Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Stairs

While presenting her information on Freud, Elisabeth had mentioned to look for situations in stories referring to Freud’s work where the person was either going up or down steps to symbolize their movement through their "house". I kept that in mind while I read "Eyes Wide Shut". Thus, the part that showed Fridolin going up the stairs, on page 237, shows him moving from his ‘id’ state to his ‘ego’ state. This takes place after his long night out; when he finally arrives home at 4am. At this point it is as if the sequence of events that took place before entering the stairway had taken place in the 'id'. Almost like everything that had happened was a part of a dream and was twisted and contorted with half truths that he could almost recognize. (For example, when he was on his way to the villa, he suddenly remembers that he had been there before and knew where about he was (pg. 218).) But once reaching his consulting room, or as Freud would state, his 'ego', he was quick to again suppress those memories of the night by hiding the mask in a cupboard. He knew that the mask, symbolizing his dreamy sort of night, would not fit in in society’s standards and rules so he hid it. This is only one simple paragraph to show the links between Freud and Schnitzler’s Dream Story; but certainly there are many more!


Mina said...

This is a really interesting observation! I certainly noticed the transition in "feel" of the story during this scene, but I did not notice going up/down the stairs. This analysis brings out the significance of the last scene where a reminicent of the "id" state (i.e. the mask) intrudes in the "ego" territory (his bedroom)leads to Fridolin's emotional breakdown.

Sean said...

I love your example here! I totally missed this when I read the story. I find it interesting that this is shown while returning to his wife. As if he must be proper around her, perhaps adding to the whole sexual repression problem. The mask seems to re-iterate the metaphor. I don't think I would call his "ID" state a dreamy one, probably more beastial, but I won't argue semantics. :) Great analysis though.