The superego is the opposite extreme of the id and is the force used by the father and the social and cultural institutions he represents to check and drive the person's desires into the id. The superego includes tradition, inherited values, religion and its institutions, education and its peripheries and all forms of authority. The ego is the self that emerges after an on going and continual negotiation between the id and the superego. If the person's superego is weaker than his/her id the result will be a loose, permissive, carefree, easy going or even a mad person. If the person's superego is stronger than his/her id, then that person will become a conformist to the moral and social values of the person's medium. (Douglas, 2007)
The process of pyschoanalyzing a text has several approaches. One can read a text and isolate the elements in the text that reveal the inner conflicts, desires and suppressions in the person of the artist. Another way is examining elements that define the psychology of the characters in the narrative. A third way is seeing if the text reveals the collective psychology of the people and the culture that produces the work of art. In any case, the analysis should consider one or both of the two basic assumptions of the theory. The first assumption is the tripartite nature of the manifest self, whether it is the self of the author, the fictitious character, or the collective consciousness behind the work while the second one is the work of art as a dream work that reflects the suppressed content of the id of either the author or his/her characters. (Pope, 2002)
In this essay, I shall be concerned in the first assumption which is determining the tripartite nature that is present in the character of Matilda. I will be trying to learn the psyche of Matilda. I would begin by providing a summary of the story Matilda written by Roald Dahl in 1988. When conducting the research, I came to realize that there are elements of the story derived directly from the experiences of the author. While this may be a good topic for psychoanalysis, our focus would be on Matilda and her psyche.
Matilda Wormwood has the potential to be a genius but her parents do not care about her as shown by the fact that she is discouraged from reading books and encouraged in watching TV. In spite of this, Matilda perseveres and became intellectually superior in her class. TO combat her parent's being so uncaring, she devises clever pranks such as "the hat and the super glue," "the parrot-in-the-chimney-affair," and "the great hair oil switch." Her great intellect catches her teacher's, Jennifer Honey's, attention and appeal for her to be accelerated. Agatha Trunchbull, the evil headmistress, refuses. Miss Honey learned of how Matilda's parents treat her when she consults them for Matilda being sent to the university.
Throughout the story, Miss Trunchbull treats her students in abusive manners such as ploughing straight through children so that they "bounce off her feet like footballs", makes regular visits to classes to "show" the teachers a few tips on discipline, throws students out of windows and even locks them in a contraption known only as "the Chokey." Matilda becomes her primary target when she learned that it was her father that sold her a second car that barely