Civilization And Its Discontents By Sigmund Freud

1486 Words6 Pages
In the book, “Civilization and Its Discontents” by Sigmund Freud, he essentially develops the main theme of the fixed conflict between the demands of an individual’s instincts and the confinement society provides. In other words, the aspects society benefits from establish an individual’s dissatisfaction. Throughout Freud’s book, each chapter provides complex ideas and analyses that demonstrate how he comes down to this result and the outcome it has on human happiness. Beginning with chapter 1, most people seek power, wealth and success and undervalue the most important aspects of life. There are only a handful that seek other meaningful things and one of these people is Freud’s friend who wrote a letter to him which described his oneness and eternity within life. He says in these moments he feels “...a feeling as of something limitless, unbounded- as it were, ‘oceanic’ (pg 24).” This isn’t fundamental but it’s a part of the religious energy in the church. Freud gives recognition to his friend but cannot find this feeling within his own experiences. By using his psychoanalytical theory, Freud suggests that “there is nothing of which we are more certain than the feeling of our self, our own ego” (pg 26). The ego delineates a boundary between ‘I’ and ‘you.’ But, when an individual falls in love, this becomes briefly unclear and they can’t tell the difference between themself and the beloved. Similarly, this can be compared to an infant’s experience of oneness with
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