The Psychoanalysis of 1984

1019 WordsJun 23, 20185 Pages
The Psychoanalysis of 1984 The social structure of George Orwell’s 1984 is based on Freud’s map of the mind and the struggles between the id, the ego and the super ego. The minds of these individuals living in this society are trained to think a certain way. Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis can be applied to Orwell’s 1984. Using Freud’s psychoanalytic approach, 1984’s main character Winston Smith is portrayed as the one who goes against the ideas of the Party. In a Freudian point of view, Winston’s character represents a mind where the id is the driving force and where the ego and superego are ill developed in the views of the Party. Freud describes the psychoanalytic process as something that is normally used to treat patients with…show more content…
Once caught, Orwell writes that Winston must undergo a form of drastic mental “treatment.” “You are mentally deranged. You suffer form a defective memory…fortunately it’s curable”(Part 3, Chapter 2). O’Brien describes Winston’s mind as the same way Freud would diagnose a patient with a disorder. Winston in fact goes under a similar process that closely relates to the psychoanalytic treatment. “We gather in detail what the peculiarities of the Unconscious are, and we may hope to learn still more about them by a profounder instigation of the processes…”(Freud 324). According to O’Brien, Winston seems to have developed a mental disease that causes him to have delusions. Winston’s dreams, which Freud considers “a highly valuable aid into psycho-analysis technique” and an “insight into the unconscious,” are put under inspection and further investigated by O’Brien to study and gain knowledge of how to “cure” Winston’s mind. It is then when Winston’s nightmares of rats gives O’Brien the key component to understand how he will strengthen Winston’s ego and superego according to the views of the Party. The purpose of the ego is to ensure that the impulses of the id should be expressed in an acceptable manner to the rest of society. “For the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself" (Part 3, Chapter 4).
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