Psychoanalysis of Sydney Carton Essay

Psychoanalysis of Sydney Carton Essay

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The mind of the human being is a complex, unique, and unpredictable system. While unveiling the mysteries of the human mind is not an easy task, psychoanalysts attempt to peel back the layers of the human psyche to better understand the human race. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung are two such psychoanalysts who analyzed human behavior in connection to the mind and also scrutinized the connection between the subconscious and conscious mind. The transformations and complications of the human mind are often displayed in literary characters such as Sydney Carton from Charles’ Dickens A Tale of Two Cities. Due to Sydney Carton’s love for Lucie Manette, Sydney Carton develops into an archetypal, Christ-like hero as he overcomes his id, superego, introverted nature, and low self-worth to unify his subconscious and conscious states.
Sydney Carton is introduced as a pessimistic introvert who struggles with his id and superego. Although Carton’s past is never revealed in the novel, a traumatic event clearly haunts Carton and prevents him from leading a pleasant life. According to Sigmund Freud, “the memories and emotions associated with trauma” are stored in the subconscious mind because an individual cannot bear to look at these memories (Dever 202). One part of the subconscious mind is the id, or “basic desires”, of a human being (Baker 4). Carton desires to drink as a way to detach from his past, and because of his lack of emotional strength, he allows his id to take over and Carton becomes an alcoholic. Based on Carl Jung’s ideas, Carton is considered an introvert because he is described as the “idlest” of all men and is viewed by society as a worthless drunk (Dickens 91). This displays Carton’s struggle with another element of the subcon...


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...n society would be comprised of people who understand their true personalities and purposes in life. Thus, an honest, genuine society with little deceit would form.



Works Cited

Baker, Russell, ed. “Psychoanalysis of The Metamorphosis.” Prestick House Perspective for
Short Story. New York. Prestwick, 1938. 13-15. Print.
Boeree, George Dr. "Personality Theories: Carl Jung." Shippensburg University Journal. Sept. 1997. Web. 20 May 2011. .
Boeree, George Dr. "Personality Theories: Sigmund Freud." Shippensburg University Journal.
Sept. 1997. Web. 20 May 2011. .
Dever, Carolyn. “Psychoanalyzing Dickens.” Bloom’s Guides: A Tale of Two Cities. Ed. Harold
Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 2007.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Barnes & Nobles Classics, 2004.

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