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Psychoanalytic Literary Analysis Of See Me By Nicholas Sparks

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See Me is a romance novel written by an American novelist, Nicholas Sparks. See Me follows the powerful story of a young man named Colin Hancock, who is giving his second chance at life, his best shot. “Literary theories are a way of looking at literature that can reveal what the piece of literature can mean and the underlying principles” (Brewton). See Me can additionally be looked at through Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, by observing Colin’s life through the three stages of Freud’s personality structure; id, superego, and ego.

Psychoanalytic theory is situated from Sigmund Freud’s thinking and ideas, “Freud believed that events in…childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality” (McLeod). This theory can be observed within Colin and his negative actions towards his parents and classmates. The novel reads,

He was the kind of kid who threw regular temper tantrums, he was very energetic due to his raging case of ADHD and found it impossible to sit still. He drove his parents crazy at home, ran off one nanny after another, and struggled endlessly in school (Sparks 14).

Colin did not have a sense of reality and only cared for his needs which represents the id. Colin got into many fights at school and was regarded as having serious issues. Eventually, his parents got fed up with him and sent him to a military school. Which he then was expelled from, halfway through the semester. This may be an indicator that Colin wanted attention because he was neglected at home and when the id wants something nothing else is important.

Along with that, superego plays a causal role in this novel. Colin is arrested multiple times, permanently kicked out of his house, and he is forced to sleep at his friend’s house, drifting from couch to couch. Due to this, he was forced to reevaluate his life, and he then realizes that everything he was doing this whole time is wrong and in the long run it would only get worse. When Colin was younger he always blamed his parents because he felt unwanted and unloved. Now, seven years later he doesn’t blame his parents anymore:

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He no longer blamed his mother and father for the things that had happened to him or for what they had or hadn’t done; he considered himself a lucky, a son of two incredibly patient parents (Sparks 15).

Colin’s parents had put up with him for years, and they never gave up on him. This part of the novel shows that Colin realized just that and was no longer upset with them, “So what if I had been raised by nannies, thrown into military school, other parents probably would have given up, they had never lost hope that I could turn my life around” (Colin 16). He became more acquainted with life and understood that getting into fights or holding grudges is not realistic. He becomes aware that his family is all he has and apologizes to his parents for all the hardship he has caused them. Everything that Colin has gone through eventually helps to change his life morals. He never wants to hurt anyone, he became hardworking, respectful and forgiving.

Additionally, Colin moves into the family beach house for a couple of months, where he has time to think about life. The novel reads, Biding his time before returning home, the cycle begins anew. At the age of twenty-five, Colin was given one final chance to make changes in his life and unexpectedly he did just that (Sparks 15).

Suddenly, Colin becomes more conscious of his unconscious thoughts and starts to understand that life is the power he has and only he can steer the direction that he wants to go. Whether that be positive or negative it is completely up to him, “Now here he was, in college with plans to spend the next few decades in the classroom, hoping to be a mentor to children” (Sparks 15). Ultimately, Colin decides to steer his life in a more positive direction. He takes one big step by getting a job as a bartender, teaching martial arts to young children and joining college to become a third-grade teacher.

Literary theories is a way to reveal and analyze the underlying themes within literature. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory is observed by looking at the unconscious thoughts and motivations of a person. This can be sufficiently revealed by using the different personality stages; id, superego and ego. For seeing Colin’s life and what he has gone through, how it genuinely affected him and what the direct result was at the end. This theory can be used to instantly recognize the underlying ideas which have been presented throughout the novel.

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Psychoanalytic Literary Analysis Of See Me By Nicholas Sparks. (2021, October 05). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from
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