The Complete Freud's Blockbuster Character Blueprint

Discussion in 'TT - Public' started by Boneflour, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Boneflour

    Boneflour Moderator SuperMod

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    Executive Summary:

    -Freud's Id, Ego, and Super-ego are represented in a recurring character trio in fiction.

    -The constant, back-and-forth status jockeying between the characters mirrors the conflicting desires of Id, Ego, and Super-ego.

    -This happens in TV shows, movies, and buddy comedies especially.

    The three character archetypes and common traits are as follows:

    -Super-ego is usually (not always) taller, law-abiding/logical/nerdy ("are we supposed to be doing this?")

    -Ego is usually middle height, everyman/group leader/mediator ("get it together, guys!")

    -Id is usually shorter, rude/hungry/"simple" ("hey, that looks shiny...")



    Maybe those "walking philosophers" had the right idea...

    After way too long at the computer desk, I went walking to stretch my legs. I was meditating on writing stuff when I had an idea. "What about writing characters based on the Freudian concepts of Id, Ego, and Superego? How would that go?" Five seconds of sketching out characters later, I realized that I had seen these three characters before. Many many times before.

    [​IMG]

    I've seen people lose interest in an idea once they realized "it's been done". Why bother working on something "unoriginal"? Here's why:

    Originality is overrated. Novelty is unreliable. But if you can find a pattern that repeats over and over... You have a blueprint for success.

    The Hollywood Formula, The Hero's Journey, a bacon cheeseburger from Five Guys... They're all repetitions of a same basic pattern, speaking to something powerful within us.

    I don't know if Freud's work is factually true, but I know it's mythically true. Because the story keeps getting told. From The Three Musketeers, to Star Trek, to The Hangover... Freud's Id, Ego, and Superego are represented in a particular recurring character trio.

    So what is this character trio? What traits belong to what archetypes?

    First, a quick recap. According to wikipedia: Id, ego and super-ego - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego

    "According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego. The super-ego can stop one from doing certain things that one's id may want to do."

    Each character will have traits that symbolize their aspect. The Super-ego symbolizes law, morality, reason, etc. Super-ego characters are often the "teacher's pet", "follow the rules" character. Can anyone give me an example of this character?

    [​IMG]

    Very good, Ms. Granger. 10 points for Gryffindor.

    The Id symbolizes base instinct, animalistic desire, etc. Id characters often eat a lot, sleep around, or otherwise lack basic self-control in some way. Expect them to grab the shiny thing they aren't supposed to grab.

    [​IMG]

    The Ego is usually the protagonist, incorporating feedback from the Id and Super-ego to find a solution to life, love, and The Plot. Spock gives the logic, Bones emotes, Kirk finds a way to save the day.

    [​IMG]

    Generally speaking:

    -Super-ego is usually (not always) taller, law-abiding/logical/nerdy ("Are we supposed to be doing this?")

    -Ego is usually middle height, everyman/group leader/mediator ("Get it together, guys! We have work to do.")

    -Id is usually shorter, rude/hungry/"simple" ("I'm hungry. Hey, that looks shiny...")

    Alvin and the Chipmunks is the most pure example I can think of to illustrate the basic traits. Alvin is the troublemaker whose hijinks drive the plot. Simon is the reasonable, intellectual, "stay out of trouble" one. Theodore is the simple dude that likes food. I mean, just look at them:

    [​IMG]

    Now that you've seen them here, you'll see them everywhere. The taller, nerdy superego. The short, impulsive id. The everyman ego that mediates between them to complete the plot.

    If meme magic has taught us anything, it's that people think in terms of stories, characters, and emotions. Having a basic grasp of character archetypes will help you communicate/persuade/connect with people. If nothing else, it's great fodder for insight porn.
     
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  2. Boneflour

    Boneflour Moderator SuperMod

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    First movie case study: Aladdin

    [​IMG]

    Id: Abu the monkey, Ego: Aladdin, Superego: Carpet

    Abu is easy. He's the amoral hungry monkey that likes food and shiny things. Aladdin is the dude that carries the plot. But why carpet?

    Magic Carpet | http://aladdin.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Carpet

    "Despite being a carpet, Aladdin's Magic Carpet is a character of many traits, and pure of heart."

    "One thing he does not enjoy is how Aladdin would not tell the truth about him truly being a street urchin, which was the only time Carpet showed any annoyance towards Aladdin."

    Whereas Genie is kind of a meditation on Power, Carpet is the intelligent, honest, trustworthy conscience character.

    Being a street urchin and societal outcast, Aladdin doesn't really have a superego to start. He has a personal moral code, but he doesn't have anything governing how he relates to society. When everyone's bowing and scraping before a visiting prince, Aladdin is the one walking into the street to defend some poor kids from the prince's whip.

    Even after Aladdin meets Carpet, the rug man is completely silent. Aladdin has a constantly jabbering Id, but he doesn't have a strong Superego that dictates how he should act. In the first movie, he has to learn to listen to his Superego.


    Bonus: Genie as Power symbol

    Carpet/Superego/societal pressure meets Aladdin in the same Cave of Wonders that he finds Genie in. This is not a coincidence.

