Sigmund Freud and A Separate Peace

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A Separate Peace

To better understand the characters, we turn to:

Sigmund Freud and The Defense Mechanisms

The id, the ego, and the superego...

This is the model that Freud used to describe the components of human personality:

id - unconscious mind driven by impulses, without reason. Think the devil on the left shoulder telling you the bad things to do.
superego - the conscious mind driven by social norms. Knows what the "right thing to do is" and feeds this to the ego. Think the angel on the right shoulder telling you the right thing to do - your ...

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can be described as a combination of denial with different ways of rationalization.

When we rationalize, we are distorting the facts to make the event or our own impulses less threatening; that is, reducing the anxiety to a manageable level. We often come to believe our own distortions, or excuses, or even lies.

1. Denial

Denial is characterized by having a conscious awareness at some level, but simply denies the reality of the experience by pretending it is not there. An example might be of a woman who might intellectually know that her husband has died but refuses to "accept it," still waiting for 5 o'clock, the usual time her husband came home from work. On a lighter note, a student may refuse to pick up her final grade from a difficult class because she knows it is not an acceptable grade. She simply denies the reality of the grade.

2. Rationalization

This defense simply involves making excuses to defend the behavior, or defend how you might feel about it. If ...

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Sigmund Freud and A Separate Peace. (2020, January 28). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from
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"Sigmund Freud and A Separate Peace." January 28, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2020.
"Sigmund Freud and A Separate Peace." January 28, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2020.
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Added: 1/28/2020 06:50:31 PM
Submitted By: saransh
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 653
Pages: 3

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