Sonny was supposed to be the next in line to take over the Corleone's crime family business although due to his hot' headed temper, he lacks the restraints and self-possession that makes his father and brother, Michael so successful. He is rash and acts before thinking. He is the most impulsive and violent of Vito's children and the most involved in his father's criminal operations as well. His character operates on all three principles of Freud's psychological theory, the pleasure principle, the reality principle and the morality principle. Therefore, Sonny Corleone's character from the Godfather most exemplifies aspects of Freud's theory as he orients his life around the id factor or his desires, the ego or placing restrictions on the expression of instincts and the superego, otherwise known as the shoulds' or should nots' and morals.
We often find Sonny acting entirely on impulse, the first aspect of Freud's theory, the id. This includes the basic instincts and desires that all people are born with, but in this case, Sonny even as a grown up, seeks immediate satisfaction. This is shown through his explosive temper. He is portrayed in the movie as a ruthless killer who disregards the rules of society and the rights and feelings of others and is also able to enjoy life free of guilt. For example, Sonny is found cheating on his wife several times throughout the movie. He is unaware of the feelings of others yet still acts on impulse and passion.
[...] The fact that he runs to defend his sisters displays that he is aware of the shoulds and should nots and of his morals. Sonny aslo exemplifies this morality principle because of introjection or because of his father Vito. Vito is someone who is self- actualized. He is rational, caring and devoted, but at the same time, intense. Sonny, having a father that is determined for self-fulfillment internalizes his father's instructions as he is willing to listen to the advice of his father and is ready to run the family business. [...]
[...] Although Sonny most exemplifies Freud's theory, this can be widely debatable. Many would also assume that Sonny's character portrays aspects of Adler's theory. The three factors of Adler's theory is heredity, environment, and upbringing. All these factors also influence Sonny's character because he was raised by a paradigmatic mafia don, living in an environment filled with crimes and murder. His negative upbringing or environment leads to his destructive character and his fulfillment of competence and superiority in harmful ways. Therefore, Sonny can also exemplify both aspects of Freud's theory and Adler's theory as well. [...]
[...] The ego is the next step in Freud's theory. It places restrictions on the expression of id impulses and we see this in Sonny near the end of his life in the movie when Vito, his father is in bed. Sonny alongside his brother, Michael makes compromises between the unreasoning demands of the id and the practical constraints of the real world to execute a brilliant plan to defeat Sollozzo. Another example of Sonny following the reality principle is seen when Vito is shot around five times. [...]
[...] We often find Sonny acting entirely on impulse, the first aspect of Freud's theory, the id. This includes the basic instincts and desires that all people are born with, but in this case, Sonny even as a grown up, seeks immediate satisfaction. This is shown through his explosive temper. He is portrayed in the movie as a ruthless killer who disregards the rules of society and the rights and feelings of others and is also able to enjoy life free of guilt. [...]
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