My Oedipus Complex Essay

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Justify the title of “My Oedipus Complex”.
Ahsan Habib

      “My Oedipus Complex” by Frank O’Connor is a humorous story of a young boy, namely Larry who grows up in his own world with just himself and his mother while his father remains in the army all through the war. But when the father comes back from the war, he starts consuming all the attention and love of the mother. Subsequently, a new son, Sonny, is born into the family and the mother then directs all her affection only towards the new-born baby. Then Larry and his father come closer to each other. However, what is the significance of the title of story?

      In order to discuss the significance of the title, we have to have a look at one of the four stages of the theory of sexual development introduced by Sigmund Frued, a famous psychoanalyst. Frued’s theory describes four stages of sexual development: oral, anal, phallic and the Oedipus complex. According to Frued, during the Oedipus complex a boy-child seeks genital stimulation and develops both unconscious desires for his mother, and jealousy and hatred for his father, whom he considers a rival. However, the father’s threat of castration persuades him to abandon his incestuous desires for the mother. And the boy represses his incestuous desires in anxious resignation, adjusts himself to the “reality principle”, submits to the father, and detaches himself from the mother. Then the boy comforts himself with the unconscious consolation that, though he cannot now hope to oust his father and possess his mother, his father symbolizes a place or a possibility which he himself will be able to take up and realize in the future. Finally, the boy makes peace with his father, identifies with him, and he is introduced into the symbolic role of manhood. Thus the stage comes to an end, and the boy becomes a gendered subject, surmounting his Oedipus complex.

      In the story, Larry shows some signs of excitement and satisfaction when his father remains in...

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