Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalysis and the Characters in Amy Sherman-Palladino's Gilmore Girls

Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalysis and the Characters in Amy Sherman-Palladino's Gilmore Girls

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Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls, essentially wrote the show about nothing. After not having a job for years, Sherman had writer’s block. On television, everything she saw seemed the same, identical characters and paralleling plots, she desired to create something different. Once, she had visited the small town of Washington, Connecticut and loved the “everyone knows everything” idea. So she thought, “Why not make a show about it?” After tweaks by the production company, Gilmore Girls was born. Although it is a show about a single mom, by nitpicking through character’s witty banter, one can see the philosophical aspects of the show. One of Sherman’s main goals was to create no analogous characters. In this attempt, she made them all have extreme personalities. Lorelai, the single mother, usually only thinks of herself. Her daughter, Rory, is what keeps her in check. Rory is logical and uses reason to contradict Lorelai’s carelessness. Emily, Lorelai’s people-pleasing mother, is engrossed with society’s views and hardly thinks of her or anyone else’s happiness. When examining these characters, one can see that they closely relate to conflicts that arise in our own mind on a day-to-day basis. The main characters in Gilmore Girls parallel Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis of the mind.

Sigmund Freud believes the id is innate in a child, it acts on pure immediate pleasure. As the child grows older, it develops the regulatory ego which confronts the self-indulgent id with logical choices. As some people age, their ego might not develop as expected. Lorelai Gilmore is Freud’s idea of the id, embodied. When she makes choices, logic is usually an afterthought as she generally thinks only of her happiness. Throughout ...


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...tion to the desires of the id,” this shows true with Emily standing in the way of Lorelai (Ganguly PG #). Emily’s morals often clash with Lorelai’s quest for personal happiness. Emily epitomizes the superego because of the stress she places on moral standards.

Through careful examination, one can see that the Gilmore Girls represent Sigmund Freud’s id, ego, and superego. First, Lorelai Gilmore representing the id because of her rash decision-making and her conscious drive for her own happiness. Next, Rory Gilmore’s logical approach to problem-solving shows that she best symbolizes the ego. Last, because she only considers what others think, Emily Gilmore’s personality resembles the superego. By watching Gilmore Girls, the extremeness of how each character solves her problems can help us be certain that our decisions include a balance of the id, ego, and superego.

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