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In the 19th century Sigmund Freud created a popular new method of psychological analysis appropriately titled psychoanalysis Dealing primarily with subconscious impulses and desires this popular method of evaluation soon spread beyond the realm of science and in to the literary world In reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin psychoanalysis introduces a significant revelation in regards to the novels main characters Using a Freudian analysis the reader can see how both male and female characters exhibit subconscious signs of sexual repression and in the more extreme cases displacement of sexual passions and energy When broken down these characters can be divided into three categories the decadent the displaced and the transitory To properly observe characters with displaced passions and repressed desires one must first acknowledge their opposites characters who freely commit overt sexual acts Acting as a background these decadents help us understand the repressed Victor Lebrun Alcee Arobin and Mrs Highcamp are members of this first category Through analysis we find a common thread tying them together each likes to fraternize with members of the opposite sex There are subtle differences though While Victor is simultaneously supported and spoiled by his mother his male counterpart Arobin chooses to take on the airs of real work by attaching his name to a prosperous business He states that There are so many inquisitive people and institutions abounding that one is forced as a matter of convenience these days to assume the virtue of an occupation if he has it not 146 The significance of these words rings clear when Arobin states the need to assume virtue Despite appearances these men are not as gentlemanly as they might appear Mrs Highcamp however chooses to follow an altogether different route of debauchery by using her daughter as bait to lure men into her own bed Thus we see each character uses a different means to achieve the same end With a reference point established we are now free
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