Civilization and its Discontents
Mary M Brown
Grand Canyon University
Author: Sigmund Freud
May 05, 2013
Civilization and its Discontents
Sigmund Freud theory is that civilization was the foundation of discontent among civilized people. In the book he describes man’s natural instincts and how their influences are influenced by civilization. Freud concludes that the two parties are conflicting to one another in a contradictory way because impulse is what civilization leads to forming first, then civilization seeks to manage or restrain instinct. Right in the beginning of the book Civilizations and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud portray the culture approach of provisions. Freud starts on the issue of religion and its cause in human culture. He speaks on a comment made to him by someone he knew that there is a longing among human being to sense they fit in to a type of never-ending range. This to Freud, is an “oceanic” feeling and tackles it from a psychoanalytic perspective. He brings this to a close with newborn children primarily do not make a distinction among themselves and the exterior human kind. Once children and infants do this, their ego evolves, putting them in the direction of growth. This first emotion, on the other hand may be the starting place of this “oceanic” instinct concerning religion, he brings to a close. He determines the actuality that instincts that exist in primal man, stay inside every person, although they have been included, conveyed, or enclosed. A primal man is man previous to him going into society. This type of man is hostile and follows his life built merely on intuition. Therefore he can converse about society in conditions of normal instincts and he presents the idea that the two are associated one way or another. Freud goes into a debate of the meaning of civilization and what characteristics it has. He then shifts to the psychology of the person of a society, investigating their natural feelings and reason in shaping a society, in addition to the impulses that would appear to destroy the continued existence of civilization. Freud states there are two types of character, there are those intended for inwardly and those intended for outwardly. He used Greek metaphors of Eros and Anake to symbolize these kinds of intuitions. Eros represented love. He used this as a metaphor the love instincts that were existing in all humans, which consist of sexual desire but also the desire to give birth and join with other humans. Freud also used Eros to illustrate the impulses that are directed outward, predominantly the force to set together with other humans. Anake, in Greek mythology is the goddess of necessity. He used Anake as a metaphor for those human natural feelings such as hunger. Anake is the necessity force which rules larger than the intuition to continue living. Freud emphasizes that civilization takes place to a degree because Eros coerces humans to congregate together; however their natural impulses of hostility work against civilization. For society to continue to exist, the anger of its associates must be subdued. Freud theory states the same is factual for their sexual yearning. This steady effort of civilization to in command of its member’s character, on the exterior, the reason of man seems everlasting discontent within refined culture. Freud probed deeper into the matter. The first happened to be guilt, which is the main source by which civilizations restrains instincts. The other is the effort within every human being involving their impulses concerning existence and love and their instinct in relation to passing away and destruction. In Freud’s theory regarding guilt, he articulates that a person’s instincts will destroy a society away from each other if they go abandoned, a civilization must have a way to hold back these harmful instincts. Guilt first happened when a child gathers the concern of...
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