Reading of Mitra Phukan's The Collector's Wife. Dr. Sabreen her novel The Collector's Wife by well known Assamese writer and columnist Mitra Phukan, by. She drew pictures and I looked after my collection (in my dreams). It was always she was a woman of the streets who went off with a foreigner. I was stupid, I. the possessor of a collection assembled by someone else. (although the acquirer of .. to his wife because he doesn't think they would continue it. He v/ants to.
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SCENARIO IN MITRA PHUKAN'S THE COLLECTOR'S WIFE writer, in her novel, The Collector's Wife, shows how in the heightened political climate of the. Collector's Wife () by Mitra Phukan and A Bowstring Winter () by Rukmini, the collector's wife residing in Parbatpuri, Assam faces turmoil and. Phukan's The Collector's Wife & Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of. Loss. Arun Kumar Mukhopadhyay. Assistant Professor in English, Ramkrishna Mahavidyalaya.
I got the old camera and took some photos, I would have taken more, only she started to move a bit There is also another aspect regarding the way psychoanalysis influenced literature. Well, I'm not going to be used. Well, I saw her climb in his car sometimes, or them out together in the town in it, and those days I was very short with the others in the office, and I didn't use to mark the X in my entomological observations dairy all this was before she went to London, she dropped him then. The newborn strives for pleasure since the day he is born, but in order to become a part of society as a human being, he must learn to reject the pleasure principle and face the principle of reality.
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I usually use: Project Gutenberg This is the best one though: Googled for more: Explore the most popular PDF books downloaded by our members Electronic library. Finding books Hope it helps! As psychoanalytic literary criticism is a literary approach where the critic sees the text as if it were a kind of a dream, it is my intention to analyse the language and the symbols found in the novel. By explaining the symbols, the dreams, the characters and their actions, I will be able to explain that the obvious manifest contains a more sinister, darker, latent real content.
He also proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and the introverted personality, the archetypes and the complex. I will use the comparative method, the method of analysis and the method of synthesis in the second part of the diploma thesis, where I will analyse Fowles' novel The Collector by applying key psychoanalytic Freudian concepts to this work.
During this process I will use basic literature and sources, as well as papers published by other scholars who have already analysed Fowles' work, to give support to my thesis. Some see literary criticism as a major mediator between the two fields, although it would be wrong to think that the influence of psychoanalysis on the other two was a one-way street. As the psychoanalysis dictionary explains: Psychoanalysis has occasionally sought to explain literature but far more often uses literature as a source or exemplar for psychoanalytic conceptions themselves.
Literary criticism has sought to use psychoanalytic theory to explain literature, and even literature itself has sometimes sought to exploit psychoanalysis for creative purposes. Gale Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, The three fields psychoanalysis, literary criticism and literature are therefore interconnected. And although psychoanalysis has progressed from the foundations that Freud laid at the end of the 19th century, it was at a time a revolutionary phenomenon.
However, it would be wrong to assume that Freud's influence on literature was small or unimportant. The strong connection between psychoanalysis and literature is strengthened by the fact that Freud also wrote several important essays on literature.
He used them to explore the psyche of authors and characters, to explain narrative mysteries, and to develop new concepts in psychoanalysis for instance, Delusion and Dream in Jensen's Gradiva, his influential readings of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Oedipus the Rex in The Interpretation of Dreams. His pupils, followers and later readers, such as Carl Gustav Jung and Jacques Lacan, were also avid readers of literature, who used literary examples as illustrations of important concepts in their work.
Freud's Interpretation of Dreams was crucial for psychoanalytic theory and for psychoanalytic criticism as it marked the evolution of literature from realism to modernism symbolism.
As symbolism began in France with the Fleurs de Mal by Charles Baudelaire, and the use of symbols in poetry and literature then progressed in other main works of the members of the decadent movement A. Rimbaud, P. Verlaine etc. What the symbolists applied as a creative method to paint the truth behind the 3 Douglas and Douglas relate this phenomenon to the cultural affinity between literature and psychoanalysis and that this participation in common culture is strengthened by the fact that Joyce's Ulysses and Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu and The inrepretation of dreams, appeared around the same time Douglas and Douglas, n.
Therefore by identifying the meaning of the used symbols, Freud gave the world the hidden truth behind our own selves. As Douglas and Douglas stress, there is another affinity between literature and psychoanalysis — a structural one. There is also another aspect regarding the way psychoanalysis influenced literature. Freud's psychoanalysis influenced literature but it did not influence only literature. It influenced many artists from the 20th century but its major influence was on the surrealist4 movement, mainly surrounded around Andre Breton.
This evolution is still ongoing and has strong influence on literary criticism, and arts in general. Perhaps the power of psychoanalysis lies in the variety of its possibile applications. He appeared in the movie The Pervert's Guide to Cinema , where he interpreted some of the great movies of the 20th century by applying Freudian an Lacanian psychoanalytic concepts, and in the movie The Pervert's Guide to Ideology His opinion was that unconscious phenomena may include repressed feelings, automatic skills, unacknowledged perceptions, thoughts, habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias, and desires.
In his theory, the Unconscious refers to the mental processes of which individuals make themselves unaware Geraskov, Freud divided the mind into the conscious mind or the Ego and the unconscious mind.
The latter was then further divided into the Id or instincts and drive and the Superego or conscience. His opinion was that the human consciousness is structured as a vertical and hierarchical architecture: The Unconscious is the reservoir of the instinctive animalic forces which is dominated by the pleasure principle. The Ego develops under the influence of various factors the inherited traits of ancestors and the environment — social conditions, education.
