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Estate o£ i-dwin K. Covigtiraj . 




No. 3 


No. 3 





J. c. FLUGEL b. a. 

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, Uoîversity Collège, London. 

Sometime John Locke Scholar in Mental Philosophy in the Uoîversity of Oxford. 

Honorary Secretary of the Intemational Psycho-ABalytical Association. 




ër "^^ 

''*^y;vt-^-e ^\; 





I refer to those appetites which bestir themselves in sieep ; 
when, during the slumbers of that other part of the soûl, which 
is rational and tamed and master of the former, the wild animal 
part, sated with méat and drink, becomes rampant, and pushing 
sleep away, endeavours to set ont after the gratification of 
ils own proper character. You know that in such moments 
there is nothing that it dares not do, released and delivered 
as it is from any sensé of shame and reflection. It does not 
shrink from attempting in fancy unholy intercourse with a 
mother, or with any man or deity or animal whatever; and 
it does not hesitate to commit the foulest murder, or to indulge 
itself in the most defiHng méats. In one word, there is no 
Hmit either to its foUy or its audacity. 

PLATO, "RepubUc," Book IX. 

Man, forsooth, prides himself on his consciousness ! We 
boast that we differ from the winds and waves and falling 
stones and plants, which grow they know not why, and from 
the wandering créatures which go up and down after their 
prey, as we are pleased to say without the help of reason. 
We know so well what we are doing ourselves and why we 
do it, do we not? I fancy that there is some truth in the view 
which is being put forward nowadays, that it is our less con- 
scious thoughts and our less conscious actions, which mainly 
mould our lives and the lives of those who spring from us. 

SAMUEL BUTLER, "The Way of Ail Flesh/' 
Chapter m. 


The circumstances that hâve led to the production of 
this little book are, I think, sufficiently explained in the intro- 
ductory chapter; there is, therefore, no need to dwell upon 
them hère. It is only necessary perhaps to warn the reader 
that he will find in what foUows but little that is original. 
With the exception of small contributions and suggestions upon 
spécial points, in the last few chapters alone does there exist 
anything that has not already found a place in the literature 
dealing with the subject; and probably it will be the earlier 
rather than the later portions of the book that will most often 
be consulted. Nevertheless, a work of compilation, such as the 
présent for the most part aims at being, may hâve its justification 
and a certain sphère of usefulness; especially so perhaps in the 
présent case, since a certain proportion of the original papers 
to which référence is hère made is contained in books and 
periodicals that hâve at no time been readily accessible to the 
English-speaking public and were for some years practically 

The reader may possibly expérience some surprise and 
disappointment at finding that, while the relations between 
parents and children and between brothers and sisters corne 
in for much attention, those between husband and wife (which 
will probably be regarded as equally fundamental to any con- 
sidération of the psychology of the family) are but lightly touched 
upon. That this is the case is merely a conséquence of the 
lines along which psycho-analytic knowledge has for the most 
part advanced. It is perhaps less to be regretted than would 
at first appear: for in the first place, the amount of considération 
given to the marriage relationship has been fairly gênerons 
during récent years, while the relations between parents and 

children and among the junior members of the same family, 
hâve been relatively neglected: in the second place, the study 
of the two last named, chronologically earlier, relationships (and 
especially the filio-parental one) is— as will be seen— capable 
of throwing considérable light upon the subséquent marital 
relationship; it would seem probable indeed that a thorough 
understanding of the problems of love, sex, and marriage cannot 
be attained without a preliminary knov^ledge of the nature of 
the psychic bonds that unité parent and child— a knowledge 
that psychology is only now beginning to afford. 

