Essay Introduction as illustration
This essay introduction illustrates the points
made in the
article on essay introductions.
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
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.
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:
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,
In this passage the student has shown that the words of the
quote are by Hobbes, but the quotation is
from another book
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,
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
(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
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
SHE13: SHE Document 13 on Freud. Containing extracts from
S. 1938 "An Outline of Psychoanalysis".
(Paragraph numbers from
SHE Document 13)
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