My Oedipus Complex Psychoanalytic
In “My Oedipus Complex” the author, Frank O’Connor creates a character named Larry who is a child who spends most of his time with his mom while his dad is at war. Larry names his feet Mrs. Left and Mrs. Right. He also enjoys acting out dramatic situations with his feet, which keep him company.
When Larry’s father comes home from the war, Larry begins to misbehave in a number of different ways. There’s also a variety of similarities between Larry and the author. It seems that some of the things that Larry does represents desires of both Larry and the author. Larry does lots of different actions, although one thing that sticks out is when he names his feet Mrs. Left and Mrs.
Right. Larry uses his feet to act out dramatic situatios. “I put my feet out from under the clothes-I called them Mrs. Left and Mrs. Right- and invented dramatic situations for them in which they discussed the problems of the day.
” (O’Connor, page 5) Larry may have done this for several reasons, he never had a sibling to keep him company, and it seems that his feet are his only source of entertainment. All of Larry’s life, the only person who he really spent time with was his mom. Having his feet gave him more “friends” to pass time with. The reason he names his feet is because he desires a companion. When he names his feet and plays with them, it satisfies his yearning for accompaniment. Larry’s feet represent his longing for companionship.
Larry begins to act in an abundance of unruly ways. At one point in “My Oedipus Complex” when Larry is told he can’t sleep in his mother’s bed he begins to act in an unacceptable way. While Larry’s father is sleeping, Larry knows he’s supposed to be quiet but he chooses to scream as a way of misbehaving. “As she lifted me, I gave a screech, enough to wake the dead, not to mine father”(O’Connor, page 10). After his father woke, he got upset with Larry for waking him up. Another example of one of the many misbehaved ways that Larry acted is when he began to talk back to his father.
“‘He wants his bottom smacked’ snarled his father.” Larry then responds in a disrespectful manor “‘Smack your own’ I screamed hysterically.” ‘Smack your own!’ ‘Shut up!’ ‘Shut up!'” (O’Connor, page 10). Larry may be acting because he seeks the attention that his mother used to bestow him with. Larry never used to act so ill mannered when his dad wasn’t a part of his life.
Although now all the attention that Larry’s mother once presented Larry with, is now all being administered to Larry’s father. Larry’s unpleasant behavior represents his desire for his mother’s attention. Based on the history given about Frank O’Connor, the author of “My Oedipus Complex”, O’Connor seems to be able to relate to the story that he wrote. His father was drunk and debt ridden, which means that his father probably did not play a major role in his life while growing up, which is similar to Larry’s father not being a part of his life while he was first growing up. “Father was in the army all through the war-the first I mean- so up to the age five, I never saw much of him”(O’Connor, page 5).
Another similarity between O’Connor and Larry is the disagreement the two of them have with their fathers over their mothers. Larry felt like he had to compete with his father for his mothers attention because, his mother was only paying attention to his father when he came home from the war. O’Connor was at odds with his father over the abuse of his mother. In both scenarios the child and father are competing with one another for the attention of the mother. O’Connor may be portraying himself through Larry in this story. By the end of the story, Larry’s father and Larry have a special connection.
Larry’s father gives Larry a model railway. This is meaningful because despite the fact that the two of them both dislike each other, Larry’s father stepped up and did something nice for Larry. This seems to represent what O’Connor may have desired with his father. O’Connor may not have a special connection with his father, and he may have written it into the story because that’s what he longed for himself. O’Connor portrays that Larry desires companionship when he writes about Larry playing with his feet.
Additionally, when Larry begins to act out in the story, this seems to display Larry’s hankering for his mother’s attention. O’Connor seems to present his wants in this story by writing what he himself wants, happen to Larry. He may be writing about his desires happening to Larry because he is portraying himself through Larry in this story. Some desires of Larry and the author are depicted through the actions of Larry in “My Oedipus Complex.”