The Psychoanalysis of the Gothic in the Works of Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi and James Matthew Barrie
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This dissertation analyses Gothic influences in the works of Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi and James Matthew Barrie from a psychoanalytic viewpoint with specific reference to the theories of Sigmund Freud ‘The Uncanny’ (1919). Chapter one distinguishes repetition as a source of the uncanny in Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and analyses how her dream world setting can be effectively allegorized as the mind. Using Freud’s concepts of the repetition compulsion in young children this chapter questions Alice’s longing to combine the experience of childhood with adulthood as a cause of her subconscious desire to repeat. Chapter two discusses the figure of Pinocchio as a wilful automaton who straddles the border between the animate and inanimate, which Freud suggests is a cause of uncanny effect. This chapter also compares Pinocchio’s internally aware nature with automatons of the Gothic genre including Mary Shelley’s nameless monster and E. T. A. Hoffman’s Olimpia. Collodi’s many Gothic references to death and dead bodies are analysed as well as the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan. Chapter three distinguishes the character of Peter Pan as a ghost, a psychopomp, a vampire and a double, figures which appear throughout Gothic literature. The psychoanalytic theories of both Freud and Otto Rank are addressed throughout this chapter with specific reference to death and the fear of aging. This chapter also links Peter with the mythical God Pan and compares Neverland to the Celtic tale of Oisin and Niamh and the sinister land of Tìr Na nòg.
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