Metaphor : Hidden Motivators, Part I

by Eston on July 26, 2011

Metaphor: Hidden Motivators

Sigmund Freud generated terms like unconscious, id, and super ego to describe the hidden motives that drive humankind to wage war, to rape and kill, to burn and pillage, to love, to breed, to worship.

Much of his terminology has been abandoned, but Freud’s contribution to the way we think about psychology cannot be overstated, and his idea of hidden motivators continues to drive our thinking.

My term for hidden motives is metaphor—the underlying engine that drives all forms of matter to replicate, survive.

It is to this end that subatomic particles seek out affinities, that molecules and atoms spin, that cells arrange themselves in skeins of DNA, that tribes assimilate, that people merge and marry.  All matter, all mind,  is moved by this urge to meld, to seek out compatibilities, to survive.  My name for it is metaphor.

To be continued…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Gabriel July 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Hi Eston,
I really like this post and especially the concept of hidden motives being metaphors. As a fiction writer, I also think of hidden motives as being the substance of good stories. Do you agree? Even if you don’t, I think this post has actually given me a new way to think of my characters. By that I mean that if each character is driven by survival and hidden motives (as you suggest we are in real life), it seems that to have this in mind while writing may make my fiction even more compelling. Lots to think about. Thank you for this post!


eston roberts July 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Thanks Susan!

I don’t find it coincidental that you’re my first responder, but I am glad you did!

And to answer your question: Yes!

See you tomorrow and am looking forward to it!


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