Oedipus Complex Case Study

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The Oedipus Complex In The Light Of Early Anxieties
Priya Venkataraman
(Page 370 to 397)
In this paper Melanie Klein presents the case of 10-year-old Richard to illustrate her theory about how early anxieties in children contribute to the Oedipus complex.
The material presented is from six analytic hours with Richard. She describes him as “a precocious and gifted child” who was interested in nature (only its pleasant aspects). However, he faced difficulty at school, was fearful of children and so refused to go out alone. He was intellectual inhibited and a hypochondriac. He preferred adult company particularly women.
With regards to his history, she had this to say: his suckling period had been brief and he had delicate health as an infant. He had been
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Idealising the mother-baby relationship had a detrimental effect on his genital development, even though he experienced the positive Oedipal situation and had somewhat heterosexual tendencies. It is as Freud said: Where they love, they do not desire and where they desire they cannot love.
The genital mother represented the mother in sexual intercourse with the father, thereby containing his bad penis and was felt to be in alliance with him. Further, her body contained the hostile babies and thus, Richard could not desire her.
The good internal mother protected him from the father and also invoked protective feelings in him. But she was still in danger from his sadistic impulses, which produced guilt in him.
It was only when these two mothers could integrated in his mind that he was able to feel his love for her more securely. This helped him feel protected against his father’s anger and built faith in him that she was strong enough to contain his father’s and his aggression. This rendered his father and him as less dangerous beings reducing his
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