Myth for Freud, Myth Was Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Levi-Strauss also suggested that myth offered the "illusion" of being able to "understand the universe," which suggests a psychological purpose to myth creation (cited by Bierlein, p. 262).

Freud believed that myths shared a language with dreams, and were ultimately the "products of repressed individual childhood memories played out in conscious language," (Bierlein, p. 282). Unlike Jung, Freud did not believe that myths were "the products of any myth-producing area of the unconscious universal to all human beings," (Bierlein 282). Instead Freud explained the phenomenon of parallel myths in terms of a shared human psychological experience; human beings share the same neuroses. Parallel myths occur because all human beings share similar biological, psychological, and social experiences.

Jung, on the other hand, conceived of a collective unconscious that was shared by all human beings. Dreams and myths are "definitely related," according to Jung, but are not "the products of individual memories," (Bierlein p. 290). Instead, Jung thought the personal unconscious was "superficial," (cited by Bierlein p. 292). Unlike Freud, Jung believed the collective unconscious was the wellspring from where myth spouted. The collective unconscious was for Jung a "psychic substrate of a suprapersonal nature," (cited by Bierlein p. 292)

Like both Freud and Jung, Levi-Strauss perceived a shared human experience that gave rise to the phenomenon of myths across cultures. However, Levi-Strauss focused on structural phenomenon and biological processes rather than on abstract symbols. For Levi-Strauss, myth was "neurologically based," rather than psychically based (Bierlein p. 297). Bierlein claims that Levi-Strauss' theories are inherently "opposed" to Freud's and Jung's because Levi-Strauss denied the implicit meaning of archetypes or symbols. However, all three theorists proposed a…

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