International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 275


The contribution of Freud’s theories to the literary analysis of two Victorian novels: Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre

Giuseppe Giordano
  • Giuseppe Giordano
  • Department of Mental Health and Addictions, Azienda Sociosanitaria Ligure 1, Imperia, Italy.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 09 December 2019
  •  Accepted: 11 May 2020
  •  Published: 31 May 2020


Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical theories can be used with reference to the analysis of literary works. Reading novels, poems and other compositions through the lens of psychoanalysis gives the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the works of literature in their genesis and presentation. Freudian doctrine can be considered as a reading tool that allows the investigation of the enigmatic areas of human experience and, therefore, its main contribution to literature is related to the discovery of hidden aspects of the text, of the writer and of the reader as well. In this article, the main characters of two Victorian novels, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are analysed with reference to Freud theories concerning the tripartite structure of the mind (Id, Ego and Super-Ego) along with the Oedipus complex, the analysis of dreams and other aspects of sexuality. Several passages from the two works are highlighted and discussed according to the psychoanalytical theories with a main focus on the characters: Heathcliff and Catherine and then Jane and Mr. Rochester. The importance of the interpretative capacity of psychoanalysis is widely emphasized.
Key words: Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis, literary analysis, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre.