The Psychoanalysis of Dorothy Gale

Based on the book by Baum, Dorothy Gale is a girl from a farm in Kansas who dreams about going to the rainbow. One time a tornado hits the area and Dorothy with her pet Toto are lifted and transported to the colorful region of Oz. Upon landing, Dorothys house kills the notorious Witch of the East leading to widespread happiness among the Munchkins who are relieved of the despotic rule of the Witch. However, the Wicked Witch from the West is unhappy about what has occurred, hence the Witch threatens Dorothy. Nevertheless, the Good Witch (Glinda) from the North is impressed as she bestows Dorothy with the dead Witchs protective slippers. Glinda advises Dorothy that in case she wants to go back to Kansas she can get help from the Wizard of Oz. In order to access the Wizard, Dorothy must pursue the Yellow Brick Road. The paper holds that the development of Dorothy Gale is in line with the tenets of the psychoanalytic theory advanced by Sigmund Freud.

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Before going far on the road, Dorothy comes across a Scarecrow who wishes to possess a brain. In the hope that the Wizard can help the Scarecrow accompanies Dorothy on her journey. Further, the two meet the Tin Woodman seeking a heart. Dorothy agrees to help him find a heart replacement having been persuaded by the Tin Woodmans story.

On the road, a Lion in need of courage joins them. On their way, the four characters are taken aback at the wonders they encounter especially in the Emerald City. However, the four are frustrated by the reception they get from the Wizard of Oz. Initially, the Wizard declines to meet them, although he changes his mind and assigns them daunting tasks, such as bringing him the dead Witchs broomstick.

It becomes apparent that the Wizard lacked true powers as he left Dorothy and the friends to find alternative solutions to go back home. Later Dorothy returns to Oz for different occasions before being crowned as the princess. In the end, Dorothy and her guardians are given permanent residency in the Land of Oz.

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Psychoanalysis

The psychoanalysis approach to psychology owes its development largely to the works of Sigmund Freud. The school of thought focuses on the role of the unconscious mind on influencing behavior. In the views of Freud, the human mind comprises three components: the ID, Ego, and Superego. Despite being viewed with skepticism, Freuds work on psychosexual stages on the unconscious and dream symbolism have remained significant among psychologists.

Based on the psychoanalysis theory of Freud, conscious mind captures all that is found in the awareness of a person. Thus, it relates to the mental processing that individuals think and talk about rationally. Another term that is integral to the Freudian theory is the defense mechanism. The latter word relates to tactics that the Ego develops to protect itself against anxiety. In practice, defense mechanisms protect the mind against thoughts or feelings, which are beyond the handling of the conscious mind. In given cases, defense mechanisms block the entry of inappropriate thoughts or impulses into the conscious mind.

The word Ego comes out as a significant term under the psychoanalytic theory. The Ego is the component of personality that reconciles demands occasioned by the ID and the Superego and the reality. Thus, the Ego is expected to prevail on people who do not to act on basic of urges, which result from the ID. Moreover, the Ego balances such urges with morality and idealism, which often emanate from the Superego.

The Superego aspect of personality comprises internalized ideals acquired from the society or significant others. The primary role of the Superego is to suppress the ID with the goal of ensuring that morality prevails in an individuals conduct. A closer focus on the term as envisaged by Freud reveals that working morally is deemed more appropriate than working realistically.

The unconscious part of personality is a collection of thoughts, feelings, memories, urges and emotions that reside outside the conscious mind. In practice, the contents found in the unconscious mind are unpleasant, hence unacceptable. Such include feelings of conflict, anxiety or pain. Based on the psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud, the unconscious mind has a notable effect on experiences and behavior despite the idea that people are unaware of the underlying influences.

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Application of Theory

From the theory, the conscious mind involves all awareness surrounding an individual. Based on the story of Dorothy, she comes out as a person whose upbringing is reflective of a family set-up. As demonstrated by the case, the three have a bond as they share their daily experiences. From such background, people learn to face life collectively. Put differently, the experiences shape the minds of people. It is apparent from the case that Dorothy applies her background experiences of family in making friendships with a Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Woodman.

Dorothy also applies her knowledge in overcoming events following her being blown to the Emeralds City. After being blown away by the tornado, Dorothy comes out as a strong character characterized by the bravery she demonstrates in setting out for the Emeralds City in the hope of being helped to go back home. Through her actions, whether intentional or unintentional, Dorothy manages to bring change within the Land of Oz since after leaving the land becomes a better place.

The Ego part of personality reconciles the demands of the ID and Superego. When Dorothy seeks to leave back for Kansas, she realizes that it is not possible without undergoing a lengthy process, which entails visiting the Wizard of Oz. Although Dorothy has an urge to leave, she has to obey the procedural requirements.

Based on the theory, Superego is about those ideals from the society that have been internalized by an individual. The component controls an individual from engaging in amoral activities. In the case, Dorothy Gale initiates rescue missions for her friends when the Wizard attacks them. Besides, Dorothy is focused on helping her friends achieve their goals.

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Finally, the unconscious part is about the thoughts, feelings, urges, memories and emotions found outside the conscious mind. The theory alleges that the aspects found in the unconscious mind are unpleasant. For instance, upon landing on the colorful region of Oz, Dorothy encounters uneasy feelings given that there is a possibility of not getting back to Kansas. The four friends also encounter unpleasant experiences when they visit the Wizard of Oz. Upon arrival they sense that they might be in problems, an aspect that is anticipated based on the postulations of the psychoanalytic theory under the unconscious mind.

The finding that Dorothy appears to be in charge of events is linkable to the influence of the unconscious mind. For instance, slapping the Cowardly Lion and arranging for the rescuing of her friends who were harassed by the monkeys are notable examples of un-anticipated responses. Dorothy is also not afraid of the Wicked Witch from the West based on her response after the stealing of one of the slippers. Retaliating by hurling a bucket of water at the Witch although without the knowledge that such action was detrimental to the Witch is in itself an act of bravery. Dorothy also acts bravely when she blatantly rebuffs an attempt of the Princess Langwidere to make away with her head. It is concluded that the psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud explains the conduct of Dorothy Gale.

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