Master of Liberal Studies Research Papers

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies (MLS)


Understanding the significance of applying the psychoanalytic approach to literary works is essential for all aspiring critical writers. Using the psychoanalytic approach, I delved into the core of the works by Nathaniel Hawthorne using Surrealism and the psyche as the foundation for my argument. Since Surrealism and the psyche often focus on the behaviors of an individual, the ideas associated with these concepts are ideal for dissecting the behaviors of the characters in Young Goodman Brown, The Haunted Mind, and The Birthmark. The conscious and unconscious minds are components of both the psyche and Surrealist literature and their significance is illuminated throughout the project. Using Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic framework, I indicated the roles of Surrealism and the psyche in Hawthorne's work as they relate to the characters. It is through these concepts that I explained the actions, behaviors, and desires of the characters in each story. An in-depth exploration of these topics provided me with additional clarity of the psychoanalytic approach and of Hawthorne's works. This project illustrates the relationship between Sigmund Freud's framework for psychoanalysis as it relates to Surrealism and proves that it is a vital tool for analyzing and understanding the works of Hawthorne.


Copyright 2010 Michelle Williams


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