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The Id, Ego And Superego Shown In Frankenstein And Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

1501 words - 6 pages

Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson both show Freud’s ideas of Id, Ego and Superego as well as of innate desire. Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus shows Freud's stages of psychosexual development. Collectively both novels should be considered Freudian through these ideas. Jekyll and Hyde works as a symbolic portrayal of the goodness and evil that resides in equal measure within the soul of a man. It pre-empted Freudian psychoanalysis by twenty-five years and yet is similar to some of his theories. In Frankenstein both the monster and Victor exemplify Freud’s developmental stages.
According to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, personality is composed of three elements. The three elements are the Id, Ego, and Superego and they work together to create complex human behaviors. Freud believed that human beings are powerfully influenced by impulses of which they are not aware of. Dr. Jekyll: a law-abiding doctor, who was raised and who lived like a nature and religion lover in its true perspective was the good character. Mr. Hyde was evil unleashed, and in that he goes to slums and does criminal acts and even commits murder without fear of any apprehension Hyde represented Dr. Jekylls subconscious desire to be freed from his society’s restrictions. These desires come from within man and they represent the Id in Freud’s theory. Mr. Hyde is the outlet for Dr. Jekyll to express his primal desires. Dr. Jekyll learns to give into his inner desires when he is transformed into Hyde. The rational, controlled, civilized part of Jekyll attempts to repress the Id, and make Hyde controllable. Jekyll even states
I swear to God I will never set eyes on him again. I bind my honour to you that I am done with him in this world. It is all at an end. And indeed he does not want my help; you do not know him as I do; he is safe, he is quite safe; mark my words, he will never more be heard of (Stevenson 66).
Despite saying this Jekyll still succumbs to his Id and Hyde is drawn out again. Jekyll knows of the evil that comes out when he transforms into Hyde. Jekyll says “This, as I take it, was because all human beings, as we meet them are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil”(Stevenson 108). Here Jekyll clearly states that he knows Hyde is evil yet he still cannot overpower his Id and then his Superego is overcome. By turning into Hyde, Jekyll feels free and can do whatever he wants without the slightest hesitation. Following his innate desires Hyde murders Sir Danvers Carew and tramples a young girl. These actions are done through the Id and even though Jekyll is civilized law abiding man once the Id has taken over and he transforms into Hyde, his dark side is unleashed. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are but one; one body but two conflicting characters, the good and evil.
In Frankenstein:...

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