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Psychoanalytic film theory essays
That noted, in the Lacanian version of the Oedipus complex, thematernal figure initially features for the infant as a Real Other(i.e., the Nebenmensch als Ding)—more specifically, asan obscure omnipotent presence who is the source of all-important love(more will be said about Lacan's concept of love—see below). But, because of the combination of her obscurity andimportance, the mother qua Real Other also is a source ofdeeply unsettling anxiety for the very young child. She seeminglythreatens her offspring with being alternately too smothering or toowithdrawn, too much or not enough. In his/her anxiousness aboutcontrolling the ultimately uncontrollable presence (and absence) ofthis mysterious and indispensable maternal Other, the child confrontsthe question, “What does the (m)Other want?” Theinfant's gradual formation of an ego as per the temporallyelongated processes delineated in Lacan's account of the mirrorstage (see above) is, in part, a response to this riddle (albeit ina broader sense, with the child constructing an ego-level identityinformed by the perceived wants of Others in addition to the mother,such as the father).
Psychoanalytic Theory Essay - Anti Essays
For Lacan, the Freudian Oedipus complex stages the drama of thechild's laborious struggles to situate him/her-selfvis-à-vis all three register-theoretic dimensions ofOtherness. Thanks particularly to what he takes from hisengagements with structuralism, Lacan, throughout his career, iscareful to avoid a pseudo-Freudian reification of the bourgeois nuclearfamily, with a mother and father biologically sexed female and malerespectively. The maternal and paternal Oedipal personas arepsychical-subjective positions, namely, socio-cultural (i.e.,non-natural, non-biological) roles that potentially can be played byany number of possible persons of various sexes/genders.