Psychoanalytic Critique of the Kugelmass Episode Essay

Psychoanalytic Critique of the Kugelmass Episode Essay

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Three distinct characters found in “The Kugelmass Episode” represent the Id, Ego, and the Superego of the author Woody Allen’s persona. Whereas, the character Emma reflects upon Allen’s desires. Much like the character Kugelmass, Allen experiences several unsuccessful relationships. His most notorious relationship was with Mia Farrell, who he cheated on with their adoptive daughter. The way he treated their relationship establishes his need to trade in the old for something new and improved because he cannot find satisfaction.
The Id describes our wants, desires, and sex itself and this can be represented by the character The Great Persky. He is the magician who has the ability to send Kugelmass into any book he chooses. The cheap Chinese cabinet, or the time machine, is also symbolic of the Id because of the instant satisfaction in fulfilling Kugelmass’ desires. As Kugelmass questions, “You sure this is safe,” and Persky replies, “Safe. Is anything safe in this crazy world,” Persky’s response once again identifies Id, while Kugelmass’ character is concentrating slightly more on the Ego. Persky doesn’t seem to worry about anything; He doesn’t question any risk involved. Kugelmass’ comment to Persky as he waits in the box for his final trip, “Sex and romance….What we go through for a pretty face,” reinstates that the Id does not care about consequences, just the reward. Kugelmass wants what he wants, whether it comes to back to bite him or not.
The Ego is representative of the character Kugelmass. He wants to have an affair, but deep down realizes he needs to keep it from his wife to avoid hurting her. When the opportunity arises to have an affair with a fictional character, he no longer sees the harm in having an a...


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... nothing more than a typical Jewish New Yorker. His desire to be someone more exotic is prevalent when compared to Kugelmass’ desires. He may feel as if he doesn’t possess enough passion and class to be considered one of the great authors. He often plays off the comedic aspects of life to conceal his shortcomings. The reason for failed attempts in relationships is because he will always be missing something. Through his repeated attempts to fill that void with someone new until something better came along continued until he received backlash from people concerned about his relationship with his adopted daughter. She is his tener which caused him to lose the respect of many including his other children. Although he is not trapped in their current relationship---the stigma will always be there and the consequences will forever be present in how others view him.

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