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the yellow wallpaper - psychoanalysis

By essencelovesneopets Mar 22, 2014 575 Words

Based on Freud’s theories, the mind is always in conflict with itself. The narrator is in conflict with her mind & other characters.  John constantly contradicts her thoughts and beliefs creating conflict within herself.  She believes she’s sick but is forced to doubt herself when medical authorities contradict her self diagnosis.  Questions the validity of her emotions.

“I cry at nothing, and cry most o fthe time”.
She expresses her uneasiness with the house but John claims it’s just the draft and closes the window. Also refususes to move downstairs when she says she’s not happy in that room. After being repeatedly contradicted, patronized, and silences, her sense of reality deteriorates. Especially because she’s restricted by not being allowed to write or socialize or work. She’s only encouraged to sleep as much as possible. The therapy results in her inability to express herself.

“I begn and stopped short, for he sat up straight and looked at me with such a stern, reproachful look that I could not say a word”. Since her needs are not being satisfied in the real world, her imagionation creates a fantasy world that is discovered and structured by the wallpaper. This new world brings out various emotions and mental instability.

Freud believes that the mind is divided into the parts. The id, the ego, and the superego. Each is responsible for a psychological function.

 Part of the unconcious level.
 The only component of personality that is present from birth  Instinctive and primitive behavior.
It also creates images that it believes are real and start to break into the consciousness. Since the wallpaper is the main object in the room she becomes obsessed with it.  The id uses this obsession and focuses on the patterns in the wallpaper to try and fulfill her desire to escape from isolation.  Since in reality she sees no way of escaping from the isolation, she lives vicariously through the image in the wallpaper.  Her id must free the trapped woman by following her instinct and rip down the wallpaper. This will result in her freedom.

 Tries to repress the ids urges and come up with a strategy rather than a picture to help rationalize the mind. It helps the mind control dangerous thoughts that could cause harm.  Example:
The id induces the idea of suicide into the narrators mind.
“To jump out the window would be an admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong to try”
Ego steps in and brings the idea to the concious level.
Ego tell her that she can’t commit suicide because not only are the bars too strong, but also because death will not bring her happiness or fulfill her id.  Example:
Id can resort to violence but the ego doesn’t allow it. Instead she locks the door so that no one can enter which stops her from physically harming herself or anyone else.

 Obtains its thoughts and actions strictly from the ego.
Therfore, if the ego is not strong enough to help the id, the superego will not be effective.  The narrators ego had already lost to the id so the superrgo was non-existant in the mind of the narator.

The fact that she was constrained from living and was denied the chance to express herself, it stripped her from reality and caused her to create an unconscious world based upon the determination to escape entrapment.

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