Humanities’ Irrational and its Effects on a Utopian Society

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The human psyche is divided into rational and irrational drives. Courtesy of Sigmund Freud, it is divided into the id, ego, and super-ego. According to Freud, although the super-ego controls the other two to present ourselves in a rational state within society, the id often tends to be out of complete control by the conscious, making it an unconscious action. For Freud, it’s the recognition that the irrational is there, that it must be controlled to take over. Man’s aggressive nature does tend to overpower the mind, leading to irrational actions. Both Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents and Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground show how humans are controlled by their irrational drives and that, as a result, the attempts to create a utopian society are futile. To take a different view of the irrational actions in humans, a cinematic frame of reference was introduced, Joss Whedon’s sci-fi film, Serenity tells of a civilization that has become controlled by aggressive groups, the Alliance and the Reavers. Both factions take the form of an antagonistic society, maintaining a sense in fear in all those who go against or stand in their way. Actions to make a civilized society utopian leads to the creation of a dystopia due to human’s irrational drives.

Through his writing and research, Freud outlined that man was initially driven by his irrational impulses, specifically, his aggression. The aggression he was referring to pertained to man’s primitive instincts. Freud’s views and established philosophies shifted away from the previous Enlightenment ideologies of rationality of the mind. Freud’s ideas contradicted “the individual’s essential goodness and rationality” and sided with the notion that the human mind was driven by “irrati...

... middle of paper ..., and symbolizes the universe in its entirety of being a dystopian society. Thus concluding that actions to make a civilized society utopian leads to dystopian reactions due to man’s irrational drives. This claim being supported based on examples in the film Serenity, as well as theoretical support analysis from Freud and Dostoyevsky.

Works Cited

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Notes from Underground. Lawall 1250-1327.

Freud, Sigmund. Civilzation and Its Discontents. Lawall 1693-1699.

Lawall, Sarah, ed. The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 8th ed. Vol. 2. New

York: Norton, 2006. Print.

Perry, Marvin, ed. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society. 9th ed. Boston:

Houghton Mifflin, 2009. Print.

Serenity. Dir. Joss Whedon. Perf. Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena

Baccarin, and Adam Baldwin. Universal, 2005. DVD.
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