Psychology Period 1: Teen Novel
In the book Breath, Eyes, and Memory,” Sophie Caco is a twelve-year-old girl living in Haiti who is on a spiritual quest to find her true identity. Throughout her journey, we see Sophie grow up to be the vibrant young woman she was always destined to be.
Due to her adolescent behavior, Sophie becomes curious and develops an insatiable desire to uncover her family’s well-hidden history. Throughout the story, we observe her personality models (according to Sigmund Freud’s theory), defense mechanisms (according to Anna Freud), and struggles to establish her own identity (according to Erik Erikson). In the end, Sophie matures into a well-rounded adult who has gained wisdom from her mild yet intense childhood. The story starts when Sophie is twelve years old and still living in Haiti under the care of her aunt Atie.
Being dependent on another person shows that she is still a child. In other words, this would be an example of Sophie’s id. Whenever she needs her aunt, whether it be for food, care, advice, or attention, she always calls on her aunt, no matter the circumstance. Her needs have to be met at that moment; otherwise, she would not necessarily cry like a baby, but she would complain that she was feeling neglected. Although Sophie may have sometimes displayed somewhat selfish behavior, she also realized that she was not the only child living in the house. She came to notice that her aunt had a responsibility to tend to the other children living with her.
As a result, Sophie began to help around the house and take responsibility for aiding her aunt with the kids. This part of her personality would be known as the ego. She realized that the other children needed her aunt just as much as she did and she stepped back to allow her cousins to be well taken care of. After living in Haiti for so long, Sophie is told that she will be moving to New York to live with a mother she never knew. The reason being that her mother has been asking for her and she feels it is now time for the two to reunite.
With so much drama circulating around her, Sophie never had time to be a child. She had to interact with adults and people that she had never seen in her life, although they had been a part of her life all along. This part of her life could be looked at as the Latency stage.