    The movie opens with Jafar, the bad guy, literally chasing after power (flying scarabs>Cave of Wonders>Genie Lamp). He can't access the Cave of Wonders because he has an impure heart, forcing him to manipulate Aladdin to get it for him.

    However, he can't manipulate Aladdin into handing over ultimate power without first giving some power to Aladdin. When Jafar tries to backstab Aladdin to tie up loose ends, Abu bites Jafar and steals the lamp. Something about the monkey brain handling fight or flight...

    So how does Aladdin, the "diamond in the rough", handle Power? At first, he uses it "properly": That is, get wealth/status, get the woman, then give up Power and return to the realm of ordinary men. His bargain with Genie is "Let me use this power to get set for life, then I'll set you free." This kind of thing gets him loyal friends instead of minions.

    Midway through, he gets second thoughts, and goes back on the deal... thinking he can't keep up the game without the Genie. This loses him his loyal friends... and since he isn't ruthless enough to have minions, Jafar gets the upper hand, taking the Power of the Genie for himself.

    How does Jafar handle Power? The exact same way he handled regular power. He bends the world to his will, destroys his enemies, and sets himself up as Sultan. He wields Power far more ruthlessly (and effectively) than Aladdin.

    But due to his desire for Power over all, Power for its own sake, he falls into the same trap as Aladdin, only much harder.

    At the end of the movie, Jafar is the most powerful sorcerer in the world, de facto Sultan, has the good guy down. He won... until he realized he was merely "most powerful" and not "ALL POWERFUL".

    By chasing after Power, he becomes enslaved by it:



    The difference between "most powerful" and "ALL POWERFUL" is the difference between a Kingdom and a Totalitarian State. The King is the boss, has the most money, the prettiest women, etc. etc... but he does not take ALL authority, ALL money, and ALL of the women. He has the most power, but he doesn't try to take all power for himself.

    The Totalitarian State attempts this. What you eat, what you think, what you desire, who you sleep with, every aspect of everyone's life must be managed by an "ALL POWERFUL", central authority. Nothing can be left to its own devices. Of course, trying to tax 100% DECREASES revenue. Trying to take it all reduces the amount there is to take.

    As was shown during the collapse of the Soviet Union, grasping for "ALL POWER" results in loss of power. Jafar ends up trapped in Genie's lamp, effectively powerless.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
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  3. Boneflour

    Boneflour Moderator SuperMod

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    Second movie case study: The Hangover.

    [​IMG]

    Going from left to right: Id (Zach Galifinakis), Ego (Bradley Cooper), Superego (Ed Helms)

    When the "good guy groom" (Justin Bartha) vanishes during his bachelor party, these jokers have to find him before the wedding day.

    [​IMG]

    Pictured: Justin Bartha. 0 shits given on what their movie names are.


    What's interesting is how their characters change during the Hangover Event. Zach Galifinakis is a new addition to the group, just coming along for the ride, basically.

    Before Galifinakis, you had Helms as Superego, Bartha as Ego, and Cooper as the id. The whipped dentist, the "average guy", and the dirty teacher.

    When Good Guy Groom Bartha disappears, the roles in the group change. Galifinakis functions as the Id, Cooper is pushed into the Ego, and Helms remains as Superego.

    Part of the humor in the movie is each character doing insane things that contradict their archetype. The Superego guy marries a stripper! The Dentist pulls his own tooth out! The Id character is the one watching the baby! Hah, the irresponsible douchebro has to corral these guys towards the plot. "No torching cop cars, guys!" Classic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  4. Boneflour

    Boneflour Moderator SuperMod

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    Oh yeah, I was supposed to finish this.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Horrible Bosses:

    [​IMG]

    From left to right, top row: Dave, Julia, Bobby

    From left to right, bottom row: Nick, Dale, Kurt


    This one's interesting. We have two sets of three.

    Here are the three bosses:

    -Dave is a corporate CEO-type, obsessed with control. He constantly worries about his wife possibly sleeping around, berates Nick for being 2 minutes late. His motto is "You must." Superego.

    -Julia is a nymphomaniac Dentist. Her motto is "I want." Id.

    -Bobby is a spoiled heir to a family business, who declares he's going to run the company into the ground because he can. Spends his money on ninja swords and "asian" crap to show how badass he is. His motto is "I am." Ego.

    Now for the three employees.

    -Nick works for Dave, putting up with his shit in hopes of a promotion. When he's screwed over by Dave, Nick daydreams about chucking Dave through a window, but snaps out of it and tries to talk it out instead. He's the dude that gives permission for the "why not kill our bosses" plan. Ego.

    -Dale is the happily married dental assistant that Julia is trying to blackmail into sex. When he gets asked, "Why not just sleep with Julia?" his answer is "That's wrong/cheating/I'm happily married". Superego.

    -Kurt is the dude who worked for Bobby's dad before Bobby took over. At one point, he asks Dale "Why don't you just sleep with Julia. I'd tap that." (spoiler: Kurt does tap that.) Id.

    Looking at the three bosses and employees, you'll notice each pair is different.

