Freud's Impact on 1984 College

In his treatise Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud makes an interesting statement about advanced society. He argues that “the price of progress in civilization is paid in forfeiting happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt,” to defend his argument that guilt is becoming an issue in modern cultures (Civilization 35). In George Orwell's novel 1984, the party uses Freudian concepts involving guilt, repressed instincts, and physical pain in order to control its members.

One of the very first Freudian concepts that we see in 1984 involveds guilt. In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud briefly discusses the three parts of the mind – the ego, id, and superego. According to Freud, the id represents a person's natural instincts and desires, for example, the desire to have sex or be a more independent being. However, Freud argues that the id is an unconscious part of the mind, so that many people are not aware of these urges that they naturally have. On the other hand, the superego is partially conscious, and is what controls guilt. The superego a person has depends on the society he or she lives in, because society and culture determine what someone might think is right or wrong, making it easy to see what the...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 724 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4178 literature essays, 1402 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in