The ID, Ego, and Superego are the three distincts parts that go into Freud’s iceberg, human psyche theory. The ID is the impulsive and unconscious part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts. The Ego is the decision-making component of our psyche, it considers social realities and norms, etiquette and rules when deciding how to behave. Finally, the Superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one’s parents and others when deciding how to behave, its function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression.
In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights, Freud’s theory is present in every character, some act on more of one part of the iceberg that the others. The ID, Ego, and Superego is represented through the characters, the ID is shown through Heathcliff, the Ego is shown through Catherine, and the Superego is shown through Edgar. Freud’s theory is very prominent in Wuthering Heights. The ID is the animal nature that tells people to “Do what feels good”. In the novel Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff represents the ID, he seeks pleasure and avoids pain. Heathcliff suffers throughout the novel, and this creates conflicts between his conscious and unconscious mind. This results in his defensive behavior and actions. Heathcliff acts on instinct, which is shown by his mysterious three year absence.
Heathcliff does not hide his aggression, he is quick to lash out with no care for consequences. Heathcliff’s actions are spontaneous, and you are never quite sure how he will react to something, Heathcliff reacts on impulse. Heathcliff is a representation of the ID in Wuthering Heights. The ego is the reality based part of your personality that makes decisions to satisfy the ID and Superego. In the novel Wuthering Heights, Catherine represents the Ego. Catherine balances the impulses, Id, against the social norm, Superego.
Catherine pushes away Heathcliff and resists her ID, because of the questionable future and social status she would have with him. Catherine uses a balance of her impulses and a realistic look on her decisions. Catherine weighs out pros and cons before making her decisions that will satisfy both her ID and Superego. Catherine is a representation of the Ego in Wuthering Heights. The Superego is the socialized conscience that tells you what’s right or fair. Edgar represents the expected, proper, behavior one is supposed to have. Edgar is a poise man who has built a name for himself based off of his proper behavior.
Edgar is a representation of the Superego in the novel Wuthering Heights due to his calm and educated manner.