Around the age of 3, the child develops its own Superego an internalized moral structure of societies norms and laws , which his own parents provide him during his upbringing. The Ego in this way is on one hand driven by the Unconscious the Id , and on the other hand controlled censored by the Superego in such a way that the person can function among other individuals.
In cases of neurosis, the Unconscious is a force that can only be recognized by its effects — it expresses itself in the symptom. As the conscious self is an adversary to its Unconscious, warring to keep the Unconscious hidden, the unconscious thoughts are not accessible to ordinary introspection.
The methods that psychoanalysis proposes to study the Unconscious are: The newborn strives for pleasure since the day he is born, but in order to become a part of society as a human being, he must learn to reject the pleasure principle and face the principle of reality. According to Freud, the child must accept reality and postpone the immediate gratification. He became interested in dreams when dealing with his patients because they were telling dreams spontaneously. He researched the mechanism of dreaming and in he published The Interpretation of Dreams, where he argued that dream analysis is an indispensable tool in therapy for each psychoanalyst.
But since this is impossible, the aim of dreams is to keep us asleep. Freud specified: The dream is apparently the psychic life during sleep, which has certain resemblances to that of the waking condition, and on the other hand is distinguished from it by important differences. Freud, , p. Freud considered dreams a road to the unconscious because this is hidden to the individual and cannot be accessed by the conscious self while he is awake.
As Freud's theory of Self teaches us, the Unconscious the Id is always controlled by its adversary, the Superego. During sleep, however, this censorship of primordial wishes the Id is somehow lax, so the unconscious is able to communicate through dreams to the dreamer.
Freud argues that the content of dreams reflects the dreamer's unconscious mind and specifically that dream content is shaped by unconscious wish-fulfillment. He explains: We know, too, that the wishes in these distorted dreams are prohibited wishes, are wishes rejected by the censor and that their existence is the very cause of the dream distortion and the reason for the intrusion of the dream censor.
Freud explains this phenomena: Omission, modification, regrouping of the material, these, then, are the effects of the dream censor and the devices of dream distortion. The dream censorship itself is the author, or one of the authors, of the dream distortion whose investigation now occupies us. Modification and rearrangement we are already accustomed to summarize as displacement. As wishes can arrive from different, conflicting parts of ones self, they can create dreams which satisfy only parts of one's self, but on the other hand terrorise the Ego.
The night-watchman's function is basically to shield the individual's sleep, but in some instances even the night-watchman can fail: If on occasion the censorship feels itself powerless with respect to a dream-wish which threatens to over-ride it, then, instead of distortion, it makes use of the final means at its disposal, it destroys the sleep condition by the development of anxiety.
The information in the Unconscious is often in an unruly and disturbing form, so the censor in the Preconscious will not allow it to pass unaltered into the Conscious because unfiltered images from the Unconscious would interrupt the individual's sleep process. Freud argued that this process can be achieved through the use of symbols, which are present in dreams as dream elements. We call such a constant relationship between a dream element and its interpretation symbolic.
The dream element is itself a symbol of the unconscious dream thought. Jung proposed an alternative definition of symbol, distinguishing it from the term sign. In Jung's view, a sign stands for something known, as a word stands for its referent. He contrasted this with symbol, which he used to stand for something that is unknown and that cannot be made clear or precise Jung, , p.
As Freud explains: He claims that the Unconscious must distort and warp the meaning of its information to make it through the censorship when the individual is sleeping, but distinguishes dream censorship from symbolism, as this passage shows: We said, even if there were no such thing as dream censorship, the dream would still be hard to understand, for we would then be confronted with the task of translating the symbol-language of the dream into the thought of our waking hours.
Symbolism is a second and independent item of dream distortion, in addition to dream censorship. It is not a far cry to suppose that it is convenient for the dream censorship to make use of symbolism since both lead to the same end, to making the dream strange and incomprehensible. Freud's classification of symbols is rough: A healthy personality whose sexual activity can be considered normal is the one which successfully completes all five stages of psychosexual development.
If anything wrong occurs during this five stages, then the individual may indulge in perverse sexual activity which is a direct result of this evolution. The core of this thesis resides in the libido and the object that it is projected to in various stages of development. Freud defines libido: Libido, analogous to hunger, is the force through which the instinct, here the sex instinct as in the case of hunger it is the instinct to eat expresses itself.
Freud's main preoccupation was the perverse sexual activity and the reasons that lay behind it.
On the other hand, Freud defines as perverse sexual activity, activity which is not characterised by the possibility of reproduction. Freud believed that sex instincts in children are divided as a set of partial instincts which are decentralized. It is only through development from childhood to adulthood that this partial instincts are unified into one commanding hegemony — the genital apparatus which enables the aim of reproduction.
Freud very specifically defines five stages of psychosexual development, where each one of the five is characterized by specific differences in the development of libido and the object which it targets Freud, , p.
The complete object is a body similar to one's own and is derived from its relation to the object of the oral pleasure impulse. It is, if not the mother's breast, the mother herself, which is the first object of love. When this happens, the psychic work of suppression has already begun in the child: The infant's choice of an object was feeble, but it at least set the direction for the choice of an object in puberty.
At that time very intense emotional experiences are brought into play and directed towards the Oedipus-complex, or utilized in the reaction to it.
Now the individual must devote himself to the great task of freeing himself from his parents, and only after he has freed himself, he can cease to be a child, and become a member of the social community. At the same time the sexual apparatus which gives pleasure becomes genital and results in a normal sexual activity which enables the reproduction.
Psychosexual development is therefore characterised by the development of the libido. The sexual instincts which are in the beginning partial, become centralized in one single object and subjected to genital primacy.
