Sigmund Freud the founder of modern psychiatry provides the opportunity to analyze literary characters through the application his psychoanalytic theory. In psychology, he puts forward the theory that conflict is the outcome of the inconsistency between id, ego and superego. In order to form a healthy personality, one should balance his id, ego and superego. Repression happens as a result of this inconsistency. When one of these three parts of human psyche outweighs to other, one resorts to repress desires or past memories rather than articulating them. A detailed psychoanalytic analysis of The Scarlet Letter provides knowledge about psychological states of the central characters. These characters and their actions are intended to be analyzed in relation to the Freudian concept of id, ego and superego. The effects of id, ego and superego on their personalities are discussed during the analysis of the main characters of the novel by making references to their repressed childhood and past memories. The aim of this paper is to analyze the main characters of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter from a Freudian psychoanalytic position revealing how these characters’ lives and personalities have been affected by their id, ego and superego.
Psychoanalysis, Repression, Psyche, Desire, Personality