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    Essay Introduction as illustration

    This essay introduction illustrates the points
    made in the
    article on essay introductions.
    The article on essay outlines shows what
    the first draft may have looked like.

    Essay Title: Discuss the relationship between sexuality, gender, personality and society in the work of Freud. Relate your answer to at least two works by Freud.

    The two works of Freud I use for this essay are his An Outline of Psychoanalysis and Interpretation of Dreams. My essay argues that Freud's views of sexuality in childhood are interpretations of the symbolism he discovered in dream analysis, and that the social significance can be best understood if one interprets events symbolically.

    After a summary of the essay, I discuss Freud's distinctive views on sexuality. An explanation of the id and ego, as aspects of personality, is then needed before we can understand the oedipal complex. Explaining the oedipal complex, in boys and girls, leads on to the part of the personality called the super-ego. This enables us to understand how Freud considers that gender distinctions develop and his ideas on the relation of personality to society.

    As part of his mind analysis (psychoanalysis), Freud analysed dreams. Dreams, he asserted, revealed an unconscious mental life which is our primary thinking. Dreams are wish-fulfilments in symbolic codes and psychoanalysis is the scientific way to decode these basic thinking processes. Psychoanalysis led to the conclusion that sexual life, in the sense of obtaining pleasure from any part of the body, starts soon after birth. Childhood sexuality develops in stages: the third (phallic) stage at about five years. Then sexuality almost disappears until puberty because it is repressed through the oedipus complex and the establishment of the super-ego, forming the unconscious. It is also in the phallic phase that gender becomes psychologically segregated. Both males and females take their mother as their first love-object, bringing them into mental conflict with the father. The unconscious resolution of this conflict creates the super-ego through the internalization of the father's authority. Events that Freud relates as actual happenings can also be interpreted symbolically. For example, a threat of castration may not actually be made to a boy, it may symbolise the father's power. Similarly, penis-envy for girls, may symbolise envy of male power more than her brother's wee-wee. The symbols are part of accepting authority and this unconscious, internalised parental authority is the irrational basis of society, according to Freud.

    Referencing examples

    This passage from an essay on Hobbes illustrates the referencing of a source the essay was based on and a quotation from Hobbes taken from that source:

    This paragraph is based on the student's reading of the chapter referenced at the end. Page numbers should be given if you can be more precise. Hobbes believes that individuals moved from the state of nature to a society because of the fear of harm through broken agreements. The State of Nature Theory was developed to show the needs of those individuals and try to explain their need for society. This is when we visualise what humans would be like if we were stripped of all social characteristics or in other terms, what we were like before we became social. (Roberts, A. 1997, chapter two).
    In this passage the student has shown that the words of the quote are by Hobbes, but the quotation is from another book Through egoistic psychological reasoning, Hobbes thought that in a state of nature, people are used and abused to acquire our own desires and if they resist we overcome it with force.

      "If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they both cannot enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end...endeavour to destroy or subdue one another." ( Hobbes, T. 1651, Ch.13, Par.3 quoted Roberts, A. 1997, ch.2 par.15).
    In the Harvard system references only make sense if there is a corresponding bibliography entry Bibliography

    Roberts, A. 1997 Social Science History for Budding Theorists Middlesex University: London. Available at http://studymore.org.uk/ssh.htm

    Hobbes, T. 1651 Leviathan, or The Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil.

    Referencing more than quotes

    The following extract from an essay originally only had the quotation referenced. By adding referencing to her own words, the student has strengthened what she says allowing the reader to trace her interpretation back to what Freud wrote. In this web example you can go directly to Freud's words by clicking on the references.

    Freud argues that sexual life starts from birth:
    "It has been found that in early childhood there are signs of bodily activity to which only an ancient prejudice could deny the name of sexual"
    (SHE13 par. 3.3a)

    He believes that we have these feelings in our early childhood. They are forgotten, but not lost. They are still present in adulthood mental life when they produce psychical phenomena like fixation on earlier sexual attachments and sexual jealousy
    ( SHE13 par. 3.8, pars 3.8-3.9 and par 7.14a)

    Our early sexual feelings increase and reach its peak at the tender age of five. Once we have passed this stage we go through a period of quite or little activity, which Freud describes as a period of lull, where nothing much happens. This is called the latency. Once we have reached puberty we start to regain our sexual desires. ( SHE13 par. 3.3a and par. 7.14a)


    SHE13: SHE Document 13 on Freud. Containing extracts from Freud, S. 1938 "An Outline of Psychoanalysis".
    (Paragraph numbers from SHE Document 13)

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    These extracts from student essays are given to illustrate points in the ABC Study Guide:



    more than quotes