If this development is compromised, an individual may indulge in perverse sexual activity. In Freud's opinion, this is a result of internal factors the correct development of sexual instincts — libido , and external factors determined by outside reality which enable or deny the individual the satisfaction of the libidinous wishes. Since this part is important for my analysis of the novel, I shall cite it in full: Therefore let me simply say that with reference to every single sexual impulse, I consider it possible for several of its components to be held back in the earlier stages of development, while other components have worked themselves out to completion.
You will realize that we think of every such impulse as a current continuously driving on from the very beginning of life, and that our resolving it into individual movements which follow separately one upon the other is to a certain extent artificial. Before we pass on, however, let us agree to call this arrest of a partial impulse in an early stage of development, a fixation of the instinct.
Regression is the second danger of this development by stages. Even those components which have achieved a degree of progress may readily turn backward to these earlier stages. Having attained to this later and more highly developed form, the impulse is forced to a regression when it encounters great external difficulties in the exercise of its function, and accordingly cannot reach the goal which will satisfy its strivings.
We can obviously assume that fixation and regression are not independent of each other. The stronger the fixations in the process of development prove to be, the more readily will the function evade external difficulties by a regression back to those fixations, and the less capable will the fully developed function be to withstand the hindrances that stand in the way of its exercise. Remember that if a people in its wandering has left large groups at certain way-stations, it is natural for those who have gone on to return to these stations if they are beaten or encounter a mighty foe.
The more they have left on the way, however, the greater is their chance of defeat. The suggestion is that libido which can not 12 This development can be compromised as Freud explains that: Regression in compulsive neurotics is specific and important for the purpose of this diploma seminar.
Freud claims that: Freud believes that: The component impulses of sexuality as well as the total sexual desire, which represents their aggregate, show a marked ability to change their object, to exchange it, for instance, for one more easily attainable. Regarding the relation between the libido and the sublimation, it is worth noting that Freud does not believe that it is possible to achieve a focus of libido to a social aim in full.
Freud sees the existence of the Oedipus complex in the prelatent stage, in particular actions of the child: One may easily see that the little man would like to have the mother all to himself, that he finds the presence of his father disturbing, he becomes irritated when the latter permits himself to show tenderness towards the mother, and expresses his satisfaction when the father is away or on a journey.
Frequently he expresses his 13 Cherry explains that: Isolated from other superimposed factors, which though they are not accidental are also indispensible, it no longer reads: If the little one shows the most undisguised sexual curiosity about his mother, if he wants to sleep with her at night, insists upon being present while she is dressing, or attempts to caress her, as the mother can so often ascertain and laughingly relates, it is undoubtedly due to the erotic nature of the attachment to his mother.
However, during puberty the libido again is able to identify their objects of desire. In a young boy, the object of libido becomes again his mother, and in cases of the girl, her father. Freud is also exceptionally clear when he declares that as the unconscious wishes of the teenager are dominated by the libido, the main object of this period of development is to break his emotional ties with the parents.
Freud writes: From this time on the human individual must devote himself to the great task of freeing himself from his parents, and only after he has freed himself can he cease to be a child, and become a member of the social community. The task confronting the son consists of freeing himself from his libidinous wishes towards his mother and utilizing them in the quest for a really foreign object for his love.
He must also effect a reconciliation with his father, if he has stayed hostile to him, or if in the reaction to his infantile opposition he has become subject to his domination, he must now free himself from this pressure.
The Oedipus complex is often the source of neurosis and therefore mental illness. I intend to show that Frederick in The Collector is a serial killer in evolution and that it is possible to apply key psychoanalytic concepts to this work of fiction, and determine the basic reasons why it is so. Since he is a butterfly collector, he keeps an entomological observations diary, where he writes his observations of sightings of butterflies and Miranda.
One day he wins a large sum of money in the British football pools and decides to change his life. He gives part of the money to Aunt Annie and cousin Mabel, who relocate to Australia, while he quits his job and buys an isolated house in the countryside. He becomes increasingly obsessed with Miranda and daydreams start to dominate his life. He buys a van, remodels the countryhouse by converting the cellar into an underground prison cell, stocks it with clothes and art books and kidnaps her using chloroform as he does with butterflies.
She wakes up locked in the cellar of the house. In disbelief she confronts Frederick, who introduces himself to her as Ferdinand and promises to release her in a month. He takes care of her and expresses his love with gifts. She implies his motives for kidnapping her are sexual, but he feels very offended and denies it. During her captivity Miranda and Frederick argue over politics, art and life in general.
Miranda tries to escape several times, but as her attempts are futile, she desperately offers him sex. Frederick is shocked and angry. He mistreats Miranda and demands that she pose for him. She contracts pneumonia and he tries to help her. The narration breaks at this point. The second part of the novel is recorded in the secret diary that Miranda keeps under her mattress. She writes in it about her feelings, her family, the life she had outside and Frederick, whom she calls Caliban.
Some diary entries are written to her sister and some to G. Then she falls ill but is still determined to live. Pneumonia breaks her narration. The third and fourth parts are again Frederick's viewpoints. Due to lack of treatment, Miranda dies. After her death Frederick thinks about comitting suicide, but he accidently comes across her diary, where he finds out that she never cared for him, but thought and fantasized about G.
Frederick convinces himself that he is not responsible for her death. Fowles conceived Frederick as a butterfly collector who is also a member of the entomological society. Although this innocent hobby is practised by many, there is a certain particularity about it. In my opinion, Fowles did not conceive his main character as a stamp collector or a coin collector because he wanted Frederick to be more than just a collector but a collector of living things.
