Analysis Of Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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In the novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Oscar Wilde shows the importance of having an equal balance between the id, superego, and ego, which each character within the novel portrays. When one triumphs the other it may be detrimental to oneself, as well to society as a whole. Sigmund Freud developed psychodynamic theories of personality that “view human behavior as a dynamic interaction between the conscious and unconscious mind” (Myers 514). He focuses on the importance of the equal balance to avoid internal conflict, as well as harm to others around a character. The id character contains distinct characteristics that are present from birth and derive from primal instincts. Although a character’s id cannot be influenced, because of…show more content…
Lord Henry longs for someone to take their life in the sake of him, he feels the action Sibyl took in response to Dorian’s was exceptional and rewarding. This selfish action plays into his representation of the id character. The superego reflects values and morals within a society, which is typically projected by parental figures. Typically the superego focuses more on knowing right from wrong and has a constant desire to strive for perfection In the novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Basil Hallward projects the idea of the superego. Often times you are able to see his perfectionism through his paintings. Basil is constantly trying to better himself and capture the perfect image to paint. Also the superego often times tries to control the impulses of the id, for example, with Lord Henry being the id, Dorian Gray is frequently being influenced by him, however Basil wants to protect Dorian, stating “I want you to lead such a life as will make the world respect you. I want you to have a clean name for your record. I want you to get rid of the dreadful people you associate you with.” (Wilde ). Basil has a constant affection for Dorian, and wants to avoid the impulses from Lord Henry. This is a distinct characteristic held by the superego portion of personality. Without the superego, one may not be able to maintain the knowledge of right from wrong,
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