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SOAR Project: Alexa Walby, English Education/LMIS

May 16, 2023

A SOAR student presents to the scholar symposium

“A Psychoanalytic Analysis of Joker”

Alexa Walby, Dickinson, ND

English Education/LMIS

Mentor: Dr. J. Gregory Brister

In my English 371: Critical Theory course, I dedicated my final project to psychoanalyzing Arthur Fleck from the film, Joker. Within the fourpage parameters of that assignment, I wrote about Fleck’s lack of a superego, and I used Freud’s Wit and Its Relation to support my statement by examining Fleck’s jokes. In this project, I dove deeper into my analysis of this film by furthering my explanation of why Fleck became the man he was along with discussing why this film became a cultural phenomenon. I wrote about Fleck’s sense of humor and explored multiple different scenes that show his childhood, family dynamic, and the acceptance of his true self. I used Parker’s How to Interpret Literature, Freud’s Wit and Its Relation, and various works from Jaques Lacan and Julia Kristeva. The paper discusses in detail how Arthur Fleck shifts from attempting to conform the Symbolic Order to giving in to chora and chaos.