In my opinion, it is crucial to understand the true meaning of the butterfly. Freud suggests that symbols which appear in dreams are linked to the Unconscious and have a particular meaning for it. In order for an object to become a symbol, the object has to carry particular characteristics which link it to the Unconscious meaning. My argument in Freudian terms is that Frederick had to repress his wish to get his mother back because of Aunt Annie's strict upbringing.
The butterflies became to Frederick an unconscious symbolic representation of his mother because of the qualities that link them to his mother: As Frederick's mother abandoned him in symbolic terms she flew away , the act of catching the butterflies allowed him to fullfil the wish he had to repress in the Unconscious: As Freud's theory of psychosexual development teaches us, Frederick was abandoned at the age of 2, when children go through the anal-sadistic stage.
According to his theory, children are perverse and therefore sexual beings. Their libido goes through a complex set of stages, and when a traumatic event occurs, a child can create a fixation of libido. When the child's libido becomes fixated on an 15 This suggests that Frederick is not only a collector of butterflies but that he is also capable of collecting other living things, in this case women.
In my opinion, Frederick's hobby is the proof that a fixation of libido has occured in his childhood. It created a fixation on butterflies. As the butterflies were a symbolic representation of his mother, and the flying butterfly represented the act of his mother leaving him, Frederick, by catching the butterflies, in symbolic terms, prevented a traumatic event from happening.
This hobby, therefore, not only allowed Frederick to sustain his unconscious desire to get his mother back in his childhood, but also masked the real meaning of this act. As the butterflies were the object that his libido fixated on, this compulsive act allowed him to gain sexual satisfaction from it.
When his uncle invited Frederick to become interested in his hobby, he was unaware of what the butterflies meant to him. I think that a fatal misunderstanding was happening: Therefore the butterflies are a symbol for Frederick's mother, and they are the objects of his libido. However, as Freud explains, the libido has a marked ability to change its object and this phenomenon can be observed when Frederick wins a large sum of money in the football pools.
At this point, his libido transfers from butterflies to women, but as I will explain later, this transfer did not follow a normal pattern. Frederick's missing mother and the symbolic meaning that butterflies have for him are in my opinion the poisonous seeds that affect his relations with other characters in the novel, and lead to his transformation into a serial killer.
Frederick explains his family history: My father was killed driving. I was two. That was in He was drunk, but Aunt Annie always said it was my mother that drove him to drink. They never told me what really happened, but she went off soon after and left me with Aunt Annie, she only wanted an easy time. My cousin Mabel once told me when we were kids, in a quarrel she was a woman of the streets who went off with a foreigner. I was stupid, I went straight and asked Aunt Annie and if there was any covering-up to do, of course she did it.
Fowles, , p. Frederick not only thinks that he was lied to in the past by his aunt and cousin, but has a rather strange attitude towards Aunt Annie's representation of his mother.
Although he does not believe that her depiction of his parents is true, he clearly supports Aunt Annie's brutal conclusion: I don't care now, if she is still alive, I don't want to meet her. I've got no interest. Aunt Annie's always said good riddance in so many words, and I agree. Considering Freud's theory regarding the stages of psychosexual development, it is important to remember that Frederick was brought up by Aunt Annie after he was 2 years old.
Freud mentions that the child's Ego starts to develop around the age of 6 months, while his Superego starts to develop around the age of 3. Considering these circumstances, Frederick's Superego therefore his internal moral structure, his conscience was shaped by Aunt Annie's moral structure as she was the only adult person around him. This moral structure is revealed by Miranda in her diary. Although she never saw Aunt Annie, I think Miranda's depiction of her is accurate, as Miranda could only write what Frederick told her.
She writes: He has never had any parents, he's been brought up by an aunt. I can see her. A thin woman with a white face and a nasty tight mouth and mean grey eyes and dowdy beige tea — cosy hats and a thing about dirt and dust.
Dirt and dust being everything outside her foul little back-street world. An orphaned Frederick was brought up in a strict and loveless environment.
Aunt 16 Neatness and extreme cleanliness as part of an individual's personality has in Freudian psychoanalysis a good explanation. If parents mock the child for not being clean, this can result in trauma for the individual, who in later years develops an obsession with cleaning and neatness. Frederick therefore has an anal personality, which also confirms my assumption that Aunt Annie's upbringing was strict and loveless.
There is not a shred of evidence that Frederick ever contradicted her in the past or that he would strongly disagree17 with her.
Frederick is unable to contradict her because she is his actual Superego. The lack of disagreements with Aunt Annie in the novel and the way Frederick talks to her and acts in her presence are clear evidence that Aunt Annie is the highest moral authority to Frederick.
Her opinion is, in fact, Frederick's Superego opinion, therefore uncontradictable. That is why he agrees with Aunt Annie's brutal opinion that the departure of his mother was good riddance. As it is impossible for him to argue with his aunt, even her horrific opinion which denies him the right to have a mother who loves him can not be contradicted. There are clues that Frederick's submissive attitude towards his Aunt Annie is not replicated towards his cousin Mabel.
As I suggested, Frederick is not able to confront his aunt on important issues, but as it is evident from his narration, even his own opinions are somewhat censored. He talks about Aunt Annie and Mabel in a polite, restricted manner, almost like he was with Aunt Annie and Mabel gone still controlled by the same fascist moral authority his Superego that controlled him in his childhood. He says: It was not that I hated them, but you could see what they were at once, even more than me. What they were was obvious; I mean small people who'd never left home.
