Emma Bovary And Ivan Ilych: Evidence Of Psychoanalysis Thirty Years Before Freud
2017 Words9 Pages
Sigmund Freud, the founder of modern day psychology and psychoanalysis, described human consciousness as the combination of three elements, id, ego and superego. The id is what controls our personal desires, the superego controls our ideas about where we fit in society and the ego is in between these two elements balancing their effects to help us make rational decisions. Despite the fact that these theories were developed well after Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary or Tolstoy wrote The Death of Ivan Ilych the main characters of each (Emma and Ivan) both represent people who have become dominated by one aspect of their subconscious. Whereas Emma is dominated by her id, seeking only selfish pleasures in life, Ivan is dominated by his…show more content…
This attitude of Emma is most apparent in a scene towards the end of the novel in which Emma attends a masquerade ball with Leon in Rouen. After the dance they go to a seedy restaurant where Emma has a fainting spell. After recovering, "she thought of Berthe, sleeping in the maid's room back in Yonville" (252). After a loud cart rumbles by, disrupting her train of thought, the next thing she thinks is "everything, including herself, seemed unbearable to her. She wished she could fly away like a bird and make herself young again somewhere in the vast purity of space" (252). Here, Flaubert juxtaposes the image of Emma's pre-school aged child sleeping with her desire to restart her life and try again. These contrasting images powerfully show Emma's indifference towards her child, and reveal her complete selfishness.
While her feelings towards her daughter show how Emma is controlled by her id, she also displays a lack of superego function, as she commonly is unconcerned with the rules of society. At the peak of her relationships with both Rodolphe and Leon, Emma defiantly chooses to not to care if she is seen in public with her lovers. This lack of discretion finally works against her when one day in Rouen, "Monsieur Lheureux met her as she was leaving the Hôtel de Boulogne on Leon's arm. She was frightened, for she was sure he would talk. But he was not foolish enough to do that.
Analysis of Death of Ivan Ilych Essay
1778 Words8 Pages
Letting Pain Be
To many individuals the word “progress” has a positive meaning behind it. It suggests improvement, something humans have been obsessed with since the dawn of society. However, if closely examined, progress can also have a negative connotation as well. While bringing improvement, progress can simultaneously spark conformity, dependency, and the obsession of perfection within the individuals caught in its midst. It is this aspect of progress within modern society that negatively affects Ivan Ilych, Leo Tolstoy’s main character in The Death of Ivan Ilych. Ivan’s attempt to conform to modern society’s view of perfection takes away his life long before he dies. Furthermore, his fear of death and…show more content…
The physical death he must face at the end scares him because it forces him to realize the life he has lived has been completely false. When confronted with death Ivan starts retracing his past, wondering what he has done to deserve such pain and suffering. He realizes when he is bed ridden that he was much more alive as a child then as an adult. In chapter five of The Death of Ivan Ilych, Ivan admits that “…the further back he looked the more life there had been. There had been more of what was good in life and more of life itself,” (Tolstoy 238). If one were to observe small children play, they would notice it does not take much to hold a child’s interest, and often they are much more fascinated by things that don’t work correctly then things that do. With the pressure to conform to society’s views of perfection as an adult, Ivan loses the liveliness he possessed as a child. Having to face death terrifies him because it forces him to admit he actually did not do the correct thing like he thought he did.
The progress of modern society and the pressure to conform has not only hastened Ivan Ilych’s death but also made him a die a very miserable death. As soon Ivan realizes he has a physical problem, a problem that began with his obsession of having the perfect house, he consults one of the best doctors he