Psychoanalytic Responses to Children's Literature

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McFarland, Jan 1, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 178 pages
With the growing emphasis on theory in literary studies, psychoanalytic criticism has taken its place alongside other forms as an important contribution to literary interpretation. Despite its tendency to make readers uncomfortable, it offers insights into human nature, and hence is appropriate in examining a genre such as children's literature.
Sixteen chapters in this work explore the psychological subtexts of a number of important children's books, including Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, and E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. While most of the analyses deal primarily with the psychological development of characters, some focus on the lives of authors and illustrators, such as Beatrix Potter and Jessie Willcox Smith. Other chapters analyze the various responses that readers have to children's books. Understandable and interesting for both scholars and general readers, this work draws on the ideas of such psychoanalytic theorists as Sigmund Freud, Alice Miller, D.W. Winnicott and Jacques Lacan.


2The Mysterious and the Uncanny in Nancy Drew
4Narcissism in The Wind in the WillowsMark I West
6Pinocchios Journey from the Pleasure Principle
8Childhood Fantasies and Frustrations in Maurice Sendaks
10GoodEnough Mother HubbardLucy Rollin
11Humpty Dumpty and the Anxieties of the Vulnerable
12Dream Imagery and the Portrayal of Childhood Anxieties
13Repression and Rebellion in the Life and Works
14Depictions of the MotherChild Dyad in the Work
15Guilt and Shame in Early American Childrens Literature
16The Psychological Roots of Anthony Comstocks Campaign
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