Freud Mourning Melancholia Essay

Melancholia, from the Greek for "black bile," is the more modern medical term for melancholy, which has for centuries referred to symptoms of sadness, listlessness, despair, sullenness, and gloom.

Black bile was one of the four humors, or fluids, that ancient Greek and Middle Eastern physicians once believed governed the body's moods and dispositions.

He cannot, however, desire his father, any more than the little girl can remain attached to her mother. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style.

Judith Butler has taken up Freud's notion of melancholy identification to argue that gender itself is a melancholic identification in which the same-sex parent one is not allowed to desire, and who is thus lost as a love object, is internalized or incorporated. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Suicide, Freud argued, is the splitting off of the hateful and sadistic impulses directed at the lost love-object and the turning of that hate against the self.

This process is aided by identification with the lost object, wherein the jilted lover becomes as much as possible like the person who has left her.

However, Butler's theory of gender as melancholic—the reason she prefers we view gender this way—presents homosexuality as "natural" a psychic process of subject formation as heterosexuality (which takes shape in much the same way) and should not be viewed as a bad or inauthentic copy.

Freud Mourning Melancholia Essay-18Freud Mourning Melancholia Essay-63

In 1917, Sigmund Freud published "Mourning and Melancholia," an essay that distinguished a difference between mourning, where a lost object is the source of conscious grief, and melancholia, where the loss is unconscious or unknown.

Butler's notion of gender as melancholy incorporation combines Freud's theory of castration as the cause of childhood sex and gender development with the idea that melancholia can also cause sex and gender development. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates.

Butler points out that boys and girls might identify with the mother they have lost, desire her, or both.

Contributors: Carlos Mario Aslan, Martin Bergmann, Roosevelt M. Cassorla, Florence Guignard, Mar¡a Cristina Melgar, Thomas H.

Ogden, Mar¡a Lucila Pelento, Jean-Michel Quinodoz, Priscilla Roth, Vamik D.

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