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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Notes

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Marc A Fournier

Chapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today PSYB30 We believe there is meaning to the stories we tell about ourselves But people often lie to others and themselves, how can we interpret the stories we tell about ourselves Freud believed stories about life are designed to trick listener o Jung believed stories are filled with symbols and myths o Adler focused on the beginning and end of life narratives In last part of 20th century, theorists looked to culture, social structure and other complex forces in social environment to help interpretation All theorists agree that peoples stories are not what they seem FREUDIAN INTERPRETATION Believed that meaning of our lives and stories about them are hidden and unconscious o Of most importance is unconscious sexual and aggressive urges Oedipus Complex: Young children have unconscious sexual feelings towards one parent, and aggressive ones towards the others o Is common pattern of sexuality and aggression in peoples lives, according to Freud Freud believed Oedipus story is fundamental story for making sense of life THE STORY OF OEDIPUS Oedipus Rex was tragic drama written by Sophocles Oedipus was king of Thebes, once saved Thebans by solving riddle o He unknowingly committed patricide and incest (killed father and made love to his mother) Jocasta becomes his mother and wife Oedipus was left to die bc it was foretold he would kill his father and marry his mother. He attempted to move cities to avoid the prophecy, but ended up moving back to where he was originally from Jocasta hangs herself after knowing truth, and Oedipus gauges his eyes out Oedipus commits crimes without knowing truth (i.e. unconsciously) Young boy unconsciously wants mother at phallic stage o Invests libido, into mother Castration anxiety: Fear that ones penis will be cut off, fear that he will lose his power and love object o Threat of man that stands in way of boy, threatens to castrate boy o Leads to unconscious wish to kill father Oedipus complex is resolved when boy identities with father, to have mom vicariously o His is a defeat for boy, loss of power o However, gains wisdom and maturity At the end of Oedipus complex, we get superego (morals) www.notesolution.comChapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today PSYB30 We have tendency to repress instincts and establish institutions of social organization instead (e.g. government) Freud argued according to Totem and Taboo (speculative account of human history) that primal hordes were lead by autocratic father o Autocratic father kept women for his use and didnt let younger men touch them (bc of instinct) o Young men rebelled and killed father, and ate him Eating him is symbol of identification w father o New ruling young men made rules that made free sexual expression, incest and rules to control instinctual impulses Girls blame mother for lack of power (penis) o Penis Envy: Oedipal girls unconscious disappointment for lack of penis, a lack of power Girls resolve Oedipal complex by shifting attraction to father and later identifying with mother Girls dont have castration anxiety, arent in hurry to resolve Oedipus complex o Oedipal complex cam go on for a long time in girls After Oedipus complex follows superego, so Freud thought women developed weaker superegos (weaker morals) Some argue penis envy isnt literal, is only want for power. Others argue Oedipus complex is product of culture rather than instinct Oedipus complex is usually solved by moving object of desire to identification with other parent Oedipus complex is affected by biological and unconscious differences between people There is no empirical evidence that all children in preschool years go through Oedipus complex o Rather, Freud discovered a narrative script that some people have Oedipus complex is about how people struggle to live out desires of love and power, their failure to do this, and the sacrifices needed to live in harmony o Also, we can love and hate someone, young men compete for women, and young rebels become authorities themselves AN ALTERNATIVE TAKE ON OEDIPUS: CHODOROWS GENDER THEORY Chodorow reinterpreted Oedipus complex for feminist view Said all mothers care for children more than men, biological and socially Children grow up in male dominant, but father-absent family By 3 or 4, children have basic idea that they are male or female o Get this idea from mom who relates differently to girls and boys o Mothers identify with girls and are closer to them, boys are socialized to be independent Chodorow argued that girls dont give up attachment to mom, even when they become attached to their father o So Oedipal resolution is complex and prolonged www.notesolution.com
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