Adrienne Kennedy’s characters speak obsessively of their own births as well as the births—which are so often the deaths—of their children. Their monologues focus on rape and incest, miscarriage and child murders. Such preoccupations psychologically paralyze the characters, fixing them at—and regressing them to—a primitive stage in development which Melanie Klein, a psychologist of the British object relations school, calls [in Introduction to the Work of Melanie Klein by Hanna Segal] the ‘‘paranoid-schizoid position,’’ an infant stage which normally precedes...
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