Freudian Criticism: Reading Characters’ Trauma In Vladimir Nabobs Elliot & Toni Morning’s The Bluest Eye BY tar-182828 Ian -Rasa 00121145 Professor Grace Ma Selected Reading in English & American Novels 20 June 2013 Freudian Criticism: Reading Characters’ Trauma In Vladimir Nabobs Elliot & Toni Morning’s The Bluest Eye According to Sigmund Freud, the unconscious of every individual are residual traces of prior stages of psychosocial development, form earliest infancy onward, which have been outgrown, but remain as “fixation” in the unconscious of the adult.
When triggered by mom later event in adult life, people’s repressed wishes which are repressed by the censor into the unconscious realm are revived and motivate a fantasy, in disguised form, of a satisfaction that is modeled on the way that the wish had been gratified in fancy or early childhood. L Nevertheless, if a repressed wish is not fulfilled and not repressed by the censor into unconscious realm, an adult would have a deficiency or vacancy of mental condition called trauma in psychology. 1 would like to use this theory and some psychoanalytical terminologies to analyze characters’ mental indention to prove that their mental deficiency become characters’ trauma in Vladimir Nabob’s Elliot & Toni Morning’s The Bluest Eye. In Nabob’s Elliot, the protagonist Humbler Humbler would be regarded as a pedophilia by a reader because he adores nymphets, a girl’s age ranges from nine-year-old to fourteen-year- old.
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However, if we apply Freudian Criticism to analyze Humbler’s mental condition, we could know that his sexual experience in childhood, which is a fail one, makes him has a deficiency in his mental condition. When Humbler kisses Amenable that night, “[Amenable] trembled and twitched… Ere legs [which] were not too close together… [then] she [rubs] her dry lips against [Humbler’s lip and she] let [Humbler] fed on her open mouth… A sudden commotion in a nearby bush prevented [them] from overflowingвЂ”and [they] drew away from each other” (13).
From this quote, we can know that both Humbler and Amenable have libido, which derives from their unconscious; however, their libido, that is their sexual desires, are not satisfied because “Dry. Cooper ponderously limped out into the garden [when Amenable and Humbler are about to have a sexual intercourse]” (14). Therefore, they never consummate their love and their unfulfilled love make them have a vacancy in their mental condition, especially Humbler.
Not only does the unconsummated make Humbler have a deficiency in his mental condition, but the death of “Amenable… Consolidated the frustration of that nightmare, made of it a permanent obstacle to any further romance throughout the cold years of [his] youth” (12). Owing to the unconsummated love and Enables death, Humbler becomes haunted, and he does not know how to deal with these problems, so his repressed wish and his little nymphet. Worst of all, if he cannot “own” the nymphet, he will try his best to “get” them regardless of laws, and social norms.
He marries Eolith’s mother, Charlotte, just because he wants Elliot to become her daughter so that he can love her and stay with her forever. He even conceives a scheme to murder Charlotte but it ends up a fail. When Humbler and Charlotte go to “Hourglass Lake” (91), he thinks “the [lake] was really perfect for a brisk bubbling murder” (96) but he does not kill Charlotte because he thinks that if he kills her, he will “see her amazed look, hear her awful voice;…. O through with the ordeal, [and] her ghost would haunt [him] all his [life]” (98).
If we apply Freudian Criticism to see this episode, we can realize Humbler is still a man with a sober mind this time because his ‘d, that is the scheme to kill Charlotte, is dominated by libido with the pleasure principle is suppressed by his superego, which is dominated by social norms and laws, so his id and superego can become ego in unconscious and this is the reason that he does not kill Charlotte. However, in the end of the story, Humbler becomes a lunatic because Clear Guilty takes Elliot away from the hospital.
Humbler is also piqued by Guilty because Guilty even asks Elliot to participate in a child pornography. The vacancy and the deficiency in Humbler’s unconscious become more serious because he loses his lover again. The id and original deficiency make him become like an animal, and his mental disorder exacerbates so he does not care about social norms and laws; thus, he “fire [Clare Guilty] three or four times in quick succession, wounding him at every blaze” (345) so that it can satisfy his deficiency of his mental condition which is resulted from his unfulfilled love with Amenable, and Eolith’s disappearance.
