Describe and explain the main principles of either;
a) Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory or
b) Carl Jung’s Individual Psychology; with reference to either art, film or literature.
“The Ego is not master in its own house.” Sigmund Freud, from A Difficulty in the
Path of Psychoanalysis, 1917.
In this essay I will attempt to describe and explain the main principles of
Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory with reference to Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through
the Looking Glass’. I have chosen this particular piece of literature because Freud’s
Psychoanalytic Theory was an approach to the analysis and treatment of ‘abnormal’
behaviour. I feel that ‘Through the Looking Glass’ deals with a fair amount of
‘abnormal’ behaviour and think that a lot of it can be explained by this theory.
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory uses the idea of id, ego and superego (Freud,
New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, p 65, 1933.). Based on this idea it
becomes obvious when reading ‘Through the Looking Glass’ that Lewis Carroll was
controlled by his id; the unconscious part of his mind. Carroll’s style of writing
throughout this text is consistently dreamlike and extremely unrealistic to the external
The character of ‘Alice’ takes on a stable, realistic role starting in her ‘normal’ everyday life as a young child and is taken on a strange journey of fantasy, conflicting emotions and distress. As she travels through the looking-glass to ‘Looking-Glass House’ her life is transformed and she is suddenly making encounters with talking flowers, live chess pieces and Humpty Dumpty.
The id controls dream and desire which is portrayed as Alice enters into this world of illusion and illness, with images playing on her mind as she sees things that aren’t really there.