A Psychological Reading of "A Rose for Emily"

2869 words 12 pages
Freud and Faulkner
A psychoanalytic Reading of “A Rose for Emily”

Abstract Undoubtedly Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis. He was an influential thinker of the early twentieth century who elaborated the theory that the mind is a complex energy-system and the structural investigation of which is the proper province of psychology. Freud articulated and refined the concepts of the unconscious, infantile sexuality and repression and he proposed tripartite account of the mind ‘s structure, all as part of a radically new conceptual and therapeutic frame of reference for the understanding of human psychological development and the treatment of abnormal mental conditions. Freudian approach can be
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The Grierson house symbolizing the womb that was meant to give nourishment and protection is portrayed in a perduring decadence, failing to fulfill its nourishing duty to the little girl who slowly rotted away inside.

Oedipus Complex Many of Freud’s writings investigate the nature of sex, and often involve a discussion of human genitalia and sexual gratification (Sagan 4). Within the development of young girls, Freud discusses a phenomenon known as the Electra complex, which is the feminine counterpart to his theory of the oedipal complex. In Jack Scherting Oedipus Complex: Motif, Motive, and Meaning in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, Scherting (1980) is of the opinion that Emily’s Oedipus complex prompted her “to poison her lover and conceal his corpse from the public for some forty years” (Scherting, 1980, p. 1). Scherting’s psychoanalytic criticism takes his reader from beginning to end explaining what seems to be every little detail in A Rose for Emily. Along the way, Scherting explains Emily’s psychotic personality, he untangles the stories chronology, and most of all he applies the Freudian principals of Oedipus to the stories details (Scherting, 1980). Schering’s thesis is of great significance as it addresses how an individual can lose the ability to form normal human relationships when sexual maturation is denied.
From the very beginning, when Emily’s father refused to


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