Sigmund Freud's Chauvenistic Approach To Women In Is Presented In "The Clinical Picture" From "A Fragment Of An Analysis Of A Case Of Hysteria"

1428 words - 6 pages

Chauvinistic ApproachesSexist points of views were very common in the late 19th century. Many works of literature were based on sexist themes, making the women appear as inferior to men. Sigmund Freud is an author of the late 19th century that adheres to this style of writing. He points out the faults of women, stereotypes them, and devalues their opinion. The essay in which he presents his sexist views is "The Clinical Picture" from "A Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria". In this essay, Freud's biggest flaw in the psychoanalysis of Dora is his chauvinistic opinion about women. This leads the audience to believe that Sigmund Freud is sexist.Right in the beginning of the analysis, Freud's sexist views become apparent. He claims the father/male and mother/female influences differ greatly in which a way to the advantage of the male figure. Freud elucidates the father's influence on Dora as the "dominating figure" to whom Dora was "most tenderly attached to" (317). He claims that Dora gained her "critical powers" from him. "The sympathies of the girl herself," belonged to only "the father's side of the family" (318). Freud presents the father as a strong, intelligent and influential person. He believes that Dora only had compassion/sympathy for her father's side of the family, which shows that he thinks that Dora valued the father's family more than the mother's. This makes us believe that Freud is sexist in a way that he values the male constituencies more than the female by presenting them with more appreciation from Dora. In contrast, he presents her mother as an unimportant, and uninvolved woman in their family. "She had no understanding of her children's more active interests, and was occupied all day long in cleaning the house" (318). "The daughter looked down on her mother" (319), as opposed to looking up to her father. The opposition of the male and female characters in the analysis is presented clearly by the way Freud foils the male and female parental figures, in a way which is advantageous to the male by showing him as a more important, dominant and worthy person. This is sexist because Freud ignores any possible positive values that the female may hold, by only presenting the negative, and vice versa for the male, by presenting only the good features of the male, and not considering any possible bad features.The appreciation that Freud shows toward the father symbolizes his respect for the male gender. Freud thanks "her father's shrewdness" (321) a few times throughout the essay. He praises her father's wisdom because he relies on his account to get events straight in Dora's life. He relies on Dora's father rather than on Dora for her life accounts. Shrewdness is a positive connotation that signifies the value of the father to Freud. He respects and appreciates the father's knowledge, which is chosen over the daughter's. This denotes the sexist opinion that Freud holds. He respects the male's opinion over the female's...

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