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Joseph K J, J Amalaveenus


This article explores the employment of the Freudian concepts of psychoanalysis, listening, the theory of personality and the theory of Iceberg, defense mechanisms and dream analysis in Sarah Schulman’s novel Empathy and shows how a personality is set right by bringing the unconscious level to the conscious mind using psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud, the uncrowned emperor in the empire of psychology, founded psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic approach for examining psychic phenomena and treating emotional illnesses that include treatment sessions in which the patient is encouraged to open up about personal experiences, particularly early childhood and dreams. He marked three levels of mental life in an individual: the conscious mind, the preconscious mind and the unconscious mind. The personality can be moulded by gaining insight through making conscious one’s unconscious thoughts and motivations. The royal road to unconscious mind is dream. Entering into the unconscious mind through dreams will help one to see how the unconscious operates through defense mechanism and how to bring it to the conscious mind to set it right. Sarah Schulman’s novel Empathy is a psychoanalytic novel. One can dig out Freudian concepts of psychoanalysis, listening, theory of personality and theory of Iceberg, defense mechanisms and analysis of dream by analysing the words and deeds of the characters in the novel. The analysis opens before us the window of knowledge to see that the unconscious mind plays a major role in forming a person’s personality and how a person’s life can be reset by informing the conscious mind about the operation of the unconscious mind.

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