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Research Paper | Literature | India | Volume 12 Issue 8, August 2023
A Psychoanalytic Study of Louise Erdrich'sThe Beet Queen and The Bingo Palace
Yara Assaad Assaad
Abstract: Psychoanalytic literary criticism, which emerged in the 1960s, was developed by the famous Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. It is the most influential interpretative theory that explains the workings of the human mind. One of Freud's most important contributions to the field of psychology was the development of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. Among the key concepts to be studied while analyzing a literary work from a psychological perspective include the unconscious, the early sexual development, dreams, repression, deaths and life drives, and the Oedipal Complex. This paper aims to critically analyze the psychological motivations and actions that lay behind certain characters' behaviors as they are presented in Louise Erdrich's novels. The bisexual Karl Adare is among the most enigmatic characters in Louise Erdrich's novel, The Beet Queen (1986). The novel does present enough information about Karl's background to suggest that some explanation of his adult nature might be found in his formative experiences, and, indeed, a Freudian psychoanalytic reading of this puzzling character's behavior can offer some speculations. In The Bingo Palace (1994), Louise Erdrich not only uses psychoanalytic terms to portray her characters' natures, but she also presents scenes of dreams or visions wherein her characters recognize and confront impulses that arise from the unconscious.
Keywords: Freud, psychological criticism, Oedipal Complex, the unconscious mind, Louise Erdrich, The Beet Queen, The Bingo Palace
Edition: Volume 12 Issue 8, August 2023,
Pages: 984 - 987