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My Oedipus Complex

  • Date Submitted: 07/18/2011 07:35 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.8 
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My Oedipus Complex
                                                                                            -By Frank O'Connor

In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father. In the course of his psychosexual development, the complex is the boy’s phallic stage formation of a discrete sexual identity; a girl’s analogous experience is the Electra complex.

As a Freudian psychological metaphor describing son–father psychosexual competition for possession of mother, the Oedipus complex derives from the 5th-century BC Greek mythological character Oedipus, who unwittingly kills his father, Laius, and marries his mother, Jocasta. As a psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud proposed that the Oedipus complex is a universal, psychological phenomenon innate (phylogenetic) to human beings, and the cause of much unconscious guilt; Freud thus described the man Oedipus.

Although it would appear that the father in My Oedipus Complex is the one in control, it is really the mother. The story focuses on Larry getting used to his father being back from the war and how it affects his relationship with his mother. Larry is no longer the only one in the house for his mother to focus on and worry about. This story does not express the male dominance in social order, which is particularly noticeable and odd when considering that the story takes place just after World War I. During that time, men held more power over woman than today. 

Though at times it seems that the mother is desperately trying to please the father, she is really only drawing attention to herself. There are many times in the story that the mother says, “Just a moment, Larry” or “Do be quiet, Larry”. By saying those types of things, she is only increasing the competitiveness between Larry and his father. Pushing Larry away in those...


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