A Psychoanalytic Analysis of the Thematic Preoccupations of Dhaba Weyessa's Godaannisaa and Gadisa Birru's Kuusaa Gadoo

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Addis Ababa University


Psychoanalytic literary criticism serves as a tool to excavate the landscape of any literary work. Following Freud's concept of psychoanalysis as a method to examine the workings of the human mind, there are motives and meanings that become center of attention among the classical psychoanalytic critics. The classical psychoanalytic critics treat a literary text as a dreamlike and the literary analysis as a dream interpretation. The literary characters are also the imaginary beings that the repressed desire of the author is incarnated into. On the basis that any literary work can lend itself to any critical approaches, the two Oromo novels: Dhaba Weyessa's Godaannisaa ("The Scar" and Gadisa Birru's Kuusaa Gadoo ("Cumulative Grudge") are under examination of the established principles of psychoanalytic literary criticism. It is also the objective of the study to analyze the psychoanalytic approaches to the thematic preoccupations of the two works. The researcher attempts to analyze the thematic obsessions that revolve around the main characters. As psychoanalytic literary criticism is often coupled with other literary theories, due attention is also given to psychoanalytic feminism and psychoanalysis and Marxism. The two novels, which are written in the aftermath of the transitional government of Ethiopia, in post 1991, appeared with recurrent themes and hence they are selected to be examined from psychoanalytic perspectives. Using techniques of criticism and hermeneutics a thorough textual analysis and interpretation is made in order to attain the objectives set to the study. The two works reflect the unconscious motives of the authors which are repressed in their unconscious and later projected into the characters in the imaginary world-the novels. The central male characters who are coupled with women characters characterize the traumatic life experiences of the Oromo people, particularly during the Dergue regime. The repressed wounds, unresolved conflicts and bitter memories appear with such mechanism repression, projection and symbolism.



Thematic Preoccupations