Dissolution Of The Oedipus Complex Analysis

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In his essay The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex, Sigmund Freud asserts that "anatomy is destiny"(Freud 178). Anatomy defines the sexes and their fate regarding their desires, sexualities, and evidently, their gender. All humans are born with a set of reproductive organs that allows them to be categorized into certain groups as a result. According to Simone Beauvoir, "science considers characteristics as secondary reactions to a situation" (Beauvoir 23-24). Beauvoir uses the key word "situation" in order to emphasize the unpredictability of sex determination and furthermore, to illustrate the fact that existence in fact proceeds essence. Through the classification of humans based on their physical appearance, rather than their innate characteristics, …show more content…
Similar to Freud, Beauvoir describes women as the "other", assuming a subordinate role to men in society. This social norm is rooted in Beauvoir's definition of women, as women are considered relative beings such that they fail to define themselves without association to men: "a woman's body seems devoid of meaning without reference to the male" (Beauvoir 26). Beauvoir highlights the inability for women to exist without reference to men as well as women's lack of certain characteristics, both physical and mental, that men possess. Women succumb to men as a result of their lack of a penis, the ultimate determinant for the possession of power. Through the physical dissimilarity in anatomy between the sexes, women's inadequacy solidifies as she makes the transition from the dissolution of penis-envy to her preparation for the role of a mother. Beauvoir attempts to justify women's inferior position in society through referencing their biology and physical capabilities. According to the ideology that "anatomy is destiny", a woman's purpose in life is determined by her reproductive organs and childbearing abilities: "She is a womb" (Beauvoir 23). Now, rather than solely being identified based on their physical absence of male genitalia, women instead become further culturally objectified and defined by their reproductive capabilities. As a result, women are raised to become dedicated mothers and devoted wives, while simultaneously losing their financial and political freedom to their male

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