Freud's Psychosocial Conflict Theory Essay

1879 words - 8 pages

Why I chose the theory:
In this Essay I will analyze the personality of Gilbert Grape in the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Freud’s psychosocial Conflict theory is the most complete because it includes the three core characteristics of the personality, which are the id, the ego, and the superego. The three core characteristics are helpful in explaining Gilbert’s personality which represses the influence of the id and allows only the superego to guide his life. However he does not do much on trying to increase the influence of the ego, therefore he is classified as one of Freud’s non-ideal character type. Furthermore it is more valid when evaluating Gilbert because he is a character living at conflict with his own instinctual desires and the family needs. He is perfect for the psychosocial conflict theory because most of the time he acts accordingly to the social norms, but sometimes he expresses anti-social behavior, feels guilty and punishes himself for doing so.
Freud’s personality theory is a conflict theory. This means that the person has two opposing forces at war; although, he is only aware of one and therefore expresses it more than the other one. Nevertheless the person will find himself at conflict because the other force is still present even though is repressed by defense mechanisms. This is a theory I found helpful in describing Gilbert because throughout most of the movie he lives at conflict trying to deal with the family needs and satisfy his own needs, specifically his sex instincts.
The relevant core characteristics of Freud’s theory the ID, the Ego, and the Superego. The id, the ego, and the superego are also present in all persons. The id rests completely unconscious within the individual, but it is the source of the instincts that seek satisfaction. Freud’s theory is very relevant to Gilbert’s personality because it seems like his libido is focused on the sex instinct and Freud’s theory is known for focusing on this instinct more so than the others. So in Gilbert’s case, the Id seeks to satisfy its sexual instincts; the id wants what it wants and it wants it now. The Ego is similar to the id in that it seeks to satisfy the same instincts as the Id, but the ego modifies the way in which they get the desired satisfaction without feeling guilty or get punished for it. Lastly, the superego is like the conscience in a person; one cannot do things that go against the norms of society without feeling guilty or be punished not only by others but also internally. The job of the superego is the part of the personality that punishes and makes the individual feel guilty for going against the moral standards learned through parents and other models of behavior formed in early life.
Freud’s Psychosocial Conflict Theory discusses three pre-genital, non-ideal character types and one ideal genital character type. The relevant pre-genital non-ideal character type that I would be using to evaluate Gilbert’s character is the...

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