How To Use The Pop-Screen In Literary Studies

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Alexandra Reuber


Psychoanalytic theory, Sigmund Freud, dream analysis, the uncanny, ego, Id, super-ego, double figure, development of critical and media literacy, Stephen King, multimodal communication


Teaching literary theory is fascinating for those who love the application of theory to a literary text, difficult for those who are of the opinion that theory destroys the actual beauty and value of the fictional source, and unfortunately often boring for those who are taught.  This article, however, provides a popular approach to the introduction to classical Freudian literary criticism by choosing David Koepp’s cinematographic adaptation of Stephen King’s novella Secret Window. David Koepp’s film Secret Window (2004) is a valuable teaching tool, as it invites the viewer to observe Mort Rainey’s—the film’s main character—psychologically unstable mind and emotional distress processed in his dream states, hallucinations, and anxiety attacks. Moreover, the film illustrates well the Freudian concept of repression, of the uncanny, of dream work, and of the interplay of the three psychological entities—ego, Id, super-ego. This differentiated introduction to important Freudian concepts and his understanding of dream-analysis is student centered, motivating, interactive, and helps students to develop their critical and media literacy. 



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