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Psychology in English Lit

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Jason Van Swol

on 10 October 2018

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Transcript of Psychology in English Lit

Freud came to see personality as having three aspects, which work together to produce all of our complex behaviors: the Id, the Ego and the Superego. All 3 components need to be well-balanced in order to have good amount of psychological energy available and to have reasonable mental health.

THE ID (): functions in the
emotional(think Pathos)
part of the mind.

The Id is the primitive mind - want want want.

It contains all the basic needs & feelings.

&has only 1 rule -> the
pleasure principle

Id too strong = bound up in self-gratification and uncaring to others

The Super Ego -ORDER
last part of the mind to develop-

the moral (think Ethos) part of the mind.

It constantly strives for perfection,
even though this perfection ideal
may be
quite far from reality
or possibility.
Its power to enforce rules
comes from its ability to
create anxiety

is the rules about what constitutes bad behavior, & is basically all those things that the child feels parent will disapprove/punish.basically what the child�s parents approve of or value.

Superego too strong = feels guilty all the time, may even have an

insufferably saintly
Developmental Dilemma
The conflict between the Id and Superego, negotiated by the Ego, is one of the fundamental psychological battles all people face.

the Ego has a difficult time dealing with the competing demands of the Superego and the Id.

-this psychological conflict is an intrinsic and pervasive part of human experience.

The way in which a person characteristically resolves the instant gratification vs. longer-term reward dilemma in many ways comes to reflect on their "character".
Erik Erikson
Stages of psychosocial development

Stage 5 adolescence: 12-18
Ego Development Outcome: Identity vs. Role Confusion
Basic Strengths: Devotion and Fidelity

Stage 6 Young Adulthood: 18 to 35
Ego Development Outcome: Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation
Basic Strengths: Affiliation and Love

Stage 7 Middle Adulthood: 35 to 55 or 65
Ego Development Outcome: Generativity vs. Self absorption or Stagnation
Basic Strengths: Production and Care

Adolescence: 12-18ish

Up to this stage, development mostly depends upon what is done to us. (reactive)

From here on out, development depends primarily upon what we do. (Proactive)

- we attempt to find our own identity, struggle with social interactions, and grapple with moral issues.

Our task is to discover who we are as individuals separate from our family of origin and as members of a wider society.

Unfortunately for those around us, in this process many of us go into a period of withdrawing from responsibilities, which Erikson called a "moratorium."

And if we are unsuccessful in navigating this stage, we will experience role confusion and upheaval.

Psychology in Literature
Sigmund Freud
-equates to "Adult" & functions with the
part of the mind.

-develops out of growing awareness that you can�t always get what you want.

-relates to the real world and operates via the �
reality principle

-realizes the need for
and negotiates between the Id and the Superego.

-job is to get the Id's pleasures & be aware of consequences

-denies both instant gratification and pious delaying of gratification.

Ego too strong = extremely rational and efficient, but cold, boring and distant

The Purpose of Adolescence
Stage 6: Young Adulthood 18-35ish
A significant task for us is to establish a philosophy of life and in this process we tend to think in terms of ideals, which are conflict free, rather than reality, which is not.

The problem is that we don't have much experience and find it easy to substitute ideals for experience. However, we can also develop strong devotion to friends and causes.

It is no surprise that our most significant relationships are with peer groups.
In the initial stage of being an adult we seek one or more companions and love.

As we try to find mutually satisfying relationships, primarily through marriage and friends, we generally also begin to start a family, though this age has been pushed back for many people.

If negotiating this stage is successful, we can experience intimacy on a deep level.

If we're not successful, isolation and distance from others may occur. And when we don't find it easy to create satisfying relationships, our world can begin to shrink as,
in defense, we can feel superior to others.

Our significant relationships are with marital partners and friends.

Stage 7 Middle Adulthood: 35 to ?
Now work is most crucial. Erikson observed that middle-age is when we tend to be occupied with creative and meaningful work and with issues surrounding our family. Also, middle adulthood is when we can expect to "be in charge," the role we've longer envied.

The significant task is to perpetuate culture and transmit values of the culture through the family (taming the kids) and working to establish a stable environment. Strength comes through care of others and production of something that contributes to the betterment of society, which Erikson calls generativity, so when we're in this stage we often fear inactivity and meaninglessness.

Significant relationships are within the workplace, the community and the family.

Level 1 - Pre-conventional morality

At the pre-conventional level (most nine-year-olds and younger, some over nine), we don’t have a personal code of morality.

Instead, our moral code is shaped by the standards of adults and the consequences of following or breaking their rules.

Authority is outside the individual and reasoning is based on the physical consequences of actions.

Stage 1

Obedience and Punishment Orientation.

The child/individual is good in order to avoid being punished.

If a person is punished they must have done wrong.

(How can I avoid punishment?)

Stage 2

Individualism and Exchange. (Self-interest orientation)

At this stage children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities.

Different individuals have different viewpoints.

(What's in it for me?)

(Paying for a benefit)

Level 2

Conventional morality

At the conventional level (most adolescents and adults), we begin to internalize the moral standards of valued adult role models.

Authority is internalized but not questioned and reasoning is based on the norms of the group to which the person belongs.

Stage 3

Good Interpersonal Relationships. (Interpersonal accord and conformity)

The child/individual is good in order to be seen as being a good person by others.

Therefore, answers are related to the approval of others.

(Social norms)

(The good boy/girl attitude)

Stage 4

Maintaining the Social Order. (Authority and social-order maintaining orientation)

The child/individual becomes aware of the wider rules of society so judgments concern obeying rules in order to uphold the law and to avoid guilt.

(Law and order morality)

Level 3

Post-conventional morality

Individual judgment is based on self-chosen principles, and moral reasoning is based on individual rights and justice

(10–15% of adults, not before mid-30s).

