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A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

1280 words - 5 pages

Sigmund Freud began his private psychoanalytic practice near the end of the 19th century in Austria. Freud's theories of the unconscious, the libido, the oedipus-complex, psychotheropy, the defense mechanisms, etc have influenced disciplines typically removed from psychology. The goal of classical psychoanalysis is to use various methods of analysis, such as dream analysis or the analysis of a given parapraxis (a error that can reveal itself through mispoken, misread, or incorrectly written words, etc which is caused by the imperfect expression of a disturbing unconscious desire over a disturbed desire) via free association, in order to bring the unconscious material that is causing the neurotic behavior to light so that the behavior may be changed. According to classical psychoanalysis, the formation of neurosis mainly occurs while a child is progressing through the psychosexual stages of development (in the case of Emily, we will examine her development in the Oral stage through the Phallic stage (these stages cover from birth to about five years old)). Through classical psychoanalysis, we can pick up clues from the text to piece together Emily's childhood and link the problems in her early development (specifically her relationship with her mother) with her severe neuoris.
At the end of Part II we are told about the death of Emily's father. Emily refuses to acknowledge the death of her father and refuses to give up her father for burial for three days. Before the authorities "resort to law and force", Emily gives up her father's body. This event offers an insight into a few stages of Emily's development (we shall return to these later in the analysis). Along with the later desire to keep Homer's body forever, we may postulate that Emily began to have issues in the Oral stage. The Oral stage is the first stage of psychosexual development in which the main erogenous zone is the mouth, which is where the main source of pleasure comes from. The main conflict in this stage is the weaning of the mother's breast, and a failure to successfully complete this stage (called being "fixated" or "fixation") leads to dependency and aggressive behavior. We may assume that Emily's mother weaned her breast too early, which leads Emily to be a "underindulged" or "neglected" child who desires to oral stimulation or to hold on to something no matter the means necessary (the use of arsenic to kill Homer for example).
The failure to successfully complete the Oral stage gives a child a great deal of issue when they are forced to comply with parental demands in the Anal stage. In the Anal stage the child sacrifices its pleasure in order to meet the parent's demands to control one's behavior, urges, etc (the main conflict in the Anal stage is potty training). The child's successful future interaction with the Big Other (In this case society, authority, or law, which is situated in the symbolic order (the Symbolic-Imaginary-Real distinction is a Lacanian idea rather...

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