Freud’s Ego and Id in Dawn

Freud states that there is an ego and an id in each person. The ego is what a person believes they are, what decisions they make, and basically our sense of autonomy. The id is our subconscious desires, desires, the things we do without our conscious knowledge. While reading the first parts of Dawn by Butler I came up with kind of a crazy theory. What if Butler has placed the character of Lilith as the ego, and the race of the Extra-terrestrials as the id. For example, Lilith is pretty sure and set in who she is, she believes she makes conscious decisions, and wants to be in control. She isn’t in control though, the Extra-terrestrials are. They make sure she gets full nutrient value (although by the family chapters she’s allowed to choose what to eat), they make decisions about her life (such as changing her chemical compound to open doors), and what she can do. Like the role of the Extra-terrestrials, Freud believes that the id makes sure we sleep, eat, and have some lovely self-preservation tactics that we are not conscious of. The Extra-Terrestrial’s do these things to protect Lilith in this new world, but as a reader I struggled along with Lilith hoping she will gain her autonomy.

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