Movie Analysis: The Ego And Superego

920 Words 4 Pages
The movie traces the life of a family after their eldest daughter is diagnosed with leukemia. The family’s 11 year old, Anna Fitzgerald, was born by means of in vitro fertilization to be a genetic match to her leukemic sister Kate. When Kate’s condition gets worse, and she goes into renal failure; Anna knowing that her parents will force her to donate her kidney, hires a lawyer and sues them for “medical emancipation”. Their mother, Sara, who used to be a lawyer proceeds to go to court in order to force Anna to give Kate her kidney. It is later revealed that Anna wanted to give Kate her kidney, but Kate persuaded her not to donate her kidney because she wants to die, and she knew her mother would refuse to let her go. Before the sentence is …show more content…
To prevent permanent damage to Sara’s psyche, the Ego employs several defense mechanisms that help settle the conflict and satisfy both sides.
The first defense mechanism employed by the Ego is “Intellectualization”, and it is employed when both she and Brian had to make the decision to have Anna in order to save Kate’s life. She only thought of the idea of having a baby by the means of in vitro fertilization in a cold, calculated manner. She thought of it as a “necessary evil”, and the only option they have with no regard to ethics or the baby’s future physical and mental health.
After Sara learns that Anna sued them for “emancipation” , Her superego feels guilty for putting Anna through that, while her Id cannot stand the idea of losing Kate. The ego employs another defense mechanism which is “Displacement”, and redirects Sara’s anger at the fact that Kate is dying, and that she cannot help her at Anna. So, she yells at Anna, slaps her, and even at one point asks her husband to get her out of the house as she cannot bear the sight of
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Her ego employs “Projection”, and projects unwanted thoughts of having made her daughter upset on her husband resulting in her accusing him of making Kate upset. Sara’s ego also employs “Displacement”, and redirects her anger at the fact that her daughter dying on her husband. She tells him that by taking her to the beach; he’s killing her when she knows for a fact that the cancer is what is killing her, but because she cannot do anything about the cancer; she takes it out on her husband.
At the end of the movie, Sara returns to an earlier stage of development where she starts to cry and curls up while Kate comforts her. This is all due to Sara’s Ego having to make peace with the fact the Kate is dying, and “Regression” is employed as a way to defend her psyche against the pain. Finally, Freud’s theories of the Id, Ego, and superego and defense mechanisms were used by Sara throughout the movie. However, no matter how hard the ego tried to protect Sara from feeling the pain associated with the fact that Kate was dying, the end result remained the same, and Kate died in the

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