Freudian Theory in the Crying of Lot 49

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Unconscious mind, Psychology Pages: 2 (786 words) Published: May 2, 2010
Sigmund Freud was a psychologist in the early 1900's and played a major part in shaping clinical psychology. One thing that he came up with was sexual desire as the primary motivator in a person's life. He also was famous for his work studying the unconscious or subconscious mind by analyzing dreams and leading his patients through conversations that neither the patient, nor himself knew where they were leading. Freud was a big proponent of the use of cocaine to treat some disorders, but this was eventually dismissed after reports of addiction came in from around the world. The Crying of Lot 49 is a satirical work that depicts America in the 1960's. Drugs, sexual expression, and infidelity are evident throughout the book. Lot 49 follows Oedipa Mass as she investigates what she thinks might be a big conspiracy that has something to do with a sign called Trystero. Throughout her investigation, she comes across all sorts of interesting characters and events that lead her deeper and deeper into her rabbit hole. The Crying of Lot 49 satires Freudian psychology at different points in the novel. Oedipa's shrink, Dr. Hilarious, uses Freud's philosophy after his stint as a Nazi psychologist who can induce insanity by making faces. Freud was famous for his work in studying the subconscious mind and Dr. Hilarious mimicked his work by studying the mind while on LSD. Like Freud, many of Dr. Hilarious's patients had the tendency of becoming addicted to the drugs they were prescribed. Dr. Hilarious, himself, became highly paranoid and had to be arrested after locking himself up in his office and shooting at people through his window. In the 60's, "free love" was a major theme of hippies. People would engage in sexual acts with nearly any body. The Crying of Lot 49 demonstrates this early on. Oedipa finds herself cheating with Metzger, a man she barely knows, by the second chapter. Her relationship with Metzger seems to be strictly physical but could be stemming from...
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