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D.H.Lawrence as a Psychoanalyst

  • Date Submitted: 04/04/2014 11:02 AM
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D.H. Lawrence as a PsychoanalystJagroop S. BiringLAWRENTIAN psychology is not new to the readers of D.H. Lawrence, the great 20th century novelist, who sought to work his psychological laws into his own fiction. Apart from the discursive writings in Phoenix I and II, his two books on psychology, namely, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious are the basic texts that help in understanding what Lawrentian psychology is and why, after all, he was a bitter critic of Freud. Lawrence disliked Freud because he felt that Freud reduced the primal consciousness to a mere appendage of the socially conditioned Id.A number of critics, notably John E. Stoll, Frederick Hoffman, Philip Rieff, James Cowan and Daniel Schneider have made a comparative study of Lawrence and Freud. Many critics agree that Lawrence differs most widely from Freud in emphasising the role of Christianity, social order and modern rationalism, and the threat they pose to the unconscious. He rejects Id as a principle of the unconscious. He does not agree that the unconscious is a mechanism determined by heredity and environment. It is originally not like a clean and empty slate. Further, it is neither affected by nor is it the source of neurosis. For Lawrence, the essential unconscious, the vital self, is pure and pristine, uncorrupted by environment (if not heredity), and not affected by neurosis.Although both agree that consciousness plays a role in neurosis, only Lawrence asserts that the cause of neurosis is consciousness and that neurosis remains in consciousness as its product. It is entirely dissociated from the unconscious: repressed materials are not deposited in the primal consciousness at all.Lawrence agrees with the psychoanalyst, Trigant Burrow, in his analysis of the cause of neurosis. While reviewing Burrow’s book The Social Basis of Consciousness Lawrence feels that the genesis of neurosis in man is not the sex-repression but his own inward sense of aloneness....

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