Lottery Psychhoanalytical Critique by Leah.docx - A...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 3 pages.

A Psychoanalytical Critique of Freud's Ego, Super Ego, and Id in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" Published June 01, 2006 by: Heather Leah "The Lottery" is Famous for Its Gruesome Plot Twist, but is This Literature More Than Just a Story? All humans are locked in a constant internal battle. Part of a man's mind is driven by a lustful need to rob, rape, and even kill his fellow man; the other part of him is desperately opposing these desires, which experience in a civilized society has trained him to view as immoral. Sigmund Freud called these powerful mental forces the id and the super ego. The id is the primal human desire for sexual and violent gratification, and the super ego is society-imposed morality. Because the mind craves two contradicting things a human can never feel complete. "It is impossible," claimed Freud, "to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct." In order to live in civilized society, man must repress his instinct, his id. In her story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson creates an allegory for the struggle between the super ego and the id in the human psyche. Using the lottery itself as a symbol, she illustrates the feral needs of the id by creating a village whose rabid need for violence moves them to stone one of their own neighbors each year. She also shows us the super ego's desperate want of tradition by presenting this slaughter as an event that is acceptable by society, similar to a holiday. The lottery itself represents both the super ego and the id; it contains both of them in a peaceful embodiment. Although this seems to cleverly rid humanity of the mental battle between these two forces, the story's ending proves that the super ego and the id can never live harmoniously with humanity's ethical rights to justice and life.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture