Sigmund Freud on the Unconscious & the Structure of Psyche
the Unconscious:
  1. "any mental process the existence of which we are obligated to assume--because, for instance, we infer it in some way from its effects--but of which we are not directly aware..."
  2.  two kinds:
    • the "preconscious"--the unconscious which is only latent, and so can easily become conscious
    • the unconscious --one that only come come about with considerable expenditure of energy, or never occur

    • "The Unconscious"
The three psychic zones: id, ego and superego
  • id--reservoir of libido--passion and instinct--governed by pleasure principle

  •   --a tremendous and amorphous vitality.
      --the source of all our aggressions and desires.  It is lawless,
         asocial, and amoral.
      --its concern is purely for instinctual gratification, heedless
     of consequences.
  • ego--the rational governing agency of the psyche.  It regulates the instinctual drives of the id so that they may be released in nondestructive behavioral patterns.--reason and circumspection  --governed by reality principle      --protects the individual
  • superego--protects the society

  •  --the moral censoring agency
     --largely unconscious
     --repository of conscience and pride
    --dominated by morality principle 




  1. Raman Seldon.  Reader's Guide to Contemporary Theory  Harvester.  1993: pp. 118-26.  
  2. Terry Eagleton.  Literary Theory: An Introduction.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983
  3. Wright, Elizabeth. Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reappraisal. September, 1998.