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Civilization And Its Discontent: Unhappiness (Essay Sample)


In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud defends the proposal that life under the conditions of civilization is a source of discontent or unhappiness. Write an essay discussing Freud's view. In your paper, you should address the following issues:
a. What according to Freud, are the principal sources of unhappiness? To what extent does civilization, on Freud's view, mitigate or exacerbate these causes of unhappiness?
b. How and why is civilization supposed to frustrate natural human instincts? In particular, what instincts does Freud see as frustrated, and what is it about civilized life that makes the satisfaction of these instincts problematic? (In answering this question, it may be useful to consider whether, for Freud, the goals of civilized life are in tension with our primal instincts.)
c. Do you agree with Freud? Why or why not? (If you disagree with Freud, what specifically do you disagree with, and how would you convince someone to share your view? In answering this question, it might be helpful to consider how Freud's view compares with other conceptions of the pros or cons of life in civilized society that we have seen, e.g. Aristotle's, Hobbes', Rousseau's.)


Civilization and its Discontent
Civilization and Its Discontent
Freud's Civilization and its Discontents is an in-depth search into humanity's psychological being and the external factors shaping its emotional existence. Through various relative analogies, Freud brings out the innermost tendencies that give pleasure to the human kind, their innate, origins and continuous existence in a person's lifetime albeit suppressed. The process of growth and development from infantry to adulthood is normally characteristic of mental transformation and understanding of various aspects of an individual's life. The various stages a person passes to becoming an adult have various influences on the individual perception of life and its intricacies that form the society within which people live. Understanding the external factors within the society and their demands from a person's life determine the kind of existence that one would spend within a given community. Sigmund Freud then goes ahead to showcase the society's effect on the human beings and its psychotic effect on an individual. He purports that the society itself can have exhibit neurotic effects owing to its collective or rather its cohesive approach and reaction to certain circumstances, situations or events. Sigmund's theory of discontent in civilization connects the outlined factors in his articulate attempt in driving home the fact that indeed the perceivable human advances and progress are the main reason behind increased unhappiness. It is through civilization that the society forms social constructs within which human beings conduct or carry out their daily activities. Human beings have to restrict themselves within the societal constrictions and hence suppressing their natural instincts to accommodate the requirements of the society and thus end up being unhappy.
It is the integration of human beings internal self with the external forces of nature making up the community that creates an environment conducive to the former's development. The environment in return shapes up to the collective demands and needs of the group or groups of individuals living within it. Civilization is a product of the continuous development of human thoughts or mentality in servitude to their needs and desires. The integration of a group of people based on their diverse needs forces them to come with unique codes of conduct conducive to them and their collective insecurities. Freud warns that the same need to align or form some sort of affiliation to other people could be detrimental towards achieving personal happiness.
Freud begins by highlighting one of the associations or form of society that create a sense of security and belonging to an individual as it establishes a connection with a superior being capable of harnessing or harboring the

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