Sigmund Freud In A Separate Peace

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Originally from Austria, Sigmund Freud was a trained neurologist who was particularly interested in the human psyche. Over many years, Freud developed a theory to explain human behavior, what we refer to now as “Freudian Psychology.” First, he divided the mind into three levels, and used the analogy of an iceberg to help others understand it. On the surface, Freud identified the Conscious. It is here that most of our decision making and ideas are processed. However, in Freud’s model, this consisted of the “tip of the iceberg” which barely resided above the water. Next, just below the surface, is the Preconscious, which contains all of the memories that an individual can retrieve and bring to the conscious. The final part of one’s mind is the Unconscious. Freud’s writings describe this as being a “cauldron” or “reservoir” of all the ideas, thoughts, and feelings that a person has, but does not necessarily know exists. This aspect resides far below the surface, and comparable to an…show more content…
The story takes place at the Devon School, a boarding school which the two attend, during World War 1. From the beginning of the story, the two characters are presented as having a seemingly perfect friendship, undeterred by their individual personalities being polar opposites. On the one hand, Gene is intellectual, introverted, brooding, and paranoid around others. The story is told from his (sometimes biased) point of view. Finny is the outgoing, energetic athlete who loves the spontaneity of life, and is constantly in the company of others. As the story progresses, Gene’s thoughts unveil the deep-seated tension that exists, and causes many of the incidents and events around which the story centers. An analysis of the thoughts and interactions between the two reveals the contrast between their personalities, and the exemplification of Freud’s theories becomes
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