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How might we apply a Freudian analysis to the relationship between Kevin, Eva and...

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johnnyjohnnys... | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 8, 2012 at 5:40 PM via web

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How might we apply a Freudian analysis to the relationship between Kevin, Eva and Frankin in We Need to Talk About Kevin?

How should we view Eva and Franklin as representations of the Maternal and Paternal function, leading to a failure to resolve the Oedipus complex? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM (Answer #1)

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On the most basic of levels, I think that a Freudian analysis of the relationship between mother, father, and son is one where "talk therapy" is absolutely warranted.  Even before anything else, there are some underlying issues present in the relationship between all three that need to be resolved.  A Freudian would argue that psychoanalysis or a form of psychotherapy would be effective here.  For example, in discussing why they should have a child, husband and wife agree that a child would give them "something to talk about."  This would be an issue for the Freudian, enabling psychoanalysis to explain why there are some issues between them that prevents open and honest communication.  This could also continue with Eva's feeling "strangely cold" during pregnancy, a type of physical experience that has emotional connections.  Discussing this in an open format where there is no fear of social retribution is important for the Freudian because it enables the subconscious thoughts to emerge and to be able to address them in a responsible manner. The gap that emerges between mother and child is something that also would require a Freudian psychoanalyst to explore.  Why is there a distance between them?  Is there some type of post- partum depression happening?  Are there other issues about her own life that are emerging with Kevin's lack of emotional contact?  The reality is that Franklin, Eva, and Kevin are involved in a psychological setting where there are so many forces at play that psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is essential.  The Freudian would see this discussion as being able to uncover what lies underneath and, perhaps, better understand the dynamics that help to drive Kevin to do what he did.

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