Published: August 20, 2019
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By: Mekala Lehmunn, Cal State San Marcos
I composed this critical analysis paper in Spring 2018 for my Critical Theory course in which we learned about Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Gender, Queer, African American, Deconstruction and other theories with which to analyze a piece of literature.
I analyzed Laurell K. Hamilton's captivating short story "Those Who Seek Forgiveness" from a feminist and psychoanalytic perspective. Hamilton's horrific tale showcases two female heroines, Carla Friske and Anita Blake, who represent Freud's id and ego, respectively. Death itself is the superego who insists that, while people like Blake can reanimate dead bodies, the corpses will continue to decay until they are unrecognizable. This prevents passionate individuals such as Friske from humanizing them too much, even if they curb that urge too late.
Additionally, having a person whose gender many see as irrational, overly emotional and immature represent the calm, logical and wise ego suggests feminist undertones in Hamilton's story.