• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss how the characters use psychological defense mechanisms to protect the ego from dangerous truths within the Whitsun Weddings and Talking heads.

Extracts from this document...


SALFORD CITY COLLEGE Discuss how the characters use psychological defense mechanisms to protect the ego from dangerous truths within the Whitsun Weddings and Talking heads. English Literature Specification B Lainy Fletcher 1/1/2011 Discuss how the characters use psychological defence mechanisms to protect the ego from dangerous truths within the Whitsun Weddings and Talking heads. According to Freudian theory, the ego, Latin for "I", prevents us from acting on our basic biological drives, but also works to achieve a balance with our moral standards created by out social environment. The ego is both conscious and unconscious. Freud established that our ego creates defence mechanisms to cope with conflicts between reality and either society's morals, norms, and taboos. Within the Whitsun weddings, the characters view themselves as isolated through the way they view other people. The speaker gets a sense of who they are through measuring themselves through other people. They will see other people and measure their life from them. As a result of this the characters in Self's the man and Mr Bleaney struggle to accept their loneliness because they have deluded themselves into believing that they are better off alone, and that is the lifestyle they have chosen. When they almost come to terms with this hard truth, they fall back into doubt with "I don't know" and "or I suppose I can". In A Chip In The Sugar , there is still a sense of this however, the characters have an initial idea of who they are, or how they want to appear to others, but they are usually wrong, which is ironic. ...read more.


Lesley is in denial, a defence mechanism which blocks threatening thoughts or information from awareness, thud protecting Lesley, and her ego, from accepting her failure as an actress. "Kenny, this is the kind of evening I like, two people just talking about something interesting... I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't remember where I was. Then I saw the cat sitting there, watching trout." The monologue jumps from Lesley being in a conversation with a man, and waking up the next morning in their bed. Although Lesley appears to be promiscuous, it is somewhat acceptable and pitiable as it is a result of her naivety and her loneliness. However, her naivety is in question because she appears to recognise their intentions "thank you kind sir but I didn't fall off the Christmas tree yesterday."Perhaps Lesley, although initially sceptical of these men, is later fooled, which reinforces her naivety. It could appear to some extent she realises that the sexual attention is the only attention she will receive from men, therefore she complies. The monologue never describes any sexual encounters of Lesley's which are not related to her role. Perhaps this is an incapability Lesley has to speak about this and she "couldn't remember where I was", suggests the ego has repressed the actual act of intercourse from Lesley's mind, which could highlight Lesley's incapability to accept that she has no more to offer to other people than sex. ...read more.


"Without them sending a van", refers to married life driving him crazy, although "or I suppose I can" indicates that he in fact the single life he has chosen, will equally drive him crazy, creating irony because he is not "a better hand at knowing what I can stand". Overall the speaker in Self's the Man, struggles to come to terms with the fact that the life he thinks is better suited to him, which is ironic because this life makes him just as unhappy as he thought the life he tried to avoid would make him. Within these works, the key theme is self perception and how that is formed. Larkin's speakers isolation is self inflicted, similarly to that of Bennett's speakers. Lesley, in Her Big Chance has a deluded self importance and finds it difficult to accept her loneliness or how she is undervalued as a person. When Lesley outlines key features of herself, it creates irony and ultimately a greater effect. Through the person speaking to the reader, it highlights that they are the opposite of what they say they are. In A chip in the Sugar this is also evident because he finds it so difficult to accept himself as a homosexual it causes severe a mental illness and he denies it even when his mother demonstrates that she knows the truth. Overall, all of the characters within these works struggle to come to terms with who they are, and try and live with the delusion with that are content being who they desire to be, and how they think they want to live. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Ondaatje explores his characters by placing them in blank, secluded settings. Both the barren desert and the isolated Tuscan villa are insular and remote, enabling the author to study his characters intensely. Innovative in narrative structure and complicated by numerous points of view, The English Patient resists easy classification into any particular literary genre.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Within the three texts, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Look back in Anger by ...

    4 star(s)

    same way Charles does in Brideshead Revisited and this negative portrayal of the fading of the upper classes to make way for the lower would have been very hotly received at the time when it was first published in 1945.

  1. There is no room for individual identity in South African literature Discuss.

    wounded because Lourens automatically assumes him to be the enemy due to his race. Though these images of racism have made Bosman's stories unpopular to a modern readership, I feel that to take this view is to fundamentally misunderstand the narrative distance between Bosman and Lourens.

  2. Compare the opening pages of The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoos ...

    The reader sees Nurse Ratched claiming that this has therapeutic value; however, it is clear from the outset that it is a means of control for the nurse, as she advances on her opportunity to humiliate patients in the presence of one another.

  1. Compare the ways in which Larkin and Duffy present the reality of love.

    The candid mood of the poem is compounded by its forthright tone, with the use of the semantic field of violence (?Lethal?, ?knife?, ?fierce?) to portray the true nature of love. Duffy also uses a free verse poetic structure, which mimics the form of one side of a dialogue, to

  2. Short stories. I have chosen to discuss Can-can by Arturo Vivante and The ...

    ?He didn?t often leave the house for more than the few minutes it took him to go to the post office or to a store, but spent his time hanging around, doing odd jobs? (Vivante 1988:5). Vivante portrays the husband as being an ordinary, working class man who feels he is living a mundane life with his wife.

  1. They f*** you up, your mum and dad Philip Larkin. To what extent is ...

    is lacking a relationship with her mother since Stasio described Nurse as ?maternal.? Their divided lives means Juliet cannot talk to her mother about her problems, consequentially she tries to solve them herself resulting in her death through lack of parental guidance. Montague is also distant from his son, Romeo.

  2. Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, ...

    because he says ?not all so much for love?, this subtly lets the audience know that Richards is not marrying for a loving motif but for ?another secret close intent? suggesting that he doesn?t want to tell us for why he is going to get married.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work