Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Marguerite Newton
Last updated: August 10, 2019
Sigmund Freud is the founder of modern psychiatry, and developed the psychoanalytic method: the examination of the mind using dream analysis. Freud’s ideas of identity and self are used in his concepts of the ego, super-ego and the id. The id is the set of instinctual trends; the ego is the organized, realistic part; and the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role. Through the film Fight Club by David Fincher, we are shown the alienation and struggle for the search of self and the dependence on material objects, for that sense of self.The film’s narrator is not a hole person; he is merely the representation of a person’s ego that, for the duration of the film, lets go of the reigns of control attached to his id. Freud stressed that human behavior is a result of “intrapsychic forces in conflict” and that in order to analyze these forces he had to find ways of tapping into the unconscious of his patients. He believed that there are three elements of personality: the id, the ego, and the super-ego.
The id is the only component of personality that is present from birth.This aspect of personality is completely unconscious and includes nstinctive behavior, and is the primary component of your personality. The id strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants and needs.
The ego on the other hand, is a component of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality. Freud Believed that the ego develops from the id and makes sure that the impulses of the id can be expressed in a way that is acceptable in the real world. The last component of personality is the superego. The superego holds internalized moral standards and ideals and ideas of right and wrong that we acquire from our society.
It is important to note, that it is not a separation of the mind into three structures and functions, they separate aspects and elements of the single structure of the mind. In Fight Club, the unnamed narrator talks the audience through his personal Journey of self-discovery, through his schizophrenic experiences. He describes the sequence of events that lead to his present predicament where he is “held” at gunpoint, by what turns out to be his alter ego, called Tyler Durden. Both characters exhibit “psychoanalytic themes” described by Sigmund Freud.In the beginning of the film, is id is totally under control, he limited himself to what was publicly accepted. Tyler presents himself to the narrator as a friend in order to slowly side with his views, and by the time the narrator discovers the extreme nature of his own impulses, Tyler’s plan has already begun. Throughout the film, Tyler is secretively organizing the destruction of certain buildings.
Since the narrator and Tyler are from the same mind but are still in the same body, the narrator protects himself from the knowledge of Tyler’s deeds by completely denying the acts he is engaging in.This process of enial, according to psychoanalysis, is a defense mechanism designed to protect the conscious mind from unpleasant emotions. The narrator and his alter ego, Tyler, act as complete opposite characters.
While the narrator is submissive and is considered “the ego. ” Tyler is very controlling and forceful and represents the id. Tyler is the creation of what considers of male perfection. Fight Club uses psychoanalytical reconnect with reality. Now that we’ve discovered the id, and the ego, we’re left with the super-ego.In Sigmund Freud’s thoughts: Civilization is the aspect that controls he controlling ego.
Without civilization there would be no need for the ego. At one point Tyler asks The Narrator if he knew what a duvet was, to which he responds “a comforter. ” Tyler retaliates saying “…
it is Just a blanket. Why do guys like you and I know what duvet is? Is it essential to our survival in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? ” It is the consumer society that Tyler is rebelling against, and it is the civilizing process that contains it that Freud designates as creator of the super-ego.With that, we are shown that it is this civilization and consumer society that represents the uper-ego within the context of the movie. The film Fight Club does Justice to Freud’s ideas, whether intended or not, by creating a split personality, with two wildly conflicting personalities. The unconscious mind is creatively expressed through the Narrator, Tyler, Marla, the obstacles they are presented with, and the world in which they engage in.
Sigmund Freud’s ideas of identity and self are shown in this film through the ‘d, played by Tyler, the ego, played by the narrator and civilization and consumer society representing the super- ego.