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Play: Freud's Last Session Essay

1436 words - 6 pages

“Do you count on your own tomorrow?” This is a simple yes or no question, but the answer is based highly on a person’s beliefs, morals, and worldviews. Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis were two of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, and the two join together in the play, Freud’s Last Session. Sigmund Freud was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1856. Supporter or non-supporter, everyone agrees that Freud was one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. Freud focused mostly on the interaction of the conscious and unconscious mind. Not only did he transform psychology; he transformed the way people view themselves and the way they think about their lives (A Science Odyssey). Unlike Freud’s secular and atheistic view of the world, the other great mind, C.S. Lewis, viewed the world in a spiritual way.
C.S. Lewis was the 20th century’s most popular proponent of faith based on reason. As a child, he created an imaginary world where personified animals came to life, and later, he wrote the book, Chronicles of Narnia. How did he transform from a boy fascinated with anthropomorphic animals into a man of immense faith? His transformation to the Christian religion happened as his fame began to flourish. People wrote him, asking him about his claims about the truth of Christianity (Belmonte, Kevin). As I attended the drama of Freud’s Last Session, I was engrossed into the plot of the play and was constantly thinking about how it pertained to the objectives of the World Literature class. I not only connected the content of the play to its context, but I also reached out to apply the context to a discussion on a broader scale. I then discovered why the context of literature is imperative for true understanding of the work.
This play is set in Freud’s study in London on September 3, 1939. Freud invites Lewis over for a discussion on Lewis’s writings that were challenging Freud’s views. Together, they discuss the deepest questions of humanity. The majority of their discussion, however, focuses on the existence of God. Lewis challenges, “Things are simple if you chose not to investigate them.” Freud fights back saying, “You are abandoning the truth and embracing a hideous lie.” Their discussion goes on for the full duration of the play. However, there are some interruptions. Freud turns on the radio every five minutes to get updates on the war. Because of a warning siren, Freud and Lewis have to pull out their gas masks, frightened of an attack. Freud also has to cease from discussion from time to time to cough and hack because of his cancer of the jaw. Even though the central idea of the play was their deep analytical dialogue, the minor interruptions and the subordinate small talk made the play come to life for the viewers. The small details of the burning of Freud’s book and the mention of J.R.R. Tolkein being Lewis’s good friend prove to be extremely accurate while fully engaging the audience. I was no longer watching the play,...

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