Stage 5

Social Contract and Individual Rights.

The child/individual becomes aware that while rules/laws might exist for the good of the greatest number, there are times when they will work against the interest of particular individuals.

The issues are not always clear cut.

For example, in Heinz’s dilemma the protection of life is more important than breaking the law against stealing.
Stage 6:
Universal Principles.

People at this stage have developed their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law. The principles apply to everyone. E.g. human rights, justice and equality.

The person will be prepared to act to defend these principles even if it means going against the rest of society in the process and having to pay the consequences of disapproval and or imprisonment. Kohlberg doubted few people reached this stage.
The unconscious is important in determining behaviour. A lot of desires, motivations & conflicts are below the level of consciousness. People are driven by: animalistic, instinctual urges, especially lust and aggression
Moderns wrote with Psychology in Mind
Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
Moral development is a major topic of interest in literature. One of the best known theories was developed by psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg who formed a theory that explained the development of

Kohlberg , proposes that moral development is a continual process that occurs throughout the lifespan.

The Id in the movies
The Ego in movies
the Superego in the movies

Pirates of the Caribbean

While the following are hardly a power trio, The Curse of the Black Pearl sets up a nice id-ego-superego dynamic with, respectively, Jack, Will and Norrington: "[My place is] right here - between you and Jack." (Fun fact: Schopenhauer's analogue of the id was called the Will.)
Family Guy
(first 3 seasons, not taking in later characterization)

Impulsive, moronic, Jerk with a Heart of Gold. (Id)

Intellectual, snarky, and ultimately tries to talk Peter down to earth. (Superego)
Smart and kind, but also prone to moments of selfishness and impulsiveness (albeit not as frequently as Peter). (Ego)

Among Peter's gang (first 8 seasons)

Fifties-styled sex maniac and pervert. (Id)

Calm, tries to keep sanity within the quartet during one of Peter's schemes. (Superego)
Keeps sanity like Cleveland, but also passionate
and a quick-thinking cop. (Ego)

Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Master Shake: Harmful to himself & others, especially Meatwad. Mocks his roommates every chance he gets (Id).
Frylock: Scientific genius. Tries to maintain order (Superego).
Meatwad: Innocent, but takes on bad habits from Shake (Ego).

Bender: Boozing, smoking, Jerkass robot. (Id)
Leela: Levelheaded, predictable Action Girl. (Superego)
Fry: The Unfazed Everyman. (Ego)

The Dark Knight:
The three central figures:

Batman/Bruce Wayne: Wants to keep order, and will use questionable means to do so. (Ego)

The Joker: Sadistic, determined to show that deep down, all people are heartless monsters. (Id)

Harvey Dent: Gotham's White Knight, wants to remain above chaos for justice. (Superego)

Jack: (Id: Chaos) Will use conversation to
avoid bloodshed (especially his own)
prone to trickery
& can resort to
some pretty underhanded tricks
Elizabeth: (Ego: Reason)
Tries to use the method that best fits the situation and utilizes bluffs and honest diplomacy almost equally.
Will: (Super Ego: Order) Traditional, straightforward and honest but stubborn and unyielding to a fault.
The Freudian trio
consists of three characters:
One who acts emotionally & instinctively, one who acts with cold passionless logic, and one who reconciles the two.
Consider popular television shows:
The Big Bang Theory
How I met Your Mother
Teen Wolf
Plato "tripartite soul" consists of the appetitive (id), spirited (superego), and rational (ego) parts. In The Republic, he claims the perfect government reflects the human soul, being made up of three parts: The masses, merchants and laborers, are the appetitive/id. They have a free market, always seek to satisfy their personal desires, and want as much freedom as possible.
Of course, it’s possible that
we only see this trope everywhere because
our brains are programmed to see it.
But if that’s true,
it makes for an even stronger argument
that the Freudian Trio plays on some powerful,
universal archetypes.

Pop Quiz:
Your Turn: Who could represent...?
What would the purpose be for writing characters this way?
Why would authors choose to group characters like this?
What role to these
characters play in
furthering the story?
What role to these
characters play in
furthering the story?
What role to these characters play in furthering the story?
SpongeBob SquarePants
Spongebob Squarepants: Ego
Patrick Star: Id
Squidward Tentacles: Superego
The dynamic is played with more in later books, like Hermione developing ID-like tendencies, Harry being more of The SUPEREGO, etc. The best example being Order of the Phoenix, where Ron and Harry basically swap places, with Harry being The ID and Ron being The EGO.
EGO: compromise- The adult
What society says you should do
ID: What you
want to do
Harry: Ego
Ron: ID
Hermione: Superego
Quiz: Which of the three parts of the unconscious would help us understand this picture?
Batman has three separate characters, while Deadpool is split into three personalities.
Fine, how about these?
Hopefully, some of these?
? ID ?
Impulse Balance Rules
In narrative fiction,
the three parts are often divided into three separate characters.
Star Trek is often credited with the first salient use of these archetypes.
...But why?
They've done it before
Characters developed
using this method, though shallow
and underdeveloped, are easy to understand and their choices will be comfortably predictable
This Trio
has made 5 films
Alice in Wonderland (I) (2010) ...
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) ...
Dark Shadows (2012) ...
Corpse Bride (2005) ...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Can we use this tool to explain the success
of their relationship?
Character/ Morality
a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.
Remember when being a kid was fun? Those days were priceless; there was no pressure and life was easy.
I once thought being 18 was "wow" and that high school kids looked so sophisticated. Driving looked like heaven and dating seemed passionate.
What's sad about high school is everyone is trying to "find themselves" and expecting a definite label, or succumbing to a meaningless stereotype without embracing individuality.
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