Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Defense Mechanisms Unruly Id and Neddy Essay example -- Essays Papers

Defense Mechanisms Unruly Id and Neddy The Swimmer The idea of the human mind being composed of both a conscious and unconscious has been around for quite some time. Not until Sigmund Freud elaborated on these structures though were the ideas so popular and accepted. Freud described our conscious mind as what we are aware of in any present situation including our thoughts, ideas and perceptions. Freud also introduced us to the idea of the preconscious mind, which is closely related to the conscious in that it holds thoughts and ideas that are easily available to be brought to the conscious. The most important aspect of the mind, as Freud would tell us, is that of the unconscious realm that holds information not readily available to us. It is proposed that much of the information in the unconscious is stored there because we cannot bear to think about it. Closely related to the conscious, preconscious and unconscious minds are structures Freud believes determine our behavior: the id, ego, and superego. When reading a piece o f literature the main focus is almost always on the characters. We try to understand their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and drives. In The Swimmer, John Cheever forces us to ask ourselves what it is that compels Neddy to push himself beyond his limits and forget such critical aspects of his life. By analyzing Neddy’s id, ego, and superego, we begin to see a clearer picture of what drives his strange behavior. The id, located in the unconscious, is thought to be the primitive part of our psyche and the source of our motivations that drive us to fulfill our needs immediately. Freud believed that the id consisted of two parts: one driven by the life instinct, or pleasure principle, and the other driven by the death instinct. The life instinct promotes life of the individual and species by motivating him to eat and procreate. The death instinct refers to our desires to be still, at peace, and have no more needs. This instinct manifests itself by alcohol and drug abuse, getting lost in a book, craving sleep, or sometimes as seriously as suicide. Throughout the whole story of The Swimmer, we are constantly asking the question â€Å"why?† We first wonder why Neddy is pushing himself to the point of exhaustion while undertaking this journey, then we begin to wonder what it is that happened to Neddy and his family,... ...his family were probably too much for him to think about. This more than likely led to the unconscious repression of the event, person, or situation. The repression of these things into his unconscious is why he cannot recall anything relating to the situation. After first reading The Swimmer, I was confused as to why Neddy was behaving as he did. After applying Freud’s theories of different levels of consciousness and the id, ego and superego, we start to see a clearer picture of this disturbed individual. Neddy’s problems run far deeper than houses, money, or work related problems. His inability to cope with reality and its stressors is more troubling than any material possessions that he may be lacking. Neddy’s out of control id combined with his overwhelmed ego and resulting abuse of defense mechanisms seem to be at the route of his problem. Neddy’s ego has done a wonderful job of totally distorting his reality in an attempt to reduce stress. I think at at least one time in our lives we have all wanted to forget about some horrible, embarrassing, or troublesome event. The story of The Swimmer allows us ponder if this â€Å"easy way out† is really so easy after all.

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