Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism in Harry Potter Essay

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Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism in Harry Potter The inhabitants of a faraway country known for its ivory towers and for its export of literary monographs were forever quarreling over who might best represent them. One day two tiny factions decided to join forces: the adherents of the Princess Childlit and the followers of Prince Psychian, the great-great-grandson of Empress Psyche. Both groups had for a long time felt themselves unduly spurned… by the powerful Board of Canonizers who had ruled Arkedemia for over a century. Might not a wedding between the two claimants strengthen their status?... just as the engagement was about to be announced, the whole affair was abruptly called off. What had happened?…Their cohorts had begun…show more content…
And why do critics tend to oversimplify the psychoanalytic approach to children’s literature, rendering such critiques a kind of “vulgar psychoanalysis?” It is the intention of the following pages, through a discussion of some of the issues present in both the criticism of children’s literature, and the discipline of psychoanalytic criticism, to address and hopefully answer these questions. The subsequent psychoanalytic criticism of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone according to Lacanian principals will then hopefully serve as an example, illustrating that children’s literature and psychoanalytic criticism do not deserve their current big red label of “marginal.” The first issue, then, that needs examination is the current status of children’s literature within the realm of literary criticism. Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, author of Children’s Literature; Criticism and the Fictional Child, quotes Peter Hunt’s observation that “’children’s books’ is a very curious classification, an chaotic collection of texts that have in common nothing other than some undefined relationship to children. (6)” One would assume that this relationship is such that the books are written expressly for the children in question. This however, presents its own host of problems. One is expressed in Lesnik-Oberstein’s quotation of J.R.R. Tolkien; “Children as a class—except that in

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