What theories did Sigmund Freud assert in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle"?

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As the title suggests, this essay marked a revision of sorts in Freud's theories of human development and behavior. Whereas he had previously characterized the human psyche as a site of struggle centered on the sex drive, or libido, which was restrained and moderated by other parts of the psyche, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" went further. He argued that people were also driven by what has become known as "Thanatos," or the "death drive." In the essay, he describes how he was struck by the seemingly compulsive desire of people to return to thinking about very traumatic experiences. He famously made this observation after working with several World War I veterans, but he also describes a child who plays a game by throwing a toy across the room, simulating the feelings he has when his mother leaves the room. He was "repeating the experience through a game despite its unpleasing nature." All of this runs contrary to the so-called "pleasure principle," and Freud thought it originated in a...

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