We should begin by noting that in psychoanalytic readings we differentiate between the manifest content and the latent content. In Freud's own terms, the mind is like an iceberg. What we see is the manifest 10% -- the tip of the iceberg. Everything that lies beneath the surface -- the 90% -- is latent. So a psychoanalytic reading of literature takes for granted that the apparent meaning of a text is only the tip of the iceberg, and that literature contains much more content beneath the surface.
|Nope. No latent psychological meaning here.|
The three clear ways to approach a psychoanalytic reading of a text are to 1) read to psychoanalyze the characters, 2) read to psychoanalyze the author, or 3) read to discover the latent meaning of the text and describe it in the language of psychoanalysis.
|Forcing the Governor to Act Morally|
I'll put my cards on the table here and say that I usually don't put much stock in psychoanalytic theory myself, but plenty of people do and it's worth knowing what it is and how people approach it.