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Psychological Approach to Heart of Darkness

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Joanna Collett

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of Psychological Approach to Heart of Darkness

Psychological Approach to
Heart of Darkness Hannah Logsdon
Casey Foster
Joanna Collett Freud's Theories In
Relation to Heart of Darkness Dreams and Nightmares The Soul The Mind As a Whole Kurtz The Accountant Marlow Psychoanalysis A Smidgen of Background Psychoanalysis is considered to be both a psychological theory and a treatment for depression and anxiety disorders. Marlow identifies with Kurtz, due to the similarities between their Ids.

Marlow struggles to keep himself from giving
way to his Id throughout the book, but manages to keep his Id in harmony with his Ego, whereas Kurtz's Id takes him over entirely.

This is the fundamental difference between Marlow and Kurtz. Kurtz is proven to be Marlow's alter Ego.

Kurtz's basic traits of greed and violence are revealed in an environment free of social constraints, which highlights a negative take on the unconscious mind.

His Id gradually becomes too strong, which leads Kurtz to descend into madness, and eventually causes his death. As Marlow represents a strong Ego and Kurtz represents a strong Id, the accountant that Marlow meets represents a strong Superego.

Upon seeing the greedy actions of everyone else, the accountant restrains himself and does what he knows is right. By looking at Heart of Darkness from a Freudian perspective, we can see that Marlow's journey into Africa can also be seen as the journey into his unconscious mind. “But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad.” “I remembered the old doctor, - "It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot." I felt I was becoming scientifically interesting.” Born on May 6th, 1856,
in Frieberg, Moravia. Died September
23rd, 1939, in London, England.
Grew up in a strange family
structure - his mother's age was halfway between his father's and his own.
Enrolled in the University of
Vienna at age 17, earned his doctor
of medicine degree at age 24. Sigmund Freud! Psychoanalysis
Inner Consciousness
(Id, Ego, & Superego)
Dream Interpretation
Free Association The purpose of psychoanalytic therapy is to bring
repressed memories and emotions to light, or to bring the
unconscious into conscious thought. The theory states that our minds extend beyond conscious awareness, and that the unconscious (or inner conscious) has a huge influence on our actions. Theory of Inner Consciousness According to Freud, the inner conscious of the mind is split into three parts: Id - The impulsive part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts.
Ego - Operates according to the reality principle, which works out realistic ways of satisfying our id's sometimes chaotic demands.
Superego - Incorporates morals and values that are learned from parents and other influences. Split into the conscience and ideal self. Ego Id Freud's theories were considered to be very shocking at their origin, and have stirred further controversy and debate over time.

All controversy aside, these theories have remained a huge influence in many areas, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, art, and literature.

Which brings us to this: Quotes “The mind of man is capable of anything--because everything is in it, all the past as well as the future.” “They had behind them, to my mind, the terrific suggestiveness of words heard in dreams, of phrases spoken in nightmares.” “No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence--that
which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream--alone.” “He struggled with himself, too. I saw it -- I heard it. I saw the inconceivable mystery of a soul that knew no restraint, no faith, and no fear, yet struggling blindly with itself.” We can also see the significance of each of Freud's three components of the unconscious mind, and how a balance the Id, Ego, and Superego is essential. Heart of Darkness sheds light on Sigmund Freud's theory
of psychoanalysis, on more than one front. The debate of the inner consciousness is highlighted through Conrad's own experiences and through his characterization of Marlow, Kurtz, and the others. This book shows us a dark, twisted journey into the unknown, forcing us to realize that the darkest of unknowns might be within us. The Overall Significance?
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