Well, here's a bit on Freud, as promised yesterday when I gave psychology and research background on online identity (I'd still love comments!)
I want to try and explain how I view Freud's ideals in light of immigrant identity and literature. Jing-mei is probably the main character in the The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, which is a collection of short narratives from the lives of mothers who immigrated to the US from China and their American daughters. Identity is really interesting in this book. In "Ethnicity and the American Short Story," Rocio Davis states that the American daughters in this book, including Jing-mei, show an "incapacity for self-definition and the inability to make sense of their lives."
Doesn't sound like they have any identity at all, does it? But Davis does not define these characters as people unable to ever come to terms with themselves. By the end of the book, Jing-mei is able to forge her own "personal identity," and is only them capable of finding unity with her ethnic past.
Now, about Freud. Here is a pretty concise definition of his id/ego/superego.
Jing-mei's id, or most fundamental desire, might not be wholly worthwhile to discuss. Because id desires instant gratification, maybe you could say that Jing-mei's refusal to play the piano because she could see no momentary gain is id. Jing-mei's ego, or the plans that cause her to act without only instant gratification in mind, could be just the fact that she involves herself in American cultural practices--these are "plans" to be accepted by others. Her superego comes into play when she resumes her mother's place at the mah-jong table, even though she feels insufficient. She also wants her father to tell her her mother's stories in Chinese. She sees beyond instant gratification, and she sees beyond plans.
The point: Jing-mei is split into parts. She has multiple identities, and demonstrates the mutliple divisions of the mind that Freud theorized on. But at the end of the book, it is through these multiple identities that Jing-mei comes to forge one singular identity. She is an American who didn't understand her mother, but she is also part of a Chinese family. Together, these multi-faceted faces make up who she is.