“What are the main features and functions of the Superego according Freud?”Words: 1000Name: Samuel JohnstoneStudent Number: 99189860Tutor: Dr Paul Alberts. Tutorial Time: Wednesday 12-1:30. What is the Superego? According to Anne Neimark ” Sigmund called the third area of the mind the Superego. Like a judge in a court trial, the superego announced its verdicts or decrees.
” (Neimark A, 1976, page 96) The superego is part of a trio that controls our urges and desires. The id being the urge at it raw form, the ego filtering the urge, and the superego is the decider of whether or not the urge can be satisfied immediately or must be saved until later. The superego “formed from the rules of parents and authority figures, the superego was the inward voice that said you must, you must not, you are good, you are bad. ” (Neimark A, 1976, page 96)”Since the superego goes back to the influence of parents, educators and so on, we learn still more of it’s significance if we turn to those who are its sources. ” (Ricoeur P, 1970, p186) The superego is not created when we are born rather we are born with the superego and it develops over the course of our life as new rules and regulations are brought to light.
“A child’s superego is in fact constructed on the model not of its parents but of its parents’ superego; the contents which fill it are the same and it becomes the vehicle of tradition and of all the time-resisting judgements of value which have propagated themselves in this manner from generation to generation. ” (Ricoeur P, 1970, p187) Therefore the superego is developed, maintained and updated continuously over the period of our life and is then passed on or inherited by our children. The superego while being a conscious moralizer it also is largely unconscious “the superego is the seat of morality, part conscious and part unconscious, in the individual. ” ( Brown J, Richards B, 1998, p240) The superego is part conscious and many conscious experiences are actually happening with in the unconscious superego “In the individual as pictured by Freud, the main moral scenario broadens out from the efforts of the superego into a struggle between the forces of life and death, a struggle which though often impacting upon conscious experience was constantly taking place in the unconscious. ” (Brown J, Richards B, 1998, p240)The superego the id and the ego are all dependent on each other forming a relationship, “These dependant relationships are first of all the relations of master-slave: the ego’s dependence on the id, the ego’s dependence on the external world, and the ego’s dependence on the superego. ” (Ricoeur P, 1970, p212) The superego being a conscious and unconscious and with the dependant relationship with the ego and id, can manifest itself and be seen as the death instinct.
“The instinctual character of the superego is charged with destructive rage thanks to the death instinct. ” (Ricoeur P, 1970, p299) “The superego has taken possession of all the available sadism, that the destructive component has entrenched itself in the superego and turned against the ego: what is now holding sway in the superego is a pure culture of the death instinct. ” (Ricoeur P, 1970, p299) The death instinct refers to the ids’ drive towards death, and at the other end of the spectrum is the life instinct. It is the superego’s relationship with the id that can manifest into the death instinct. “The link between the fear of conscious and erotism stems from the deep-seated relationship the superego retains with the id. .
. . . The superego is the representative of the id. ” (Ricoeur P, 1970, p300)The superego is complex in its design and function it is our personal watchdog keeping us in line with the rules of society, sometimes these rules are broken and the superego lets us know that we have broken them by giving us a sense of guilt or self pity, other times the superego will make us swell with pride when we do something good.
I believe that the words of David Stevenson give a clear and concise insight into the superego. “While the ego may temporarily repress certain urges of the id in fear of punishment, eventually these external sources of punishment are internalized, and the child will not steal a chocolate, even unwatched, because he has taken punishment, right, and wrong into himself. The superego uses guilt and self-reproach as its primary means of enforcement for these rules. But if a person does something which is acceptable to the superego, he experiences pride and self-satisfaction.
The superego is sub-dividable into two parts: conscience and ego ideal. Conscience tells what is right and wrong, and forces the ego to inhibit the id in pursuit of morally acceptable, not pleasurable or even realistic, goals. The ego ideal aims the individual’s path of life toward the ideal, perfect goals instilled by society. In the pursuit, the mind attempts to make up for the loss of the perfect life experienced as a baby.
” (Stevenson D, 1966)References? David B. Stevenson, Freud’s Division Of Mind 1966, Brown University, http://landow. stg. brown.
edu/HTatBrown/freud/Division_of_Mind. html? Elliott A, Freud 2000, 1998, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, Pages 240? Ricoeur P, Freud And Philosophy, 1970, London, Yale University Press, Pages 186,187,212,299,300. ? Neimark A E, Sigmund Freud:The World Within,1976,New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, page 96. BibliographyReferences? David B. Stevenson, Freud’s Division Of Mind 1966, Brown University, http://landow.
stg. brown. edu/HTatBrown/freud/Division_of_Mind. html? Elliott A, Freud 2000, 1998, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, Pages 240? Ricoeur P, Freud And Philosophy, 1970, London, Yale University Press, Pages 186,187,212,299,300. ? Neimark A E, Sigmund Freud:The World Within,1976,New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, page 96.