Oedipus Complex Or “Tell me about your mother” Copyright Sheila Jones, 2009 for her Honors English 2 classes, Englewood H.S. Englewood, CO Sigmund Freud 1856-1939 • Considered father of modern psychology • Introduced psychological concepts, though now considered obsolete, still remain part of popular culture. • Criticized for ignoring developmental phases of women. Saw women as inferior and defective. Freud’s psychoanalytic view of man • The id: primitive, unconscious brain • The ego: the personal, reality-based, conscious mind • The superego: conscience, our values and morality 5 stages of psychosexual development based on primary source of sexual gratification • Oral [0-8 months] Pure id. Gratification involves use of the mouth. • Anal [8-18 months] Toilet training stage. Controlled by id. Child feels some control over elimination and receives gratification by either elimination (aggressive, sadistic) or retention (possessive, stubborn) 5 stages continued • Phallic (18 months - 6 yrs.) Preoccupation with genitals. Controlled by id. Self-stimulation is major source of gratification. – Oedipal complex for boys. 5-6 years competiveness, achievement, ambition. Attempt to outdo father – Electra complex for girls. 5 stages continue • Latency (6-11 years). – Loss of interest in sexual gratification. – Identification with same sex parent. – Defensiveness vs. insecurity – Adolescent competitiveness. Tendency to show off. Fifth stage, finally • Genitality (11-18 years) – Concern with adult modes of sexual pleasure, barring fixations or regressions. – Real object love – Surplus energies lead to socially useful functions – Girls develop maternal interest. Oedipal vs. Electra Complexes • Father/son conflict • Oedipus kills his father, marries his mother, and when he figures it out, gouges out his eyes. Oedipal vs. Electra complexes • Mother/daughter complex • A woman kills her mother, Clytemnestra, and her mother’s lover to avenge the death of her father Agamennon. Significance of complexes • To Freud, all young children have a desire to do away with the like-sex parent and take possession of the opposite sex parent. • Fear prevents children from doing this because the parent is bigger and stronger. Oedipal Complex in Phallic Stage • Son is torn between love of his father and hatred for him, stemming from jealousy • Castration complex: Castration is father’s possible retaliation. • This is reinforced when boy sees girl’s anatomy; she appears castrated. • Thus, the boy represses his incestuous desire for his mother and hostility to his father. Oedipal Complex in Latency Stage • Superego is strong enough to defeat the id and the Oedipal and Electra complexes are resolved. • Oedipus’ lack of knowledge of his parents OR his arrogance indicate a lack of superego development. • Oedipus allows id to control him. He acts on instinct when he kills Laius and marries Jocasta– libidinal fixation. • In the latency stage, Oedipus recognizes his crime and gouges out his eyes in self-punishment. Oedipal Complex and Jocasta • Jocasta denies her maternal behaviors (genitality). • To Freud, Jocasta was narcissistic. • She fixated in the phallic state, seeking only her personal gratification, regardless of consequences. • She can not admit her mistake, so she commits suicide.