Paper on Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud’s Impact on Modern Society
In this paper, we intend to focus on Sigmund Freud’s impact on modern society. We shall talk about Freud’s influence on art; literature; and society. We are aware that we intend to cover subjects who are large enough to fill books. That is why we will try to cover them in the best way possible, without leaving behind parts that could help us with our essay.
It is undeniable that Freud contributed greatly in shaping the world we live in today. His theories have greatly impacted the way people saw life. Freud discoveries on the human mind are comparable with those of Einstein regarding physics and Darwin’s on evolution and the origin of the species. Freud’s discoveries revolved around the irrational forces living inside of us, those forces we are not fully conscious about, therefore, are uncontrollable. In a strict sense, humans are not fully conscious of their mental pathways, nor their wishes and desires. (Hoffman 1) That is why, discovering the forces that drive us, is not a small discovery. However, Freud’s discoveries are not only related to psychology and psychoanalysis. Most of Freud’s work can also be extended to areas such as Art; literature; and society. In this essay, we will show the extent of Freud’s work and his influence in the modern world. Freud’s main discovery, the unconscious mind, has been used by main researchers and scholars, to give a new stint to their interpretations, and courses of action. Also, the psychoanalytical theory Freud proposed is used by a vast number of scholars and researchers to explain societal issues and behaviors, as well as to introduce newer interpretations of art and literature.
Sigmund Freud’s Impact on Modern Society
Freud and his influence on the society. Through his life, Freud became critical of the things he saw in the society. His first critic was on the bourgeois antics many people sported. After that, in his mature years, his social theory is more clearly drawn. To Freud, there is a duality between Eros and Death, in this duality, both parts constantly struggle in order to gain control over the conscious. In his mature works, Freud considers that maintaining a healthy balance between both, is the way to keep the neurosis at bay. The acceptance of the death and the erotic instincts is the only way to live in a healthy society, as unhealthy and ill individuals are those who cannot keep their impulses balanced. (Tauber 2). Freud’s is looking for the meaning of things, such as the representation, effects, and desires. The intersubjective relations are what create society, but to Freud, society is not something determined but is actively created by its members (Elliott 2)
His theory expresses a parallel between the culture, and its malaise and the psychoanalytical theory. For societies, it is easier to absorb the multiple possibilities and perspectives regarding the people contained in it, than it is for theories to explain how this changes happen. In a strict sense, Freud’s theory revolves around a social reform based on freeing the humans from their repressions, so they can freely express their erotic instincts. Nevertheless, Freud’s social theory is not as prescriptive as others, and it has not been implemented nor concreted.
Freud and literature. Freud was an avid reader, and many of its texts indicate he had a passion for classic literature. Freud, like Jung, tended to include allusions to classic literature in his texts. Nevertheless, literature was not just an object of analysis, but a key feature in our thought processes, as what is written indicates the state of who wrote it. (Frankland 7). To Freud, there are two ways to deal with external reality. The practical, or the way of the conscious self, the way of the ego, the practical reality is the one in charge of the ego’s organization. On the other hand, the fictional way, or the way the individual does something. This refers to the individual affective states. When we daydream and gratify ourselves, we are in the fictional way. In this way, consciousness change reveals a deficiency in the usage of language, as we need to name our thoughts in order to turn them into the language. That is why literature and the unconscious are tightly knit. Our language is the vehicle to convey our thoughts, and write about them is a way the psyche has to release its self. (Casto 10) Thoughts in our consciousness, are often really simple, it is our language what complicates them. According to Freud, thoughts are a unity, they are not divided, and thoughts remain single, even for multiple objects. Freud’s influence on literature relies on his psychoanalytic theory. Concepts such as Sex; guilt; punishment; the father figure. These themes, are closely related to Freudian theories.
Freud and Art. As we have learned from this essay is that Freudian theory has become an important part in many interpretations of reality. In this sense, human psyche, and artistic production are closely related to the unconscious. In this sense, the discovery of what is within us fueled artistic production, as its discovery changed the paradigms of what artistic production was. They revealed themselves through art. According to Freud, artists see what other people do not. Freud considered that if people studied art, they might change their world’s perspective. If people learned and studied the world, they could understand the world through it. It does not mean that everybody is meant to be an artist, but education could help people discovering their own insights. The science of mind is what many artists must understand in order to make them react, to push the people’s buttons, that’s the artist’s goal. On the other hand, Freud considers that the appreciation of art comes from the pleasure, and Freudian psychology is all about sex, and pleasure. Satisfaction is sublimation and is contrary to repression. In a strict sense, as we said before, too much repression pushes us into neurosis, but sublimation is also dangerous, as it is only compatible with the libido and satisfaction, too much satisfaction would turn people into mindless creatures.
Our approach to Freudian psychoanalytical theory and its relationship with human production has shown that the key point that links all of them is the unconscious. The inner parts of the self, are somehow a shadow of the “real” mind. However, this shadow does not mean that they are less valid. The unconscious thought is a subliminal part of the human being, and most of the human production is subliminal, and not so easily identifiable. Unconscious is alive, and it has to be regarded as an alive being, therefore, nurtured.
Elliott, A. “Psychoanalysis and Social Theory.” Historical Development and Theoretical Approaches in Sociology 1. Encyclopedia of Life Support. Web. <http://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C04/E6-99A-13.pdf>.
“Freud’s Impact on the 20th & 21th Century.” Parent Child Center. The New York Psychoanalytic Society. Web. <http://www.apsa.org/sites/default/files/Freud’s Impact on the 21st Century.pdf>.
Hoffman, L. “Freud’s Impact on the 20th & 21th Century.” Parent Child Center. The New York Psychoanalytic Society. Web. <http://www.apsa.org/sites/default/files/Freud’s Impact on the 21st Century.pdf>.
Tauber, A. “Freud’s Social Theory: Modernist and Postmodernist Revisions.” History of the Human Sciences 1.30 (2012). SAGE Publications. Web. <http://blogs.bu.edu/ait/files/2013/08/Freuds-social-theory-copy.pdf>.
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