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Society Lies In The Unconscious

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Freud illuminates his dissection of the symptoms of a girl he names Dora. By exploring hysteria in the girl and her unconscious existence, he also shows us more about our own perceptions of the social self. Freud demonstrates to us that our perceptions of the world lie in the parts of our mind that we cannot consciously comprehend, as evidenced by the characters that surround Dora and her repressive actions.

On page 23 of the text, Freud proposes that Dora exhibits such repressive action in her disgust for an unwanted advance by Herr K (a father substitute). This leads to, what seems to be, an unconscious effort to displace this discomfort which primarily lies in her perception of genital region to her oral region, by means of her symptoms: dyspnoea (difficulty in breating) and aphonia (cessation of verbiage). With this in mind, we can see that Freud sees society as something under the waters of our conscious thoughts and in effect determine our behavior, because of Dora's situation these behaviors are seen more as symptoms, outside the norm.

Dora identifies with many of the women in her life, one being her aunt, who also shows signs of neurosis. This relationship provides an example of how society, in the unconscious mind, is transmitted. Society is built of social norms and behaviors that are considered proper. Because Dora connected more with her aunt, she exhibits these neurotic behaviors herself. Society governs our conduct, while Dora's actions are influenced by her aunt who is the model to which she is moving toward. In essence, Dora is identifying with her Aunts symptoms.

Freud states that he believes that there is a relationship, not necessarily causal, between sexual abuse and hysteria in a footnote on page 18. Society lies in between this equation. If sexual abuse denotes a breakdown in the social rules that govern our behavior; one can infer that due to this breakdown there is also a breakdown in behavior of the



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