Sigmund Freud in Fin-De-Siecle Vienna the Phenomenon Term Paper

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Sigmund Freud in Fin-de-Siecle Vienna

The phenomenon of classic and liberal politics had been in existence in France and England and in the United States of America during the earlier parts of the nineteenth century, and this liberal politics happened to reach Vienna only during the latter half of the nineteenth century, around the year 1860. However, it did not reach up to its full potential, and by the end of the nineteenth century, that is, by the year 1900, it was effectively dead. With the demise of liberalization came the advance of the right wing, and the conservative, as well as the anti-Semitic forces, with ideas of violent and irrational politics, and this gave rise to widespread fear and disappointment and shock among the small town liberal Viennese. The Viennese Empire itself was collapsing, and by the end of the nineteenth century would become extinct. (Fin-de-siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture)

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The very idea of a sane and rational society of well read people, who would have as their mainstays the principles of harmony and peace and tolerance and would be guided more by science than by the violence that the new politics was perpetrating, was now dead. The upper classes and the liberal minded intellectuals of Vienna at that time had no option other than to disown the politics in their state, and concentrate all their energies on romanticism, the occult and the spiritual, and the total and complete rejection of all the past values and traditions of their country. All this gave rise to a new highly cultured society that would blend in later with the 'Modernism; that came into being in the rest of Europe in later years. (Fin-de-siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Sigmund Freud in Fin-De-Siecle Vienna the Phenomenon Assignment

It was into this state of affairs that Sigmund Freud was born, in the year 1856. Sigmund Freud was born in the Czech Republic, to Jewish parents, and lived the first years of his life in what was then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When Freud was about four years old, the family shifted to Vienna, and he was brought up by his middle class parents under strict moral conditions. The early experiences that Freud had with his father later led to the writing of the book entitled "The Interpretation of Dreams." This was because Freud's own father seemed to appear in his dreams often, and the need to interpret the dreams led to the writing of the book. It is a well-known fact that the frustrations that Freud had to face with his father actually led to his formation of the theory of the 'Oedipus Complex'. Freud as a young man in Vienna at the end of the century knew that money would not earn him an important position in life; rather, he would have to earn himself a position in society by working hard and becoming somebody important. (Sigmund Freud (1856 to 1939))

Therefore, Freud went on to study medicine at the University of Vienna, and moved on to specialize in neurology. This subject aroused his interest in the various abnormal mental conditions that he noticed in his female patients, and this led him to take up the subject for intensive study. He came to the conclusions that every individual had certain subconscious wishes and desires that were, for the most part, unfulfilled, and the subconscious did indeed find a way out by making the individual dream, and it was in these dreams that the person would be able to fulfill his hidden desires, and live them through his own dreams. Freud also discovered that he himself had several unfulfilled dreams, and these dreams indicated his fears that he was a 'nobody' in the Viennese society of the time, and this moved him to explore further the subject of neuroscience, which was in its infancy at the time. He also started discovering the various medicinal uses of the drug cocaine, and further extended his interest into hypnosis of the mind. It was around this time that Freud started to actually fear that the playwright Arthur Schnitzler, who was his colleague in the University, and who also had a keen interest in the Human Psyche, and who seemed to arrive at the same conclusions that Freud himself would arrive at, even before Freud could do so, was his 'doppelganger', or in other words, his 'double'. (Sigmund Freud (1856 to 1939))

Sigmund Freud was a proliferate writer, and he published quite a few books on the subject of psychology and psychoanalysis. In 1900, his book "The Interpretation of Dreams" was published, and this book remains till today the book that all psychoanalysts in general refer to, when they have any doubts concerning psychoanalysis and interpretations of the 'unconscious mind'. In 1901, Freud published another book, "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life," wherein the idea that thee are no real 'accidents' in everyday life is discussed in great detail, and the term 'Freudian slip' where one makes a mistake while speaking, that reveals the subconscious mind of the speaker, is also discussed. By the year 1905, Freud succeeded in shocking the people of his state of Vienna, as well as the whole world, with his newly developed theory of 'Psychosexual Development'. (Psychology Biographies- Sigmund Freud: 1856-1939)

This theory, coming as it did at the end of the century, in a climate not at all conducive to discussions on sex, created uproar. However, gradually, the theory came to be accepted. According to the theory, Freud stated that sexuality is the strongest of all human drives, and even infants experience a sort of sexual attraction and gratification at times. Under this theory was the underlying theory of the "Oedipus Complex" wherein a small boy becomes attracted to his own mother, and attempt to identify completely with his father so that he may be bale to win the approval of his mother. Yet another theory was one that stated that there are certain driving forces within the personality of each individual, and these are the three 'id', 'ego', and the 'superego', and these three forces prompted the several different defense mechanisms like denial, sublimation, displacement, projection, and reaction formation. (Psychology Biographies- Sigmund Freud: 1856-1939)

It is a fact that Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Sigmund Freud have, between them and their revolutionary theories, managed to change the way the world perceives "I," an among these three individuals, it was Freud who became a 'towering monolith' and also the veritable 'Father of Modern Psychology'. It was Freud's theories on 'das Ich', which means, in his native tongue German, 'I', which was eventually translated into the Latin form of the word, and which later brought about the keen interest in the sub-consciousness and the self-consciousness that we exhibit even today. What, exactly, is the 'ego'? What is the subjective sense of the self that one can see in every human being who exists? Although these questions and many more similar to these have been asked by philosophers and religious heads for a great number of centuries, it was not until the advent of Modern Western Psychological Theories that there came into being a scientific and even a mechanical understanding to the inner workings of the human mind. (Was ist "das Ich"?)

Sigmund Freud used his extraordinary perception and keen insight to delve into the human subconscious and the psyche, and came up with his theories on the self and the ego, which he stated could only be done by the process of isolating all the several phenomena of the mind and the consciousness as separate and diverse mechanisms. He also elaborated, during more than fifty years of his work on the human mind, the theory of the mind being caught in several different currents and cross currents, wherein the conscious and the unconscious, the geo, the id, and the superego,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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