When the psychological suffering of a family member is defended against and denied by the other members of the family, the suffering person becomes helpless.
Although she herself may try to deny her illness, she feels that others deny her suffering because it is too great for them to bear and she feels lost and overwhelmed.
They are largely unconscious responses to anxiety irrespective of the source or content of the anxiety.
Therefore, they are primarily formal aspects of human behavior; each defense has its own characteristics and patterns and the proclivity to use certain defenses is a basic feature of a person's character structure.
The dynamism of psychological defense has never been intensively used in the analysis of a literary work.
Psychological defenses are intrinsic aspects of all ongoing interpersonal interaction.
The large preponderance of these three defenses throughout the play clarifies the essential structure of the family portrayed.
When such defenses are characteristically used within a family, insuperable barriers to communication exist.
When the aesthetic appeal of a literary work depends at least in part on the accuracy of portrayal of character and psychological situation—as in a so-called psychological novel or a psychological play—analysis of psychological defenses provides a means for understanding aspects of the psychological structure of the work.
Patterns of defenses manifested by characters in a literary work are experienced by the readers or audience in particular ways during the time they are reading the work or viewing the play.