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Discussion about a theme in the book history of love - Essay Example

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Leo Gursky, the main character of a story of many overlapping stories, sits in a Starbucks drinking coffee he hears “The plural of elf is…
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Discussion about a theme in the book history of love
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Download file to see previous pages ity of one’s life is defined and experienced through connection and validation and it is the need for these things that drive this novel’s characters in a story of existence.
As the story of Leo Gursky begins we see a man who is ever in search of ways to validate his existence. He plays roles within society that are created to fulfill his need to be seen by others. Sometimes that role is that of a cranky old man who must insinuate his anger thus making himself unforgettable to clerks, waiters, and strangers on the street, and other times he plays the role of a fool, spilling and bumbling in order to achieve a
One can define Leo by the concepts examined and created by the Austrian psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud concerning the id, the ego, and the superego. Freud “portrayed humankind as only incompletely evolved, as torn by a fundamental rift between bestial motives and civilized conduct and demeanor, between an animal nature and cultural aspirations.” (Mitchell) Freud divided the self into three aspects, the id, the ego, and the superego. While the id represents the childish, willful wants of the unconscious mind, the ego is the conscious mind that keeps those desires from experiencing greater consequences than the identity would wish. The superego represents the unconscious adult mind that inhibits one from indulging fantasies, desires and impulses that can harm the needs of the ego. “The ego disguises the appearance of the id’s impulses, thereby both preventing social censure and keeping the impulses under careful regulation.” (Mitchell, p. 25) With his actions, however, Gursky seems to be led by the id which is described as “based on our pleasure principle. In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation.” (Hefner) In Gursky, the superego is diminishing as he is dealing with the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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