Although Humbler’s mind would be regarded as a mind similar to a pervert or a pedophilia; nevertheless, if we use Freudian Criticism to analyze Humbler’s mind, we can realize his perverse behavior is all rooted from the unconsummated love with Amenable. Most of the time, he is afflicted by his mental disorder; thus, this become a trauma in Hummer’s life. Even though Humbler “understands [his] throes quite so clearly,” (18) but he does not know how to resolve them; therefore, the trauma become aggravated and make his life ruined.
Similar to Humbler, Pectoral Overlooked and her father Coolly Overlooked in Morning’s The Bluest Eye are also afflicted by their trauma which is resulted from social discrimination and other factors. Not only does Coolly Overlooked has a trauma, but his situation and the cause of the trauma is also similar to Humbler. When Coolly has a sexual intercourse with Darlene, they are seen by two white men. The two white man had long guns and one of the white men says “Get on wide it, Niger” (116) and he even says “… Make it good, Niger, make it good. ” (116).
Therefore, Coolly is forced by the two white men to has a sexual intercourse again UT he is unwilling to do it and “he hate [Darlene]. He almost wished [his pen’s] could [erect again] вЂ”hard, long… He hated her so much. ” (116) If we compare Coolly with Humbler, we can realize that their trauma is both resulted from their fail sexual experience when they are young. However, Schools situation is worse than Humbler because “when [he] was four days old, his mother wrapped him in two blankets and one newspaper and placed him on a Junk heap by the railroad. (103) His father also leaves their family and he is also an African American; therefore, Schools unconscious is impacted by his poor situation, his race, and his fail sexual the other hand, Piccolo’s destiny is the worst because she is a girl and she is African- American. She is a gender minority and racial minority. Not only does she be hated by whites, but she is also hated by her classmates and teachers who are also black. She thinks “she was ugly… The ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmate”(34).
Pectoral also believes that “if those eyes of her were different, that is to say, beautiful [blue eyes], she herself would be different” (34). Pectoral is a person with self-contempt personality, we can say that this personality is resulted from her misfile of the standard of beauty. She believes that whiteness is beautiful when she sees Shirley Temple; owing to this misfile and the discrimination, the unconscious make she think she is ugly, and she regards other people think she is ugly, too.
She wants a pair of azure eyes and she needs love, but she cannot get them; therefore, she has a deficiency in her mental condition. Finally, she becomes a lunatic who hallucinates of having a pair of blue eyes after she is aped by her drunken father Coolly. When Piccolo’s mother finds her unconscious on the floor, she disbelieves Piccolo’s story and beats her. Eventually, Pectoral conceives her her father’s child but a child dies.
By using Freudian Criticism to read Nabobs Elliot and Morning’s The Bluest Eye, we can figure out these character all have trauma. Humbler’s trauma is rooted from his early fail sexual intercourse with Amenable, and Pectoral and Schools trauma is originated form their race and their situations. Readers may think Humbler, Coolly, and Pectoral are all psychopath, but if e can analyze their mind, we can realize their behavior and their mental condition are caused by trauma in their life.
Furthermore, we should realize that the two books not only let us see character’s trauma but we also need to learn to deal with our own trauma; therefore, our life would not become such miserable as the characters in Nabobs Elliot and Morning’s The Bluest Eye. Notes 1 . This theory is form Freudian Criticism in M. H. Abram’ “A Glossary of Literary Trees. See the theory on page 285. 2. Excerpt this theory from Freudian Criticism in M. H. Abram’ “A Glossary of Literary Trees” on page 285. See the theory on page 284. Nabob, Vladimir. Elliot.
London: Penguin Books, 1995. Print. Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. London: Vintage Books, 1979. Print. Abram and Horsham, des. A Glossary of Literary Trees Eight Edition. The United States of American: Thomson Wordsmith, 2005. Print. Booth & May. The Norton Introduction to Literature Shorter Tenth Edition. New York: Norton Company, 2010. Print. Sparseness Editors. “Soapstone on Elliot. ” Sparseness. Com. Sparseness LLC. 2005. Web. 12 June. 2013. Sparseness Editors. “Soapstone on The Bluest Eye. ” Sparseness. Com. Sparseness LLC. 2002. Web. 12 June. 2013.