Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

Id, ego, and superego. The three words most associated with Sigmund Freud and his theories on human nature and human psychology. Although the reading does not include specific works on this theory, it is always something a reader thinks of when speaking of Freud.
Why is it we can't ever read something for what it is without taking knowledge of the outside world and putting it into the thought process? Why is it that some people are incapable of making decisions that are good for all, rather than just themselves? Why is it that some people appear to disregard human emotions when choosing one path over another? The reading barely touches on Freud's theories of the id, ego, and superego, yet my thoughts, when reading those two sentences in "Fetishism" got my mind wandering to what his other works spoke of and how they are being implied in this one.
I invite members and readers of this blog to take the following quiz. It isn't scientific, obviously, but it appears to have a good grasp of what it means to be "ruled" more by your id, ego, or superego and how that affects your decision making. The answer that appears, what do you think? Do you agree? Tying it back to this blog, how do you think the more dominant part of you affects your critical analysis of readings? Does being more in tune with your superego make you more of a structuralist critical reader or does being more in tune with you id make you disregard the authors intentions and replace them with your own?


  1. ou Scored as Ego
    You scored as having a high ego. You compromise between pleasure and value. You think situations through and have a good head about things. You might want to watch compromising too much or you'll miss out on enjoying yourself.


    I think this is pretty on target. I try to balance what I can. But in all honesty, can these types of things really be measured in a quiz or in any way for that matter?

    As for not being able to take things just as they are... I think its virtually impossible. I am 20 years old and I have had too many experiences and been taught to many things by my parents, teachers, and peers to not use what I have learned and apply it to everything I read, do, act. This kind of brings it all back to the Death of the Author... maybe its always how the reader sees it? Maybe its not...

  2. It's probably no surprise that the teacher is a superego. Regardless, you ask some excellent questions, Janetta. I think we might push things even further to consider what happens when all of you write your final papers. Do you write what the teacher--the superego--tells you is correct? Do you merely rely on your own uncultivated, uncultured, primitive ids to guide your thoughts ;-) Or are you somewhere in the middle?

  3. Not surprisingly, uber-type A me got super-ego. I'm typically skeptical of online quizzes, and usually don't care about which Sex and the City girl I am, but this one I believe was accurate and illuminating.
    Going off of Prof. Fisher's post, I'm having some issues with my Dance Composition professor (in my own head rather in outright confrontation w/ her) w/ her telling me I need to "find new vocabulary", feeling that she's restricting me creatively a bit...maybe this is my repressed Id crying out, who knows? With Freudian analysis, because its theories deal with psychological interactions and occurences that are quite difficult to take in as an integrated whole, usually quite few truly do.

  4. Ha, well this quiz essentially told me nothing:

    Ego 57%
    Super-Ego 47%
    Id 43%

    Yes, I got the highest score for ego, but I find it amusing that my percentages for each category were all pretty close together, especially for the two catagories that are meant to be farthest apart.

    Also going off of Dr Fisher's question, I think that I initially began a lot of my writing with the superego. Sort of timid. When I started writing for the Hatchet last year, I was typically scared of writing any sort of out-there ledes or thinking outside the box--definitely relying on the superego. Over time as I've gotten more comfortable, maybe I've found a way to apply my more interesting "id" writing styles to my stories.

    In regards to my critical analysis of literary texts (because apparently we're the only people that still care about Freud!), I think it's interesting that my highest score was ego because I typically can bend both ways in regards to a text--it's easy for me to understand where different interpretations are coming from, and maybe that all comes from my "compromise between pleasure and value," as the quiz says.

  5. You Scored as Super-Ego

    You have scored as having a high Super-Ego. This means that you have a strong set of values and you are not easily swayed by what may seem fun. You have a lot of respect for sticking to your guns and living a good life. You should watch out for not being flexible and setting yourself up for pain with your stubbornness.

