Pshychoanalytic Essay on Dorian Gray

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Per. 4 AP Lit.
Freud. Psychoanalytic Essay on Dorian Gray

Many people go through Sigmund Freud’s stages of personality in order from the “ID” to the ego to the superego; however, in the book “A Picture of Dorian Grey” we see a regression instead of a progression of Dorian’s character. He is portrayed as an innocent young man and is highly praised by Basil who admires him for his good character. It is possible he has a type of “superego” because of the fact that he may be “tainted”, as Basil says, by Lord Henry. However, the meeting of Lord Henry and Dorian is inevitable. There is a purpose that must be full-filled within the book which is seeing the fall of Dorian; the catalyst being Lord Henry.

Dorian regresses back to a state of the “ID” through a series of events that take place in the book. In the beginning, we see his gentile nature through his willingness to sit for Basil and his charming quirks that attract almost everyone he meets. Here, we see the superego. However, after meeting Lord Henry, he begins to suffer between the “ID” and the superego. After being cruel to Sibyl, he feels remorse and wants to make things right with her. He reaches after his own personal needs, but then faces the reality that he can’t have it his way all the time and tries to make it better. This is where his conscious comes into play. He knows that what he did was wrong and the superego allows him to feel that remorse and make up for what he did. When Dorian decides to kill Basil, he has finally reached his “ID” point in life. He has now successfully regressed to the lowest stage of personality. Thus, Dorian makes a trip down the stages and reveals the possibility for any human being once taken by the clever and cunning devil figure.
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