The Relationship of the Psychoanalytic Concept of Catharsis to Arthur Schnitzler's Use of the Inner Monologue in Several of His Short Stories

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psychoanalysis, Arthur Schnitzler, inner monologue, short stories, German, catharsis


German Language and Literature | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis and discussion of the possible relationship of the psychoanalytic concept of catharsis to Arthur Schnitzler's use of the inner monologue in several of his short stories. Webster's Dictionary defines catharsis as: 1) purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension; 2) elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression. Sigmund Freud developed psychotherapy as a method of treatment to enable his patients to achieve a catharsis. Both Freud and Schnitzler were doctors of psychiatry in Vienna at the turn of the century. Freud himself in a letter to Schnitzler, as a poet, came to many of the same conclusions through intuition which he had discovered only through hours of research. To my knowledge, Schnitzler's use of the inner monologue has not previously been associated with the concept of catharsis. This paper is not an attempt to 'psychoanalyze' Schnitzler's short stories, but will work from the basic relationship between Freud and Schnitzler which will be fully explained in the first chapter.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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