In my opinion, his true feelings are exactly the opposite of what he says they are. As his true suppressed feelings are too outrageous for his Ego to bear, Frederick's Superego tries to camouflage them and deny them. That is why in the quote above, as his true opinion is too horrid to remain uncensored by his Superego, it is useful for his Ego to transform it into someone else's opinion.
Freud's theory of Self suggests that Frederick's true wishes regarding his Aunt Annie are unconscious and censored by his Superego but this is only the case 17 There is only one time Frederick rebels against his aunt. He started smoking in the army and he stood up to his Aunt Annie when she wanted him to quit.
However, this event is not a real rebellion, not to mention the fact that he was already an adult at that time. His feelings regarding Mabel, on the other hand, are even darker and more sinister.
This feelings empower his unconscious wishes to pass through the defences of Superego and express themselves in a brief, but important sentence: In this sentence Frederick articulates his true unconscious desire, which is hatred at Mabel.
In fact, when he talks about Annie and Mabel as a pair, he says he does not hate them, but when he talks about Mabel, his emotions are much stronger. As this desire is unappropriate for his Ego, his Superego tries to correct it by adding the adjective painlessly , or discart it completely as something unimportant.
Frederick entertains stronger unfriendly sentiments towards Mabel than towards Aunt Annie. A dialogue that Miranda has with Frederick regarding a letter he received from Aunt Annie reveals the reason why this is so: Do you think it's a nice letter? She always writes like that. It makes me want to be sick. She never had any real education.
It's not the English. It's her nasty mean mind. She took me in.
She certainly did. She took you in, and she's gone on taking you in. She's made an absolute fool out of you. Thank you very much. Well, she has! Oh, you're right. As per usual. Don't say that! I put down my knitting and closed my eyes. She never bossed me about half as much as you do. I don't boss you. I try to teach you. You teach me to despise her and think like you, and soon you'll leave me and I'll have no one at all.
As I have already suggested, Aunt Annie is Frederick's Superego and his highest moral authority, but to a foreign observer like Miranda, she has an authoritarian personality and is the true villain. Miranda says: It's her nasty mind.
He tries to protect his image of her through her one decisive deed: When Miranda says that she made an absolute fool out of him, she is actually saying that he has not developed properly.
Frederick knows that Aunt Annie was a burden to him, but he is not willing to admit what she did to him on an emotional level because his Superego is unquestionable and denies him the right to question Aunt Annie's ways. His response is this: He implies that when he answers Miranda: There can not be a shade of gray in Frederick's black and white world. He must defend his aunt at any cost as Aunt Annie is the only one who did not run away from him the way his mother did. A deep feeling of gratitude towards his aunt is therefore the basic reason why Frederick's position regarding his aunt is not open to question.
However, this is only the appropriate stance to take for Frederick, while his true, unconscious feelings towards her are the opposite.
This ambiguous feelings are not present in Mabel's case. The reason why he suggests a painless euthanasia for her is the quarrel that he once had with her: She is the incarnation of his painful past that he has to witness and deal with everyday.
The truth about his mother causes him unbearable pain, so his unconscious wish is to erase it through Mabel's death. On the other hand, it looks as if Frederick is aware of the function that Aunt Annie's has in his life. She is the all-controlling entity whose mission is to guide him through life the only way that is acceptable: For instance, they always expected me to do everything with them and tell them what I'd done if by any chance I had an hour off on my own.
She said a lot about it being my money and my life and how generous I was and all that, but I could see she was really scared I might marry some girl and they'd lose all the money they were so ashamed of, anyway [ In the passage above, he mentions that she is more worried about the money he won than his well-being. As he gives her part of the money and essentially buys her off, this proves to him that she never really loved him. Now he is able to function as a free individual and take his own decisions, but with the departure of Aunt Annie, who is Frederick's Superego, his free will is abducted by his own unconscious desires and drives — the Id.
The only male figure he felt good with was his uncle Dick, who died when Frederick was fifteen. Frederick mentions that even in the Pay Corps, although he was drunk, he never got any women. Frederick explains: I know I don't have what it is girls look for; I know chaps like Crutchley who just seem plain coarse to me get on well with them. Some of the girls in the Annexe, it was really disgusting, the looks they'd give him.
It's some crude animal thing I was born without. And I'm glad I was, if more people were like me, in my opinion, the world would be better. However, Crutchley is not his role model or the man he would like to be someday because, as Frederick puts it: The difference between them is sexual. While Crutchley is a fully developed sexual being, Frederick is a sexually crippled child. That is why Frederick feels disgust towards women, who find Crutchley sexually attractive.
When girls from the Annexe give looks to Crutchley, they unconsciously remind Frederick of his mother. They become an unconscious representation of the way his mother probably behaved with the foreign man who took her away from him. Frederick's emotions of disgust towards women arises from this unconscious thought. The girls who respond to Crutchley's advances or who are attracted to him would in Frederick's mind abandon their own children.
The world would be a better place if all men were born without the animal thing that attracts people sexually. Frederick's thought process is unconscious and reveals his deep trauma.
Frederick would then still have a mother, a normal childhood, and the world would be a better place for him. His statement shows that his true unconscious desire is to erase his past and that he would do it if that was possible. I assumed that Frederick feels threatened by Crutchley because he feels sexually inferior to him. Crutchley is a good approximation of a dominant male who teases him because of his hobby.
Crutchley's got a dirty mind and he is a sadist, he never let an opportunity go of making fun of my interest, especially if there were girls around. If I interpret their relationship in a Freudian way, Crutchley is a normal man who has achieved the transfer of his libido to a foreign object, a woman; therefore, he has normally evolved into a member of society.