On the other hand, I feel a veiy genuine regret that I 
hâve been unable to include some discussion of the problems 
connected with the size of families. Thèse problems are, I am 
convinced, of the greatest importance. At a moment like the 
présent when large portions of the human race are suffering 
from a shortage of the very necessities of existence the question 
of family limitation, in particular, becomes one that is of enormous, 
one might ahnost say of paramount, urgency. Nevertheless, the 
treatment of this question from the psychological, as distinct 
from the ethicàl, sociological or économie standpoint, bas as 
yet been so slight and fragmentary, as to make a full considér- 
ation of the question scarcely suitable to a volume of expository 
character; and I hâve thought it better to omit the subject almost 
altogether than to deal with it in a manner that would be 
either inadéquate and superficial or else manifestly inappropriate^. 
I am of course aware that much with which we hâve hère 
to deal makes far from pleasant reading. The unpleasantness 
arises mainly from the fact that, in the pursuit of our présent 
purpose, we are chiefly brought into contact with the un- 
conscious and more primitive aspects of the mind rather than 
with the more recently acquired and more moraUy edifying 
aspects. But those who realise the importance, for human 
welfare and progress, of a true understanding of our mental 
nature, should no more be deterred from the considération of 
unpleasant aspects of the mind, than should the student of 
économies neglect to take account of poverty or the student 

1 T hâve recently attempted elsewhere a preliminary treatment of 
this question. See "On the Biological Basis of Sexual Repression and its 
Sociological Significance", British Journal of Psychology (Médical Section), 
1921, Vol. I, Part 3. 

of hygiène turn away from the contemplation of disease. From 
Personal observation and expérience, as well as from more 
theoretical considérations, I hâve acquired a deep conviction 
of the significance of those aspects of the human mind vdth 
which we are hère concerned. It is principally because I am 
assured that a wider réalisation and a deeper study of thèse 
aspects — both by the student of the mind and by the ordinary 
reading public — will contribute in very considérable measure 
to the solution of many of the most important moral and social 
problems with which humanity is faced, that I hâve ventured 
to embark upon the following, I fear very inadéquate, présen- 
tation of our knowledge on the subject. 

It only remains for me to express my sincère thanks to 
those who hâve assisted me in one way or another; particularly 
to Dr. Ernest Jones who was the first to interest me in the 
work of Freud and his followers, and without whose personal 
help in more than one direction, the présent pages could not 
hâve been written. I am also deeply indebted to Mr. Cyril 
Burt for many valuable criticisms and suggestions, to Mr. 
Edward de Maries for several interesting comments on the 
subject raatter of the last few chapters, to Mr. Eric Hiller for 
assistance in seeing the work through the press, and to my 
wife for help in a variety of ways throughout the work. 

J. C. F. 

Wood End Lodge, 
Raydale, Yorks. 

August I, 1921. 







































INDEX 243 


There is now some very gênerai ineasure of agreement The needs of 
that if humanity is to escape the fate of having passed through ^^^gmicUon^^ 
the ordeal of world-wide war in vain, the récent era of 
destruction must be followed by a period of reconstruction 
and reorganisation, in which many of our Systems, institutions^ 
customs and beliefs must be tested, and where necessary 
refashioned, in the light of our changed ideals and points of 
view and of the widened expérience of human needs and 
possibilities which our existence through thèse years of conflict 
has brought us. 

The degree of success attained by any such attempt at Science and 
readjustment on a large scale to changed standards and reconstruction 
conditions, must to a very considérable extent dépend upon 
the advance that is achieved by, and the application that is 
made of, the various branches of science dealing with the 
phenomena of human life in |all its aspects. Biology, physiology, 
medicine, hygiène, économies, politics, law and éducation must 
ail contribute their share to the solution of the great problem 
of reconstituting human society upon a satisfactory peace 
footing. Above ail perhaps, it is to the science of the human 
mind that we should most naturally tum for enlightenment 
in dealing with many of the most important aspects of this 

Unfortunately it so happens that Psychology is among the The présent 
youngest of the sciences; its state of development, in comparison pt^ycholo^y 
with that of many other disciplines, is as yet in no wise 
commensurate witli the relative importance for human welfare 
of the problems with which it is concerned. Conscious of this 


disproportion between our présent knowledge and the weight 
of the matters that are at stake in any application of psycho- 
logical theory to practical affairs, many leading psychologists 
hâve preferred to postpone any attempt at such application 
until the more important results of récent research, many of 
which are still matter for controversy, shall hâve been firnily 
established upon a wider and more unassailable foundation. 

