Civilization and Its Discontents Short Summary
The book is a formative write-up in the psychological field composed and published in the year 1930 by Sigmund Freud. It is written to bring to the audience the subjective understanding of the spiritual phenomenon of oceanic feeling, superego, ego, and id. Below is the synopsis.
A Synopsis of the Book
In the introductory chapter, Freud explores much on the “oceanic” feeling, holding to as the primary source of divine energy. He goes further to argue that the experience of the unique oceanic sense of distinctiveness is enough to refer an individual as religious despite lacking connection with organized religion. The author further explains in details the ego, superego, and id. In his explanation, superego manages human behaviors; ego controls the decisions an individual make, among others in an empirical relationship and id, constitute the innate desires. He further, argues that as one age, the quest to reconcile the inner self with the outer world becomes a necessity.
The author goes ahead to explore happiness and sadness. He argues that pleasure is only distinguishable by the unavailability of pain. Therefore, he remarks that the high power of the natural world can cause unhappiness. What’s more, even human relations and body limitation are equally considered as good urgent of sadness. Happiness can be created where there is love. However, Freud holds two different accounts on his perception about love; parentage love and romantic love. He further stresses that family love is a coy kind of former and romantic love that brings family unity involving two people, woman and a man all rooted in the grounds of sexuality and basic needs. He argues that it is more convenient to have both women and men providing particular requirements necessary for a stable relationship.
Chapter 8 of his write-up propounds the idea that societal evolvement can be compared to the growth of children. The most developed societies have an active, and a mature superego hence can manage itself. He goes ahead to affirm that superego is exceptionally aggressive in morally upright individuals who keep trying no matter what to better their flaws. Its moral direction is supplied depending on an individual’s skills with parental power. He holds that civilizations initiate guiltiness in humans, a kind of aggression directed inwards. He ends by affirming that humankind has trounced nature and now bound to repress on love intuition “Eros,” which is not yet clear whether or not will overcome it eventually.