Defense Mechs In Lit

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Who hasn't been hurt if their life? A loved one passing away, a lover tearing at the heart, a rejection of something desired. Everyone has certain stresses in which they have to deal with and react to. As the burden of the stress mounts, certain levels of anxiety arise. How do humans behave in the depths of this anxiety? People have developed varied counter measures called defense mechanisms in an attempt to confront their issues.

Many of the theories behind defense mechanisms commenced with the work of Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that a conflict existed between the id, ego and the superego. This accounted for the anxieties within human existence. Freud stated that individuals use these mechanisms subconsciously, and that it is normal and acceptable to do so. Yet a metaphorical line can be drawn. A line where if crossed can be damaging to ones psyche. It may cause the individual not to deal with the situation or problem, but rather to repress them.

Thus damaging the individual or those around him further. The repressor does not deal with his feeling directly. He hides them. Directs them using the mechanism.

I will examine the use of defense mechanisms in the context of two works explored in class. These are the movie "The Fisher King" and David Hwang's M. Butterfly. Both of the lead characters in each of these works use defense mechanisms to mask certain pains that have caused conflict. There are parallels and differences in the comparison of the two.

The days coming to an end. You've finished work and want some down time to unwind. So you get the wife and head out to eat. Sit down and relax for what should be an enjoyable evening. Yet, your serenity is obliterated, destroyed with the explosion of a...