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Freudianism in The Metamorphosis

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Jane Petty

on 8 March 2011

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Transcript of Freudianism in The Metamorphosis

The Freudian
Theory of Dreams Sigmund Freud ~ revolutionary psychologist
~ psychoanalytical approach Id Ego Superego Psychoanalytical Theory of Personalities Interaction of 3 parts of the mind Oedipus Complex ~"animal impulse center" ~ transformation into bug was subconscious, primal urge felt by Gregor > he repressed these emotions to the id
> transformation can be interpreted as his id being the dominant part of his mind (personality was not developed well enough) ~ Gregor has felt worthless to his family and insignificant in the world ~ thinking and reasoning ~ Gregor's father exemplifies ego ~ reasons through the situation:
instinct (id) wans Gregor dead immediately, but ego made him lock in room first, and work to get family money before going with gut instinct ~ "moral guardian" - without humans would be selfish
~ Grete exemplifies superego
~ although her instinct (id) finds Gregor gross, she continues to care for him - the only one in the family willing to do so 1) boy naturally loves his mother, but sees father as standing in way of his love 2) boy begins to feel aggression and envy towards father 3) begins to fear father, so represses desire for mother to id 4) once repressed, boy decides best way to earn mother's love is to be like father --> bond ~ Gregor can be seen as not having successfully gone through his phallic stage of development > Gregor's father worked a lot when he was a child, and never showed much affection towards Gregor > Gregor's mother always loved him (as we see when she continues to love him as a bug) > Gregor felt aggression, envy, and fear towards his father, but never repressed desire for his mother or bonded with his father ~ unfulfilled wishes represented symbolically in dreams ~ can read "The Metamorphosis" as a dream > written as if a dream because Gregor does not feel any emotion about his situation - lacking the shock, anger, or depression one would expect ~ even if story itself is not a dream, the story might be a dream that Franz Kafka had, therefore telling us something about his own life dream interpretation:
unfulfilled wish to become a bug > Gregor/Kafka felt insignificant and rejected by society > must have known subconsciously that they were not needed to care/provide for their family - as a useless, locked-up bug Gregor is able to see that his family survives (and is even happier) without him > wished to be isolated from family and society > wished to be unable to work - this is shown further by the fact that Gregor hates his work, but only does it because he feels he has to > wished to die? - could argue that death in the dream is really the dreamers wish - could argue that the death in the dream is symbolic of the death of the bug-like aspects of the man after being disowned by his family --> left open who he turns into > Oedipus Complex: Gregor wants his mother to see what a mean man his father is (out of envy)
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