    Ahh I completely agree with my results, as sad as they may be. I'm definitely the girl who would rather stay in on a Saturday and watch a movie rather than going out to a dorm party or club. But at the same time, I make my own decisions and am completely comfortable with them. I guess I can be a little stubborn sometimes, especially when it comes to looking out for others. My superego definitely dictates my decision making in general. I feel like I always want to see things the "right" way and turn my ear away from whatever I feel isn't contingent with this viewpoint.

  6. We might also frame some of this in terms of (societal/colonial) power: If this quiz has determined that you are an Id, then arguably you are that primitive, untamed spirit that resists control. If you're a superego, on the other hand, you are, arguably, colonized by the cultural forces that dictate how you should act. The Ego is perpetually caught in the balance. Perhaps if we think in those terms, and then throw in the whole education question, we can start linking up this wonderful post with some of the earlier reading that we did from Fanon, not to mention the nods that we've made to Foucault and social constructionism.

  7. I think that a perfect example of this are the propaganda movies that were created under Kim Jong Il. I'm forgetting the exact story, but apparently Kim wanted to jump start the North Korean movie industry so he did what any good dictator would do and kidnapped a South Korean director and his wife to help him out. The director created a movie called Pulgasari which Kim Jon Il loved because he thought that it was a criticism of capitalism because his critical thinking hardwired him to see the movie in that way. The actual theme of the movie was a criticism of Kim Jon Il himself and essentially said that he was stupid. It was almost a code where everyone who possessed a form of critical thinking not dictated by the North Koreans understood the true message of the film. On the North Korean end, the film was screened for years before someone clued them in to what the real message was.

    A preview is on youtube

  8. Kelsey O'Brien15 October, 2009 07:27

    You Scored as Super-Ego
    You have scored as having a high Super-Ego. This means that you have a strong set of values and you are not easily swayed by what may seem fun. You have a lot of respect for sticking to your guns and living a good life. You should watch out for not being flexible and setting yourself up for pain with your stubbornness.

    Super-Ego 70%
    Ego 43%
    Id 30%

    – – – This is pretty accurate. I think the idea to incorporate a quiz is very creative; also, I'm just curious– where did you get these questions? I realized that perhaps the a lot same verbiage describing my results could likewise be applied to the result of Id; the Id might "not be easily swayed" by the law and should likewise "watch out for not being flexible and setting oneself up for pain."

    Professor Fisher, if I understand correctly, you offer the idea that superegos are "colonized" by society. I'd argue that while superegos might indeed act in accordance with cultural ideals, it would be hasty to label this as colonization because, at least to me, the word often indicates powerlessness or an inability to remain in control. (Such as the Native Americans were "colonized" by the Europeans.) Perhaps Ids, egos, and superegos alike all possess the same capacity to choose how to act. I suggest that (at least some) superegos are not at all without the ability to act "wild" and "free" but rather find appeal within the laws of society. I say this because although I might be classified as a superego by this quiz, I know very well I could wake up tomorrow and decide to resist control by missing class, drinking all day, and spending my savings if I wanted. As Harleen said, I'd also suggest that she and I make our own decisions confidently and because we want to– not out of some fear of society.

  9. So I don't know what this means exactly...but so far I'm the only one to get a "You Scored as I" - So I'm official the 'colonial-primitive of the class'! Was I the only one who answered the quiz honestly? .... just kidding

    "You scored as having a high "id". You are mostly driven by instinct and controled by your want for pleasure. To balance yourself, try thinking things out more and being patient to make decisions."

    I don't know how accurate this result is in that while I no doubt follow my instincts a lot (or as my mother says my irish sixth sense), I don't think I would go so far as to call myself a hedonist.

    And with regards to the colonial/societal view - It reminds me of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness where both the primitive and the civilized man (Kurtz) were victims of their id!

  10. Kelsey, I might push it even further: The superego is the colonizing force of society. The very reason why you don't obey all of your id's hedonistic wishes is because the superego tells you that doing so is bad. Where does the notion of bad come from if not from society? And once again, let me point all of you back to this blog exercise. You're doing it because I--the supreme superego here--am making you theorize, right?