(possible title) Id Can’t Be Helped Derived from the work of Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, psychoanalytic criticism is a method of exploring the secret unconscious desires, feelings, wishes, and instinctual drives of an author. Freud states that the id represents the irrational and unconscious part of the psych; it propels the human psyche to seek desire without reasoning. The ego suppresses the irrationality id’s drives and desires. The superego is the projection of the ego by making reasonable and moral judgements based on the conscious. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the author projects his inner psyches onto the characters of the text as they venture off into the joourney of the Belgian Congo. Conrad’s psyche is expressed through the different stages of the journey into the Congo. His superego is first seen when Marlow talks about his love for exploration: “And as I looked at the map of it in a shop-window, it fascinated me as a snake would a bird” (Conrad 11). The superego is also presented in the text when Marlow criticizes the European exploitation of the native people and their land at the Outer Station, stating, “They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now — nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom… lost in uncongenial surroundings, fed on unfamiliar food, they sickened, became inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest.” (Conrad 27-28). At the Central Station, Marlow’s expressed his ego as he struggles to maintain the morality of his superego as his id begins to incorporate emotion and irrationality into his thinking. ___reflection the ego _____The demand for ivory back in Europe serves as Kurtz’s catalyst to venture off into the mysterious Congo. His avarice causes him to sacrifice his past life and leave the civilized world in search for ivory, resembling the id. Kurtz becomes obsessed with his newfound status within the Company, a high that overrules his rationality and controls his emotions. (continue later) By studying the psychoanalytic aspect of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, readers can see how Marlow expresses the Oedipal Complex with Kurtz being the father and Africa as the mother. Marlow’s idolization of Kurtz represents the father and son relationship and the subconscious id, creating an indirect and unintentional rivalry between the two travelers. The id of Marlow’s psyche guides his ego by using the promise of power and respect from the riches of Africa. Marlow idolizes Kurtz as an influential figure, but Marlow subconsciously yearns to be just as powerful and influential as Kurtz. In the third part of the novel, Marlow’s perception of Kurtz takes a sharp turn. Kurtz’s flawed personality that was ruined by his id causes Marlow to disapprove of the idol he once saw Kurtz as. This conflict of Kurtz’s image inside of Marlow’s mind influences him to accomplish what Kurtz had done without becoming corrupt. Another possible interpretation of the Oedipus in Heart of Darkness is Kurtz’s conflict with the Company. In this complex, Conrad uses ivory as the semiotic object of masculinity, power, and control that both Kurtz and the Company strive to obtain. Kurtz states, “I collected it myself at a very great personal risk. I am afraid they will try to claim it as theirs though” (Conrad 139).Kurtz is skeptical of the Company’s ability to dominate him by stealing his only symbol his masculinity from Africa, ivory. This causes an unsteady relationship with the fatherly figure of the Company as Kurtz seeks to break every connection from it as possible when he escapes to the depth of the Congo’s jungles. Conrad’s psychological state is full of skepticism. Throughout the text, he alludes to his past experiences of being a captain of a steamer on the Congo River. The characters who sailed along the Congo developed strange behaviors, just like the crewmates aboard Conrad’s ship during his travels as a steamboat captain. In a way, Conrad assumes the role of the doctor in the beginning of the novel who foreshadowed the events that Marlow would encounter and would experience internally. The doctor’s quote, “‘It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals'”(Conrad 18) shows Conrad’s skepticism of the high possibility that people can change when exposed to the rawness of humanity in the middle of Africa. The crew and the General manager abandoned their morals and rationality when their id persuaded them to value wealth above all else. In a setting of limited social and economic structure, the characters in the book like the Brickmaker and the Manager viewed Kurtz as their way to ascend higher up the rankings of the Company. Marlow and Conrad both witnessed the Congo’s ability to transform people into monsters of evil. The psychological state of the implied reader  ______ Conrad’s novel showcased the id’s capability to push people to achieve high positions in society through hard work and determination. However, the id can also push aside the rationality of the ego and morality of the superego to make room for the unsatisfiable desires of the id. In the text, Kurtz’s id went far and beyond his control, creating a monster that exhibits the mysterious “Heart of Darkness” within the Congo. The Freudian concepts of the psyche allows the readers to learn more about Conrad’s id, ego, and superego as they are projected into the characters of Marlow and Kurtz; Kurtz represents the extremes of the superego as the idol that Marlow praises and id as someone who left his greed conquer his life. Marlow represents the ego that struggles between the other two pulling forces. Conrad shows how people subconsciously develop their psychological state over time, beginning from the righteous morality from the superego to the harsh pleasure seeking id.(add concluding sentence)

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