Literature and Psychology

Published: 2021-06-29 06:43:28
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Category: Psychology

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Stories and Literature can magnify whichever aspect of the human condition that the author desires. They allow us to expand and shape a world of our creation so that we can carry out experiments in to our own mind. Most psychological ideas are only truly theories and therefore can not easily be proven. Instead of proving these ideas and making them concrete and put our minds in a box, we can make stories, worlds, and fantasies which extrapolate all of these theories out so that they can be seen under the microscope eye of our own perception.
One of these psychological theories is Freud's idea of the Oedipus Complex. Freud asserts that between the ages of three and six an individual goes through a phallic fixation stage and that during this time a person will desire their mother and will want to get rid of their father. Freud continues to say that if an individual does not progress through the following stages or if there is something traumatic that occurs during this period then this fixation on one's mother can continue indefinitely. This can present itself in several different ways. Two stories which demonstrate these lasting effects are "The Rocking Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence and "Oedipus Wrecks" with Woody Allen. One is a written story and the other is a short video but both touch on the same topics.
In the "Rocking Horse Winner" the main character is a young man by the name of Paul who is completely unloved by his mother. Paul's mother does not treat him poorly but can not bring herself to love her children. Paul can sense this and only desires his mother's love and acceptance. She is a very greedy woman and always wants more money. Paul can see this as well and does everything he can to bring money home to his mother and earn her love. He goes to such lengths that he works himself in to a clairvoyant state by exhausting himself and develops the ability to predict the winners of horse races. He continues to work himself in to these states at great long term harm to himself so that he can win his bets on horse races and give some of the money to his mother. When he first offers her a portion of the winnings, she wants the rest and he gives it to her. He will go to any lengths for his mother. He goes so far as to work himself to death in more attempts to win races for his mother. This whole story perfectly exemplifies how something going wrong early in a child's development can make this stage stick and affect the rest of an individuals life.
The other story which exemplifies this concept is the short film "Oedipus Wrecks" with Woody Allen. This story follows the main actor as himself trying to deal with his mother. She is extremely overbearing and does not make him feel very supported. In contrast to Paul from the "Rocking Horse Winner" the main character does not seek his mothers love but instead begins to despise her

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