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The Psychology of Jane Eyre

The Psychology of Jane Eyre

Non-Freudian explanations

Mainly relevant to first two chapters

Freudian explanations

Relevant to whole novel

Non-Freudian explanations

Particular to the first two chapters

Modelling - copying adult’s behaviour
 Reed children model mother’s behaviour

Learning from observation

 Adrenaline .Fight or Flight Flight .when badly hit by John she fights.Autonomic response  Arousal reduced by either Fight or Flight.  .Jane usually hides behind the curtain  Fight .

7 .Our response to threat THREAT Slide 1.

Potentially lethal electric shocks to a stranger.  They are obedient to Mrs Reed.  .  Servants do not support Jane.Obedience to Authority Milgram .

” .Obedience to Authority “Behavior that is unthinkable in an individual who is acting on her own may be executed without hesitation when carried out under orders.

Milgram: Touch Proximity: Victim received a shock only when the victims hand rested on a shock plate. Required physical contact with the victim. . The teacher had to force his hand on it.

Unconditioned Stimulus Unconditioned Response .

Unconditioned Stimulus Neutral Stimulus Unconditioned Response .

Unconditioned Stimulus Neutral Stimulus Unconditioned Response .

Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response .

Rats Dogs Bunnies Santa Claus Coats .

Classical Conditioning The Red Room  Jane’s uncle (Mrs Reed’s husband) died here.  ‘Ghost’ appears and Jane is frightened  Red room elicits fear in Jane  Women shut away in rooms  .

etc .Labelling theory  Jane feels that she is labelled by Mrs Reed as: – –  useless noxious and not – – – brilliant handsome romping.

Networks Vulnerability to Chronicity . No Consequences Due to Labeling Negative Consequences Self-esteem.Modified Labeling Approach Societal Conceptions of What it Means To Have a Mental Illness Labeling: Conceptions Become Personally Relevant Not Labeled Societal Conceptions Not Relevant to Self Labeled Persons Response Secrecy. Withdrawal etc.

 Then a moving light is seen as a ghost  The grown-up Jane (writing) believes it was most likely a lantern being carried across the lawn.  .Perceptual priming In the red room  Jane thinks of the dead coming back from the grave when their dying wishes have not been carried out.

Priming  Pass out demonstration sheets .

Priming demonstration  Unscramble the following word: L T E PA Answer: PE TAL P LAT E .

Priming  Why did half the class say plate and the other half say petal?  They were primed to do so  There were two different sheets of unscrambled words .

Priming sheet 1  Unscramble the following word: F INEK O P O N S K R O F P U C E C U S A R L T E P A Answer: KNIFE SPOON FORK CUP S AU C E R P LAT E .

Priming sheet 2  Unscramble the following word: N YPAS F E L A K T A L S D U B L O B S O M S L T E P A Answer: PAN S Y LE AF S TALK BUD BLOSSOM PE TAL .

Freudian explanations Relevant to whole novel .

The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense (1936) Anna Freud           Repression Displacement Denial Projection Reaction Formation Intellectualization Rationalization Undoing Sublimation Identification with the Agressor .

things are bad when you have to use these . Superego. but especially for children not always possible Sometimes.The Ego deals with Id. the best anyone can do. But can be used maladaptively 3. Symptoms (neurotic) – Last resort. Secondary process –  2. Defense mechanisms –  Ideal. and Reality by:  1.

Three types of anxiety  Neurotic Anxiety –  Moral Anxiety –  Fear of being overwhelmed by unacceptable Id impulses [Ego vs. Superego] Reality Anxiety – Fear of danger in the outside world [Ego vs. Reality] . Id] Fear of being punished by the Superego [Ego vs.

.Repression The most basic defense mechanism  The use of anti-cathexis to keep a memory or wish from becoming conscious  Repression is a component of almost every other defense mechanism  – Most defense mechanism = repression + ….

Repression  Gateshead from family  Lowood from an institution  Thornfield from within a relationship  Moor House from within  Ferndean .release from repression .

.Repression  Rochester locks Bertha in the attic and tries to forget he has a wife.

.Vagina Dentata    Victorian morality tale but myth is found in many cultures Sex with strange women is dangerous Freud .men are reminded of castration / also seen as mouth.vagina .

Bertha wounds Mason and becomes a Vagina Dentata Sexual repression .St John Rivers .Vagina Dentata    Rochester has had at least one mistress and is metaphorically bitten by losing her to another man.

Displacement The second most basic defense mechanism  Definition: The transfer of psychic energy from a repressed object-cathexis to a more acceptable object  The “more acceptable” object will in some way be associated with (usually resembling) the original object  Seen in phobias  .

