The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allen Poe

1569 Words7 Pages
“There are so many different walks of life, so many different personalities in the world.” Hope Solo describes that there are many different ways to walk the paths of life, and that these paths are filled with people of dissimilar personalities. Similarly to Hope Solo’s idea of incompatible personalities, Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist, developed the concepts of the id, ego and superego. As Freud described them, these concepts are the three parts of the human psyche. The id part of the brain operates on the “pleasure principle”, the superego is the moral component of the human psyche, and the ego is the balance between both the id and the superego. Freud, along with many other Americans, began to realize that people, especially characters in a story, portrayed either the id, ego or superego. For example, “The Fall of the House of Usher” , written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1839, contains three characters, each of which are demonstrating one of Freud’s concepts. The way the three main characters, Roderick, Madeline and the narrator, act are a result of their human psyche. Sigmund Freud 's personality theory relates to Poe 's "The Fall of the House of Usher" by the examination of characterization through syntax and symbolism. One of Freud’s concepts, demonstrated in “The Fall of the House of Usher”, is the superego. Superego, the part of the psyche that focuses more on reality, is allied with the sense of conscience, guilt and fear. Instead of focusing on oneself, the superego pushes its attention to others, making it the complete opposite of id. In other words, it is the unselfish part of the brain that feels the need to insert itself into the demands of the community, while being the harsh voice of the outside world (Thursch... ... middle of paper ... ...together and complete the human psyche. The narrator represents the superego, an unselfish, conscious filled perspective, while Madeline portrays the total opposite id of the story. As seen, Roderick symbolizes the ego of the story, since he has qualities of both the id and the superego. Even though “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a popular short story, it is not the only piece of literature that includes Freud’s concepts. Everyone human being, at one point or another, and characters from literature, contain the qualities of ego, superego and id. For example, as a baby, everyone illustrates the qualities of id because at that age, all one knows what to do is act based upon one’s emotions. Overall, Roderick, Madeline and the narrator, in “The Fall of the House of Usher” are just one example of how Sigmund Freud’s personality theory is portrayed in everyday life.
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