The unconscious is important in determining behaviour. A lot of desires, motivations & conflicts are below the level of consciousness. People are driven by: animalistic, instinctual urges, especially lust and aggression Tom choices in his life prove that he’s is driven by lust & aggression& like an animal on cares for his survival. Gatsby is a bootlegger because he was unhappy about his past about being lower class, & wants daisy back, which drives him to become wealthy.
Daisy is unconscious that the way tom treats her makes her think women are fools, she starts to thing thinks she’s nothing of herself & allows tom to cheat on her Structure of Mind: separate motivations: Id (irrational and emotional part of the mind); the Ego (rational part); Superego (the moral part). Gatsby is driven by his desire for Daisy on the id level, reinvents his image to a “big shot” on the ego level develops a conflicting personality on the super-ego level, moral and immoral at the same time.
Nick is mainly acting as Gatsby\’s super-ego giving judgments and warnings to him; he also ends his relationship back home before starting a new one with Jordan. Tom is on the id level, cheating on daisy, punches myrtle, and he’s racist and sexist. Daisy is on the id level, she’s only cares about money, and allows Gatsby to take the blame for her killing Myrtle.
Defence Mechanisms: life is essentially too painful for the human being to endure consciously, much of the pain and conflict is diverted via defence mechanisms and kept within the unconscious. Denial: Gatsby is unable to see his affair with daisy for what it really is, he also represses his past & creates jay. George refuses to believe his wife is having an affair. Daisy tells tom she’s loves Gatsby, but tom acts like she didn’t say anything important.
Fear of intimacy: Every character goes through great measures to avoid being in a deep relationship Example: Gatsby goes after daisy although he knows he could probably never have her as she’s married, and is in a higher class than him. Family relationships: Oedipal fixation/ complex Gatsby sees daisy as the women his mother never was; rich, luxurious, graceful, etc. Tom and daisy were likely very distant from their parents, which could be the reason why are emotionally detached from Pammy and as well as never mention her until later on in the book.
Psychic determinism; everything that happens is for a specific identifiable reason. Myrtles’ death: Myrtles’ death is caused by Daisy’s carelessness who drive drunk, as well as her own for running out to the middle of the road when cars are driving Gatsby’s death: Gatsby dies because of carelessness, toms is careless and lies about the affair and since George is careless also he does not find out for sure if Gatsby was the one who actually had the affair he murders him.
But it was also Gatsby’s carelessness of allowing daisy to drive drunk in his car and taking the blame for hitting myrtle is a factor in his death. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. ”- Nick Carraway
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