According to Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche, there are three stages of the human psyche: the ID, EGO, SUPEREGO.
Always unconscious, the ID is motivated by two instinctual impulses, sexual and aggressive, and operates on the Pleasure Principle, avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. He represents emotions, impulses and impulsive desires.
Being somewhere at the limit of consciousness and unconsciousness, the EGO has its origin in the ID, being guided by the Reality Principle. It aims to find safe and acceptable means of satisfying the needs of the ID, but without breaking the limits imposed by the Superego. The EGO develops as a result of this conflict between the ID’s desires and the realities of the world, having the role of a mediator between ID and Superego. The SUPEREGO represents the superior instance, the domain of consciousness, values, ideals, interdictions, and the domain of the moral representations.
In the novel ‘Sons and Lovers’, we are able to see the struggle between ID and EGO, during Paul’s growth. Unlike his brother, Paul cannot get completely rid of his complex, because he continues to make decisions under the influence of his mother. He loses his selfhood, trying to satisfy her mother as well as possible. Mrs Morel wants her sons to stay away from her vicious husband and this is exactly what happens, because both William and Paul come to hate their father and do their best to make their mother happy. Paul’s ego plays a significant role during the novel because it tries to mediate the conflict of ID and the real world. When Paul tries to build his self-consciousness by disagreeing with his mother, Paul shows us again that he never broke free of his oedipal attachment. Getting back from his holiday, where he had the opportunity to do whatever he wanted to do, being another person, without his mother, or Miriam, or Clara, Paul did not expect to find her mother on her deathbed. He felt guilty for...