Frederick, on the other hand, has not. Crutchley as a normally developed human being is able to identify Frederick's abnormal fixation on butterflies and regards it as sexual. Crutchley's jokes are hurtful to Frederick because they have the power to unmask the bitter truth about him to the world. That is why Frederick says: Frederick considers Crutchley a sadist because he is able to inflict emotional pain on him by telling the whole world the truth about him, that Frederick's Superego is striving so hard to hide.
The truth is that, in Freudian terms, Frederick's relation to butterflies is strictly sexual. When people laugh at Crutchley's jokes, Frederick's deep, unconscious wishes and desires that he would like to hide from others are exposed to the public. After winning the money, Frederick sends part of it to Crutchley and Tom to make sure that no one from his past will interfere with his new life.
Some critics have emphasized that the fundamental difference between Miranda and Frederick arises 18 Frederick wishes that all men were born without the animalic force inside of them.
This shows that he feels inferior to them. In my opinion, this feeling is a direct consequence of Frederick's abnormal psychosexual development. Normal men Crutchley have the abillity to attract women because they want to have intercourse with them, while Frederick does not want that because his sexuality is that of a child — an infantile perverse one.
I, on the contrary, believe that the disconnect between them is deeper and only partly attributable to class differences. In my opinion, the novel is about the human psyche and the devastating role that childhood trauma plays in the development of humans, and the irreversible consequences it can have on an individual in this case Frederick , forever denying him any possibility to become normal and live a normal, happy, fulfilling life. The conflict between Miranda and Frederick arises not only from their different upbringing, but from the fact that Miranda is a normally developed woman, while Frederick is an abnormally developed man.
Miranda is aware of this basic difference between them because she does not consider Frederick human. As a child, his libido transferred to an object which was in his Unconscious linked to a deeply repressed wish — to get his mother back. By becoming a butterfly collector, he was able to satisfy his hidden desires through a socially accepted hobby.
Frederick's sexual development therefore did not follow a normal path. Frederick, however, in puberty did not have a mother he could have focused his libido back on. All he had was the strict, unloving moral authority of his Aunt Annie which prevented him from evolving in a normal way.
He could not rebel against his aunt, as she was his Superego; therefore, his libido could not be transferred to a new incestous object his mother. I think it is reasonable to assume that Frederick's libido remained focused on an even earlier object — butterflies. In Freudian terms, this means that Frederick's sexual organization has not fully developed. Freud, for the period of puberty, writes: From this time on the human individual must devote himself to the great task of freeing himself from his parents, and only after he has freed himself can he cease to 19 Miranda compares Frederick to Caliban, the character of Shakespeare's play The Tempest.
He explains that: In puberty, a normal teenager would transfer his libido on his mother and then, as the mother is claimed by his father, to a foreign object — a girl. This would be a resolved Oedipus Complex. Freud suggests what happens to the sexual development of neurotics, who are not able to resolve the Oedipus complex. He writes: In the case of Frederick, however, there is not enough evidence to suggest a normal resolution of the Oedipus Complex.
Firstly, Frederick would have to have had a mother present during puberty to achieve the normal transfer of his libido, but as his mother is absent, his libido is transferred to butterflies. Secondly, as he does not have a father, there is no one to claim the butterflies as his own because his uncle dies when he is 15 years old.
Therefore, Frederick can not rebel against his father, and as his aunt is his Superego, he can not rebel against anyone. As his aunt controls his life, as long as she is present, he can not achieve the transfer of his libido from butterflies to women. Frederick could not rebel against Aunt Annie; therefore, he has remained subordinated to her moral authority.
My suggestion is that with his aunt gone, Frederick finally tries to transfer his libido to a foreign object. I walked and I suddenly felt I'd like to have a woman, I mean to be able to know I'd had a woman, so I rang up a telephone numer a chap at the cheque-giving ceremony gave me.
I was too nervous, I tried to be as if I knew all about it and of course she saw, she was old and she was horrible, horrible. Frederick tries to become a man only after he gets his money. He says that he went with a prostitute only to prove to himself that he could have sexual intercourse with a woman. The terrifying experience assured him that he is incapable21 of having sex with women.
Frederick is therefore not able to have normal sexual intercourse. In Freudian terms, I conclude that his sexual organization is more primitive and has not been unified under the hegemonic dominance of the genitalia. The reason why he is not able to get satisfaction from having sex is that his sexual instincts are still partial, just the way they are in a child.
In Freudian terms, his sexuality is infantile and 21 Some authors Huffaker, suggest that Frederick is impotent. Sex does not give him any pleasure because his partial sexual impulses, which are linked to earlier stages the oral and anal stage still have a role.
This can be seen in the next passage: She was old and she was horrible, horrible. I mean, both the filthy way she behaved and in looks. She was worn, common. Like a specimen you'd turn away from, out collecting. His point of view is: I think this is partly because of his upbringing where he was not allowed to be anything else but respectable.
Another explanation is plausible. Frederick hates vulgar women because they uncounsciously remind him of his mother, who he thinks of as a woman of the streets and the act of abandonment. This is also the reason why he does not enjoy having sex with the prostitute. Having sex with a prostitute is to him unconsciously having sex with his own mother — therefore a realization of the Oedipus wish.
As the realization of this unconscious wish is unacceptable to his Superego, the latter must stop this action. Frederick is thus unable to perform sexually and gets such a dreadful, shameful, terrifying experience out of it that he will never want to repeat it again.
It is also apparent that Frederick compares the looks of the prostitute with those of a butterfly specimen. After miserably failing to have sex with the prostitute, it is clear that his libido has regressed to earlier objects. That is why he does not get any sexual gratification from sexual intercourse. It is clear throughout the novel that Frederick's libidinal wishes are tied to an earlier sexual object — the butterflies, as if his partial instincts still had a function.
In fact, Frederick's libido can be satisfied only through an earlier instinct — to possess and to own. The prostitute was not worth having because she was a lousy specimen. Frederick's sexual gratification therefore does not come from sexual intercourse, it comes from the possession of the object.
To possess a butterfly which is beautiful gives him sexual satisfaction. To possess a beautiful woman who is not vulgar gives him the same feeling. The act of possessing, however, is in Freudian theory a characteristic which can be found in the anal-sadistic stage of psychosexual development. Therefore, Frederick, as I suggested before, is an abnormally developed man whose sexual gratification comes from the satisfaction of his earlier partial instincts.
These are anal and sadistic. As Frederick projected his libido towards the butterflies, the fact that at some point he must kill them supports my assumption. With Miranda Frederick achieves the transfer of his libido to a foreign physical object — a woman. He compares her to a butterfly just the way he compared the prostitute to a butterfly earlier: Seeing her always made me feel like I was catching a rarity, going up to it very careful, heart-in-mouth as they say.
A Pale Clouded Yellow, for instance. I always thought of her like that, I mean words like elusive and sporadic, are very refined-not like other ones, even the pretty ones.
More for the real connoisseur. It is the same sexual gratification he would get from catching butterflies his mother in his childhood. Catching Miranda is better. When he sees Miranda for the first time, the reality becomes obfuscated and carries Frederick into an altered reality: I can't say what it was, the very first time I saw her, I knew she was the only one. Of course I am not mad, I knew it was just a dream and it always would have been if it hadn't been for the money.
I used to have daydreams about her, I used to think of stories where I met her, did things she admired, married her and all that.
Nothing nasty, that was never until what I'll explain later. It was always she loving me and my collection, drawing and colouring them; working together in a beautiful modern house in a big room with one of those huge glass windows; meeting there of the Bug Section, where instead of saying almost nothing in case I made mistakes we were the popular host and hostess. She all pretty with her pale blonde hair and grey eyes and of course the other men all green round the gills.
The only times I didn't have nice dreams about her being when I saw her with a certain young man, a loud noisy public school type who had a sports car. He dreams about Miranda, as if she was his ideal mother and he was her child. Miranda in his daydreams admires him, marries him, but as he puts it: What Frederick actually means by this is that even in his dreams, he does not have sexual intercourse with her.
As Miranda is also a symbolic representation of his mother, his Superego must censor normal sexual intercourse. For Frederic sex is a nasty, vulgar thing, and as his libido regressed to an earlier fixation butterflies , he must get sexual gratification from an earlier pleasurable experience. His sexual desires are therefore more primordial and linked to infantile desires and as they do not involve the sexual act, they are acceptable to his Ego, but still basically sexual.
Because Miranda as a sexual object is in fact a representation of his ideal mother, she can inflict on him very painful experiences. He explicitly says what happened to his daydreams when this rather innocent event occured: Well, I saw her climb in his car sometimes, or them out together in the town in it, and those days I was very short with the others in the office, and I didn't use to mark the X in my entomological observations dairy all this was before she went to London, she dropped him then.
Those were days I let myself have the bad dreams. She cried or usually knelt. Once I let myself dream I hit her across the face as I saw it done once by a chap in a telly play. Perhaps that was when it all started. Frederick's daydreams therefore can be non-violent or violent, depending on what happens to him in real life. As Freud explains, every dream is a wish-fulfillment, but daydreams are even more specific. Freud compares them with a savage garden where the Id is able to carry out his dark wishes and unacceptable desires.
In this case I think Miranda represents Frederick's ideal version22 of his mother. As Miranda enters a foreign man's car, she unconsciously reminds Frederick of his mother leaving with another man, thus abandoning him.
This act also proves to Frederick that she is not the ideal mother. This reality must be compensated by his fantasy. If Miranda acts the way his mother did, then she is vulgar and someone who deserves to be punished.
The violent daydreams allow Frederick firstly to deal with the reality that he wants to escape, and secondly, to achieve sexual satisfaction or wish- fulfillment through his sadistic behaviour.
In fact, his libido, whose satisfaction was for years achieved through the killing of butterflies, can now give him the same sexual gratification from a sadistic act directed towards Miranda. Frederick gets sexual gratification from owning Miranda when she meets his criteria of being the ideal mother whom he never had. In this case, she must admire him and treat him as a child, and she must not be vulgar or a sexual person.
To possess Miranda is to him to possess his mother again. The relation Frederick-Miranda therefore depends on his perception of her. By possesing her, just like a butterfly, he can enjoy her and get sexual infantile satisfaction. However, if the object of his desire Miranda does not meet his expectations, then Frederick can not get any sexual gratification from possessing her. I believe 22 Huffaker interprets Miranda's character in a Jungian way, defining her as the natural personification of the anima figure, thus a potentially destructive illusion to any man Huffaker, , p.
Huffaker explains Miranda only through her ideal qualities, but this Jungian interpretation, in my opinion, lacks any explanation regarding the role of Frederick's fixation on butterflies and the role of his disappearing mother in childhood, the two events which are crucial to understanding Frederick and his relations with Miranda and other characters.
When Miranda becomes the real person, the imperfect, sexual, vulgar mother, then this fantasy world is irreversibly destroyed.
Miranda's imperfections remind him of his real mother and cause him pain. Thus, he must punish her because she reminds him that in reality he does not have a loving mother and perhaps he never will. As I already mentioned, dreams are always wish-fulfillments. Frederick's dreams are even more than that — they anticipate his later actions, as if his Unconscious is planning Miranda's kidnapping in advance. Frederick says: That was the day I first gave myself the dream that came true.
It began where she was being attacked by a man and I ran up and rescued her. Then somehow I was the man that attacked her, only I didn't hurt her; I captured her and drove her off in the van to a remote house and there I kept her captive in a nice way. Gradually she came to know me and like me and the dream grew into the one about our living in a nice modern house, married, with kids and everything.
It haunted me. It kept me awake at nights, it made me forget what I was doing during the day. I stayed on and on at the Cremorne. It stopped being a dream, it began to be what I pretended was really going to happen of course, I thought it was only pretending so I thought of ways and means - all the things I would have to arrange and think about and how I'd do it and all.
The latent content is the true forbidden wish of Frederick. It can be interpreted in this way: In the dream Frederick prevents the other man from taking his mother and then he captures her for himself — this is the true wish- fulfillment23 for him. Therefore, this forbidden wish is transformed by the dream censor into a rescue attempt of Miranda, where he transforms himself from the rescuer into the attacker and kidnapper. The second part of the dream about the house, the marriage, the kids is a clear manifestation of this hidden, forbidden wish.
In fact, what appears in the dream as a marriage with Miranda it is in its latent form a fantasy relation with his own mother.
Frederick does not consider himself able to have sexual intercourse, so how is it possible to dream 23 As Freud says: The censorship does not include sexual intercourse in the dream because Miranda is a symbolic representation of his mother and the ideal relationship that he wished to have with his absent mother. In other words: Frederick's dream is so powerful that he is able to make it come true.
As he succeeds in doing so, he says: To sum it up, that night was the best thing I ever did in my life bar winning the pools in the first place. I mean it was like something you only do once in a lifetime and even then often not; something you dream about more than you ever expect to see come true, in fact. In fact, as Miranda is the ideal version of his mother, this can only be compared with something that is a once in a lifetime achievement. As I already explained, Frederick's perverse sexuality always reverses to earlier partial sexual impulses which are associated with the sexual gratification that he got from catching butterflies.
The pleasure of catching a butterfly gives him the same sexual pleasure as capturing Miranda. Frederick goes even further in his detailed version of the kidnapping which is evident from the next passage: It was like not having a net and catching a specimen you wanted in your first and second fingers I was always very clever at that , coming up slowly behind and you had it, but you had to nip the thorax, and it would be quivering there.
It wasn't easy like it was with a killing-bottle. And it was twice as difficult with her, because I didn't want to kill her, that was the last thing I wanted. He is proud of his hunting and killing abilities and even prouder of himself because he got Miranda without killing her. It is obvious from this passage that Frederick's first aim was to possess Miranda because like butterflies she would provide him some sort of sexual satisfaction. Obviously he was not happy with his life and at some point in time, he decided to change it.
He thinks he is looking for someone to love him, while it is a repressed wish that guides him to possess an ideal version of his mother. It is only after winning 73, pounds that Frederick feels entitled to make his wish come true. The money is therefore the catalyst that makes him transform himself into what he really is.
Frederick had already found new objects for his unsatisfied libido before Miranda. In my opinion, these books are the first sign that Frederick is changing.
They also show his greater interest in sexuality in general. As his libido could not find a new object because of Aunt Annie's presence, with her gone, Frederick is finally able to research his sexual needs and evolve into the perverse man that he already is in Freudian terms. This is also the first time that Frederick does something forbidden. He remembers quite precisely the first time he actually found a new object for his libido: The first time I went to look for Miranda it was a few days after I went down to Southampton to see off Aunt Annie; May 10th, to be exact.
Now, with her departure, everything is allowed to Frederick. Well, of course with Aunt Annie and Mabel out of the way I bought all the books I wanted, some of them I didn't know such things existed, as a matter of fact I was disgusted, I thought here I am stuck in a hotel room with this stuff and it's a lot different from what I used to dream of about Miranda and me.
He cannot find the appropriate one for him as his dreams about Miranda and himself are different from what he finds in the books. Nevertheless, this search proves that Frederick's sexual interest is evolving. As he is not able to satisfy his libido by looking at interesting books, it is reasonable to assume that from this point on, Frederick's Id takes control.
The leading force of the Id is the unconscious desire to possess his ideal mother and Frederick's Conscious is unable to counter-attack this process. He can only rationally defend the choices that his Id is making for him which acts as a defence mechanism for his Ego. Frederick is therefore forced to kidnap Miranda by his Unconscious.
There is plenty of evidence for this claim. As his unconscious wishes are too powerful to be denied, Frederick can only deny the actual results of these forced choices. As Frederick says: His explanation of what happened is also peculiar.
Miranda is not even considered a kidnapped person but a guest. The function of Frederick's Ego is to mask the brutal truth in such a way that by making Miranda his guest, Frederick becomes her host. Therefore, by changing the terminology, Frederick's Ego can distance itself from his evil deeds, and obliterate the truth that he is a kidnapper.
On why he followed Miranda in the first place, he says: I went into that coffee-bar, suddenly, I don't know why, like I was drawn in by something else, against my will almost. His Ego is not willing to accept the fact that he is a bad person who follows people and kidnaps them. He describes his past actions as something that was almost forced on him. In my opinion, the force behind his actions is his Id, and his unconscious drive to possess his mother again.
He gives the same explanation when he talks about how and why he bought the van which he used to kidnap Miranda: I didn't buy it for the reason I did use it for. The whole idea was sudden, like a stroke of genius.