Thursday, October 19, 2006

Observations Gone Haywire!

A few days ago, I was reflecting on Freud's theories and I coudn't help thinking about the 'Oedipus Complex'; the one where boys have an unnatural craving for their mothers and as a result are hostile and resentful towards their fathers. (The corresponding complex for girls is the Electra complex.)

The 'Oedipus Complex' was named after Oedipus Rex, the ill-fated mythical lad who was prophesised to kill his biological father and marry his biological mother. He eventually did so, unknowingly and unintentionally(there is a long story on how he was to be killed but ended up getting adopted and how it all lead to the catastropic sequence of events).In all fairness, he was nothing like the little(and grown up) boys who are condescendingly labelled 'Oedipus' by the supposedly well-intentioned shrink.

I generally appreciate Freud's efforts as the forerunner of modern psychlogy. I find his theories interesting, even though I genuinely think some are obsolete. Unfortunately, I am a tad distressed by the fact that he would name a complex after a mythical figure. It just makes the rest of us, non-mythical non-entities, treacherously prone to having complexes named after us! Imagine ending up like this : a statistical case study in a woebegone psychology journal, with all your maladies spelled out explicitly, much to your embarrasment and to the damning shame of your descendants. It doesn't end there; Oedipus was the subject of several plays, musicals and other forms of entertainment alike. Ever since then,the world of entertainment seems to have taken a rather keen and disturbing interest in incest...

Call me neurotic, but don't tell me I didn't warn you!


NiSh said...

Tell me about it... i spent 5years of studies (11th, 12th, 3yrs in BA) listening to psychobabble.. and the tragic thing is that it demeans both the theory and literature- makes the theory so mythological and disturbing.. and makes us look at Greek Mythology in a weird and thwarted light.. both which have been spoil..
You should read and check out the theory on Electra!!!!!!!

El Diva! said...

Thanks girl, I will check it out. I'm flattered that a psychology major agrees with me.