Michael Hollinger's Naked Lunch

1075 Words3 Pages

The professors who composed Psychological Science explain that, “For [Sigmund] Freud, the powerful forces that drive behavior were often in conflict. A key aspect of his thinking was that we are typically unaware of those forces or their conflicts” (Gazzinga et al. 570). To Freud, conflicts in the mind consisted of the never ending battle between the ego, id, and superego. The “id” is the mechanism that drives humans to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The superego is a person’s conscience and morality principle. The “ego” is the mediator between the superego and id. In fact, Freud developed a theory based on analyzing these unconscious struggles which he called the psychoanalytic, sometimes psychodynamic, theory. He recorded peoples’ words and actions to describe their unconscious desires, wishes, fears, and hidden memories. The psychoanalytic theory was later translated into literature as a kind of criticism. This criticism can be applied to any type of literature including dramas. The drama “Naked Lunch” by Michael Hollinger is a good representative of the dramas in which the reader can perceive the unconscious conflicts between the characters through the use of dialogue and non-verbal cues. The reader senses the desires, fears, thoughts, and underlying mechanisms at work behind the conversation and in turn is able to come to a greater understanding of how a person’s word and non-verbal actions describe the person’s subconscious mind.

One of the mechanisms that plays a role in the subconscious mind is the superego. The “superego” is another name for the moral conscience. It controls a person’s actions by socially accepted norms and politically correct rules, “such [as] values [like] right or wrong, good or evil, just or unju...

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Works Cited

Diehl, Manfred, et al. "Change in Coping and Defense Mechanisms across Adulthood." Developmental Psychology 50 (2013): n. pag. Print.

Gazzaniga, Michael, Todd Heatherton, and Diane Halpern. "Psychodynamic Theories Emphasize Unconscious and Dynamic Processes." Psychological Science. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. 570-73. Print.

Hollinger, Michael. “Naked Lunch.” 2003. Literature to Go. 2nd ed. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2014. 856-59. Print.

Meyer, Michael. Literature to Go. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2014. Print.

Porus, V. N. "Identity of the Ego: Conflicting Interpretations." Cultural-Historical Psychology 3 (2011): 27-35. Print.

Vithoulkas, George, and D. F. Muresanu. "Conscience and Consciousness: A Definition.” Journal of Medicine & Life 7.1 (2014): 104-08. Print.

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