cry from the so called debate about sex and power that Garner describes on the back cover It is more obviously a symbolic statement of Garners unconscious fantasies that she could not otherwise admit Marilyn Lake in Australian Book Review 1995p26 states As it sank to its lowest intellectual level the debate about The First Stone became a series of nostalgic reminiscences about the joys of sex Throughout the novel many symbols of Garners unconscious fantasies can be found By using the word I personalises text which then giving
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA