The struggles between Id and Superego
in “Young Goodman Brown”
According to Sigmund Freud, there are three psychological forces exerting influence over the human mind. These are consisted with the id, the super-ego and the ego. The id is the part of the unconscious mind where people’s basic needs about pleasure or irrational wishing and the super-ego is the part of the mind that forms moral standards. The ego makes balance of the id and the super-ego. In Hawthorne’s story ‘Young Goodman Brown’, the Brown’s journey through the forest is seen as the struggles between Brown’s id and super-ego.
At the beginning of the story, Brown's first step in the forest considers as a victory to the id over the super-ego when Brown replied to his wife, Faith, who prevents the journey. Goodman Brown said “of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee.” …… “What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married!” When Brown responded nervously, his super-ego shows that his anxiety and guilty about unknowable journey to the forest. However, he has already decided to leave his wife to go to the forest at night, because his id wants to fulfill his desire, beginning the journey, and persuaded his wife and also himself as his mention that this journey is only one night of all nights in the year.
Brown’s id simply wins again a battle over super-ego when he leaves his wife, Faith, with his unquestionable faith in God. After leaving, Brown said “What a wretch am I’ … ‘But, no, no! ‘twould kill her to think it’ … ‘I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven’…... felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose.” When he mentioned if his Faith knew the purpose of the journey, she would die by shock. It shows that he had already known the purpose of the journey is evil. So, his super-ego makes him feel guilty and mention himself as a wretch. However, regardless of the super-ego’s effort, his id...
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