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Id, Ego, and super ego, what an amazing concept. The following is my interpretation of the Id, Ego, and Super Ego so feel free to disagree. (I may chastise you and tell you that you are wrong, floggings may follow and torture but don't worry it won't last long)
Id is the inner child of a person. It is the part of us that wants to feel good, it is the part of us that acts on the pleasure principle. It is the disorganized part of us. This part of us begins at birth.
The super ego is the part of us that is structured, follows rules relentlessly. The super ego aims for perfection. It is our conscious. The super ego represents our parents, teachers, religious leaders.
As you can see with the super ego and id there is constant conflict. It is a battle that rages within us as one tries to overcome the other. That is why there is also the ego. Without the ego nothing would get done.
The ego acts according to the reality principle. The ego tries to console the id while being rational and at times must mask reality for the id. (This leads us to the subconscious which we will discuss later.) It plays a balancing act of allowing the id to have pleasure but at the same time realizing that there must be order. It is being realistic about short term pleasure and long term goals. So it has a really tough job of serving three masters: the id, the super ego, and the outside world.
When creating our characters it is important to understand the inner conflicts the character is having and to help the reader see these inner conflicts. For example think of Boromir as he is trying to get the ring from Frodo. He loses control and is willing to do anything to get the ring (Id) afterwards he realizes what he has done and is crying, feeling as if he has ruined everything, no hope, in despair, hates himself (Super Ego). Finally at the end when he is dying and Strider is talking to him. He finds peace and realizes that there is hope and that he did not fail (ego). You see the ego balances the feelings of greed with the feeling of failure and self hate to gain a rational perspective and peace.
How do you write inner conflict? Is it important to have this inner conflict in the book? How can inner conflict help us show change in our characters?