    Each hero is antagonized by a different aspect of psyche. The superego boss is the villain for the ego character, the id boss threatens the superego, and the ego boss oppresses the id.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  5. Apercus

    Apercus Benefactor of Humanity Baron

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    In Deleuze' Coldness and Cruelty he says that de Sade's libertines were the embodiment of hypertrophied superegos. At that extreme the superego function directs itself outward at other people, so it becomes like "will to power cloaked in idealism." I think the best real life examples of this are the Moscow show trials, where the superego dimension had grown so monstrous and the voluptuous excesses of cruelty so great that when foreign communists met the accused they saw guilt in their faces, even though the victims knew that the charges were totally preposterous. That is a true triumph of the superego, where the mere fact of being accused ipso facto makes one guilty.

    "The more innocent they are, the more they deserve to be shot."

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, television programming would be much improved by the increased presence of aristocratic French libertines.
     
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  6. Vejiortan

    Vejiortan Geheimrat Baron

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    This three partition reminds me of the platonic theory of souls.
    It's also found in vedic philosophy.

    "The Tamas (third function) man is called Pashu, which means “animal.” Pashu comes from “pac,” to bind. The Pashu is bound by animal urges — hunger, sex, comfort, greed — as well as by social convention. (This is, by the way, precisely how the Greeks regarded the appetitive man: they saw him as more of an animal; as not fully human.) Tantrism holds that in the present age, which is called the Kali Yuga, the Pashu type predominates.

    The Sattva (first function) man is called Divya, a “divine being.” Like the Pashu, he is in some sense not human, because he is more than human. This man follows an inner path, detaching himself from the world. The Divya is very rare in the Kali Yuga.

    The Rajas (second function) man is called Vira. This word comes from the Indo-European root vir- from which we get the words virile and virtue. The vira is a fully actualized human being: a manly, heroic being."
     
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  7. Boneflour

    Boneflour Moderator SuperMod

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    Added posts on Aladdin and The Hangover in the reserved spots at the top. Got one more to do at some point. Thanks to Apercus and Vejiortan for their posts, delicious occ food.
     
  8. Thalmoses

    Thalmoses Founder Administrator

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    I suggest a different organizational format. Make each effortpost a separate thread. This thread contains the overview plus links to each case study. Each case study has a separate thread and links back to the overview. Thread titles share a common prefix - "Boneflour's Freudian Archetypes in Fiction: Overview" ; "Boneflour's Freudian Archetypes in Fiction: Aladdin".

    This permits non-confusing discussion of individual case studies, which will generate more content suitable for eventual translation into book form.
     
  9. Aeoli Pera

    Aeoli Pera Admin Staff Member

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    Gurren Lagann:

    Simon - Id
    Kamina - Ego (obviously)
    Yoko - Superego

    Evangelion:

    Shinji - Superego
    Rei - Id
    Asuka - Ego

    IIRC the creator used this correspondence consciously in describing his own ego, id, and superego (or something very close to that). The series was heavily inspired by Freudian psychology.

    Related:

    Power Trio - TV Tropes | http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PowerTrio
    Rule of Three - TV Tropes | http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfThree
    Freudian Trio - TV Tropes | http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FreudianTrio

    Anime examples of the latter: Anime and Manga / Freudian Trio - TV Tropes | http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FreudianTrio/AnimeAndManga

    (Having trawled this last link a bit, I gotta say that most of the examples are very poor.)
     
  10. Boneflour

    Boneflour Moderator SuperMod

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    The problem with that anime examples thread is pattern overmatching. There are plenty of tropes to go around. The Freudian Trio is used often enough to notice... but it's not the only way to look at a show.

    Agree with your typing.
     
  11. Brilliand

    Brilliand Active Member Typed

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    This looks a bit different from what the OP described. The id and superego are combined into "Pashu", and I don't see anything corresponding to the ego. I think this is a different concept, only similar in its "three with one in the middle" form... but it doesn't match even that very well, because the Vira appears to be the combination of the other two (an end result of work) rather than a mediator between them (that performs the work).
     
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  12. Vejiortan

    Vejiortan Geheimrat Baron

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    One similar aspect :

    "ego" : human
    "superego" : above human
    "id" : below human

    Divya : above human
    Vira : human
    Pashu : below human

    Difference :
    "human" (the "yardstick" by which all three types are "measured"), differs considerably.
    The former system is materialistic, and regards the "human" as some sort of disciplined animal. The "ego" is the battleground of the id (the animal) and the superego (the aspect introducting discipline) - the "ego" merely "mediates" between "id" and "superego", it doesn't "reconcile" them.
    The "superego" is the materialistic, degenerate notion of a level above the "human". So one can say that the "superego" is the pashu's notion of what a Divya is. Likewise, the "ego" is the pashu's notion of what a Vira is.
     
  13. Aeoli Pera

    Aeoli Pera Admin Staff Member

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    The superego perceives, the ego acts, and the id feels. Whether the ego is engaged in reconciliation or conflict would seem to be a major personality factor, i.e. the red pill. A woke-as-fuck nigger like me sees differences between feelz and ideology as a mystery to be solved.
     

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