In the book Breath, Eyes, and Memory Sophie Caco is a twelve year
old girl, living in Haiti who is on a spiritual quest to find her true
identity. Throughout her journey we see Sophie grow up to be the vibrant
young woman she was always destined to be. Due to her adolescent behavior,
Sophie becomes curious and conjures an insatiable desire to find out her
family’s well hidden history. As the story continues we observe her models
of personality (according to Sigmund Freud’s theory) her strategies of
defense mechanism ( accrding to Anna Freud) and finally, and her struggles
to establish her own identity (according to Erik Erikson). In the end
Sophie matures into a well rounded adult who has gained wisdom from her
mild, rather intense childhood.
The story begins when Sophie is twelve years old and she still
lives in Haiti under the care of her aunt Atie. Being dependent of another
person shows that she is still a child. In other words this would be an
example of Sophie’s id. Whenever she needs her aunt, whether it be food,
care, advice or attention she always called on her aunt no matter the
circumstance. Her needs had to be met at that moment otherwise, she would
not necessarily cry like a baby but she would complain that she was feeling
neglected. Although Sophie may have sometimes displayed a somewhat selfish
behavior, she also realized that she was not the only child living in the
house. She came to notice that her aunt had a responsibility to tend to the
other children living with her. So as a result, Sophie began to help out
around the house, and take responsibility of aiding her aunt with the kids.
This part of her personality would be known as the ego. She realized that
the other children needed her aunt just as much as she did and she stepped
back to allow her cousins to be well taken care of.
After living in Haiti for so long, Sophie is told that she will be
moving to New York to live with a mother she never knew. Reason being was
that her mother has been asking for her and she feels it is now time for
the two to reunite. With so much drama circulating around her Sophie never
had time to be a child. She had interact with adults and people that she
never seen in her life although they have part of her life all along. This
part of her life could be looked at as the Latency stage.