Freudian Analysis of Woman on the Edge of Time
One can use the psychoanalytical approach to successfully decipher some of the complexities in Marge Piercy's novel, "A woman on the Edge of Time". The psychoanalytical approach stems from Freud and his belief that "... Most of our actions are motivated by psychological forces over which we have very limited control"(127 handbook). The two aspects of Freud's approach that relate to this story are the Oedipus complex and the struggle between the id, ego, and superego.
The Oedipus complex of according to Freud is turned upside down in this novel, because there is no father, yet there are three mothers. The Oedipus complex believes that as a child grows up, he starts out loving both parents equally. As the child grows older he starts to lust after his mother. He then finds that his father is in the way of his goal, and so he decides to try and get rid of the father. In this story, however, there is no father.
"Father?" Luciente raised her wrist, but Connie stopped her.
"Dad. Papa. You know. Male parent."
"Ah? No, not Bee or Jackrabbit. Comothers are seldom sweet friends if we can manage. So the child will not get caught in love misunderstandings."(68 novel)
The child can't feel any rivalry because he has three mothers to satisfy his desires, and no father to compete with. The child obviously has very little to be upset about. This change in the balance of power, and the obvious love that a child gets from the three mothers also opens up a new realm to the people that are born to this age. The children feel more attuned to what they want out of their lives. Since the father isn't occupying their time, they can worry about other Freudian rules to break, such as doing away with the struggle between the id, ego and superego.
The struggle between the id, ego and superego dissolves in this novel due to a different kind of attitude that the people have. The basic Freudian belief is that the id is "…the source of all aggressions and desires" (130 handbook). The ego is the rational governing agent of the psyche"(139 handbook). It keeps the id in check. The...