The Significance of the Unconscious : A Literary Study of Fear Factors and Psychological Blockings in the Harry Potter Series

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation

Abstract: This essay examines various fears presented in the Harry Potter series along with the psychological blockings connected to each fear. Furthermore, this study examines whether the effect of the characters’ actions and behaviours in situations that frightens them can simulate strategies of managing fears in real-life situations as well. The study has been conducted through a close reading of the Harry Potter series and by using psychoanalytical criticism, based on Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis and Lois Tyson’s explanation of the concepts defences and core issues.   The analysis shows that there are some defences that are more common among the characters and that those defences determine long lasting behaviours. Some characters, such as Harry and Dumbledore, show that it is possible to manage and also overcome fears if being determined to not be consumed by the fear. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates that characters’ core issues are closely connected to past experiences in life. In conclusion, the analysis highlights that the fears and strategies depicted in the Harry Potter series in fact do mirror real-life situations and strategies of managing fears.  

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