Displacement in Jane Eyre Rooms .whilst left alone to tend Mason  Bertha’s room .Bertha is locked and becomes(?) mad.  .Jane is locked into when a child  Room next to Bertha’s .not connected by plot but by emotions  Emotions are displaced onto the rooms  Red Room .

 . Madness and Claustrophobia. Hysteria.Displacement in Jane Eyre For transgressing the limits of proper female behaviour  Jane is imprisoned by John Reed (via his mother)  Bertha is imprisoned by Rochester  Emotions: Fear.

plus an additional factor  Ego senses something unacceptable from somewhere.Projection Attributing an unacceptable thought or feeling or your own to someone else instead of yourself  This involves repression. but convinces self it is external  Changes neurotic anxiety into reality anxiety  Seen in paranoia  .

Jane should be more sociable and childlike.  ‘If Jane is Bad then my children are good’  .Projection Projection .  Is John Reed sociable and childlike?  Why does Mrs Reed spoil her children?  Part of the reason why Mrs Reed puts Jane down.Mrs Reed .

Undoing Performing a ritualistic act to “undo” an unacceptable act or thought  Jane’s fugue or flight from Rochester after she nearly entered into a bigamous marriage.  .

Sublimation  Two definitions of sublimation – – – Displacement of an impulse to a completely socially acceptable. socially approved outlet A displacement which discharges all the psychic energy bound up in the original impulse successfully Jane could have sublimated her desire for Rochester by becoming a missionary’s wife but instead finds spiritual meaning in human experience. .

Sublimation Perhaps Brontë is sublimating her wish to criticize Victorian attitudes to women by writing Jane Eyre.  Although many men then believed that writing was an inappropriate activity for women!  . A more acceptable activity.

Identification with the Aggressor Anna Freud named this one as a defense mechanism  The basis of the resolution of the Oedipus Complex  Jane enters into a sadomasochistic relationship with Rochester.  .

Split Personality Unable to face up to trauma so personality is split.  One personality can comment upon how the other has been affected by trauma.  Disassociation  .

Multiple Personality Disorder Presence of two or more distinct identities. each with its own unique. and enduring way of relating to the world or self  At least two of these identities recurrently take control of the person’s behavior  An inability to recall important personal information to an extent that is more than ordinary forgetfulness  .

Causes Childhood trauma – usually sexual abuse before age 5  Experts believe alter arises to protect person from overwhelming memories and protect secrets from outsiders  .

Case Study: Eve Thigpen and Cleckley. Eve Black – party girl. Jane – mature intellectual  Total of 22 personalities  . 1953  Rooted from traumatic events witnessed growing up in South during Depression  Eve White – wife and mother.

Herbert Spiegel . Wilbur – Freudian psychologist 1998 – several publications exposed Sybil case as scam Dr. Dr.only multiple personality in psychoanalytic setting. some were male Dr. just extremely suggestible hysteric To ensure the book deal. such as piano playing or having British accent. Wilbur’s archives will be opened in 2005… .Case Study: Sybil        True name – Shirley Mason Set the standard for MPD as a syndrome rooted in child abuse 16 separate personalities all having unique talents and characteristics. Sybil had to be multiple.

Split Personality Jane is the good woman who participates in the Victorian patriarchal society without rocking the boat too much for most of the book.  The attic is rather like the unconscious mind  Rochester is suppressing a memory that pains him.  .  Bertha is the bad woman locked in the attic.

 Brontë is using this split to criticise in a more acceptable form the treatment of women.Split Personality Is Bertha Bad?  By modern standards?  Compared with Rochester?  People who do not fit into society (or are bad) are labelled mad. (Sublimation?)  .

Castration complex Part of little boy’s psychosexual development.  .  As a punishment for loving mother. father threatens castration  Resolved by the boy identifying with father.

Castration complex Early stage of Rochester’s life  Naïve marriage to Bertha  Expecting Victorian norms of behaviour  Bertha could have been a mother substitution for Rochester  Bertha rebels  Divorce not possible  Locks her away  .

Castration complex Rochester expecting his wife to be like his mum  Rochester expects Jane to be subservient too  Sadomasochistic relationship between Rochester and Jane  Until Rochester is maimed in the fire  He is castrated  .

Castration complex Jane can enjoy a future marriage based on equanimity and mutual understanding and respect.  Brontë like Austen commented on the subservient role of women of their day.  .

 .Changing view of Bertha Brontë could not directly attack these values so used Jane and Bertha to get the message across.  Message was too subtle for many Victorians  Bertha seen as bad  Modern age could see Bertha in new light  Jean Rhys' novel ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’.

Thank you for listening .