Having made this argument, Lau also explains that the deep bond between mother and daughter in the story challenges Freud's Oedipal structure: "the avenging mother undercuts the importance of both vision (Freud) and language (Lacan) to psychoanalytic theories of the Oedipal phase, castration anxiety
and subjectivity" (35).
As he notes, sexualizing and/or reading decapitation as castration anxiety
is tempting in an examination of these narrative wounds (11-12).
However, the actual memory of the man with the amputation may well have been a screen memory for other more arousing and traumatic experiences that the patient experienced at this early age, such as castration anxiety
with or without actual overstimulation of the physical body.
(He published his little text of that name, on castration anxiety
, in 1922.) Hoch carried these procedures through the decade into her famous series "Aus einem ethnographischen Museum" (From an Ethnographic Museum), 1924-30, which consists of mash-ups of tribal figures and Weimar beauties; here she turned upside down the reactionary fear that the modern world is but a regression to savagery.
Mulvey's theory maintains that the appearance of a beautiful woman on screen might provoke castration anxiety
(3) for the male viewer.
It became a memorial to castration anxiety
as well as a magical protection against such fate.
Her discussion ranges from Beverly Hills 90210 to Melrose Place to Murphy Brown; to 1990s Riot Grrrl bands; to the "national bout of castration anxiety
" over the maiming of John Wayne Bobbitt by his abused wife, Lorena; to the ambiguous sexuality of Attorney General Janet Reno; to those "warrior women in thongs," Zena Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and to the surge of "new girliness" in films such as Clueless, Bridget Jones's Diary, Miss Congeniality, and Legally Blonde.
It is not, in other words, the anticipation of a loss, or the loss itself, of an object that is anxiety-producing (as at least a simple understanding of castration anxiety
in Freud might suggest) but the lack of lack or lack of desire.
repeats the drama of separation in the fold of the threesome formed by the arrival of the father, who, owing to the requirements of prohibitions and the threat of castration, is always already dead and consumable, not as the breast but as a poison-proof, thus reality-tasted, funeral meal.
In terms of the larger argument concerning real universals, she uses these texts to expand her explanation of why Lacan crosses out Woman, which is that, as in Griselda's case, no woman can fit the category; her reality always causes her to exceed it and thus to generate anxiety and disgust in the male voyeur, who really wants to see nothing "there" when he looks (as opposed to the usual narrative of castration anxiety
, wherein horror or perversion is generated by the fact that nothing is there).
Departing from Freud's statement that Medusa's severed head symbolizes castration anxiety
, Rosenthal explains that the inclusion of both Occasio and Medusa offers images of both castration and consolation.
Reed's own comparative reading of the shoe worn by the model, Victorine Meurent, and the parrot droppings at the bottom of the perch invites Freudian speculation and gives a whole new dimension of the notion of the stain, and is further contradicted by Reed's psychoanalytic reading of the monocle in the painting in Chapter Five as a manifestation of castration anxiety
. Reed scrupulously inventories every detail of the painting from its title to the dress, monocle, violets, parrot, etc.