Perhaps as a conséquence of this attitude (praiseworthy no 
doubt in itself), and of its effects — direct and indirect — upon 
psychological outlook and procédure, there exists at the présent 
time a fairly widespread notion that Psychology is largely a 
matter of empty spéculations or trivial technicalities, **a happy 
refuge for the lazy industry of pédants^'* as a well known 
author has recently called it, with little or no bearing upon the 
larger problems of human life and conduct. It would appear, 
however, that the war — with its urgent call for immédiate 
practical action — may hâve proved the means of inducing^ 
The application psychologists to adopt a less académie attitude in the pursuit 
^^to^^racUcaF ^^ ^^^^^ science; of compelling them to carry out a stocktaking- 
problems of the results already achieved with a view to ascertaining 
which, if any, are of a nature to throw light upon the actual 
problems of the time, and to work out in détail the application 
of psychological principles to thèse problems in ail cases where 
such application promises to be of importance. Thus, immediately 
following upon the entrance of the United States into the war, 
the psychological resources of that country were mobilised by 
the American Psychological Association with a view to the 
immédiate investigation of urgent questions affecting the conduct 
of the war. Under a central committee there were constituted 
no less than twelve subcommittees, each in charge of a spécial 
field and each acting under the chairmanship of a psychologist 
of spécial eminence in that field. Previous to this there had 
already been formed in this country a War Research Committee 
of the Psychological Subsection of the British Association to deal 
with problems of practical and theoretical importance cohnected 
with, or arising out of, the war. Assistance on a considérable 
scale in a variety of matters of direct miUtary importance has 
also been rendered by several of the psychological laboratories 
attached to the Universities of the United Kingdom, 
1 H. G. Wells, *'The Passionate Friends", 195. 


It is perhaps, however, more especially on the médical 
side that the question of the utihsation of psychological knowledge 
for practical purposes has been brought into prominence by the Médical 
war. The very large number of soldiers and civilians suffering Applications of 
from war-shock in its various forms has emphasised the need 
for psychological treatment of the functional nervous disorders; 
and has drawn further attention to the various methods of 
treatment by suggestion, re-education, psycho-analysis and other 
psycho-therapeutic measures, which even before the war were 
beginning to attract widespread interest. The work that had 
been done by thèse methods before the war had indicated that 
there existed a very considérable prevalence of nervous troubles 
even among those who were apparently subjected to no 
abnonnally high degree of mental strain. The examination of 
many cases of war neuroses has shown that there is little if 
any qualitative différence between the case of those who break 
down under the abnormal pressure of war conditions and the 
case of those who are unable to stand even the relatively mild War-shock 
stresses and difficulties incidental to a time of peace. Ail persons 
are, it would appear, liable to suffer nervous breakdown if 
subjected to emotional strain beyond a certain limit ; this limit 
varying, however, very considerably from one individual to 
another. Modem war increases to some degree the strain to be 
borne by almost everyone, the increase being very great in the 
case of those actually engaged in fighting; as a conséquence 
the limit is passed, and some form of nervous dis^bility or 
breakdown occurs in a ÎUrge number of persons who wo-'ld 
hâve remained unaffected during peace. 

The amount of strain that can be actually borne with impunity 
by any individual is no doubt dépendent upon a considérable 
number of complex conditions. Récent research has shown that 
among \he psychological conditions one of quite spécial importance 
is constituted by the gênerai state of intégration of the motive 
forces of the mind. A person whose instincts and impulses are 
co-ordinated sufficiently to maintain, as regards ail the leading 
aspects of life, a relatively harmonious functioning of the whole 
personality, can préserve mental health in circumstances under 
which a less integrated mind would fail, owing to the waste of 
energy occasioned by the internai struggles of the conflicting 
tendencies and émotions aroused in situations of difficulty or 



Importance of 

correct mental 




difficulty, and 

danger. The attainment of the désirable degree of mental 
intégration is itself very largely dépendent upon a process of 
successful mental growth and development, in the course of which 
the conflicting tendencies and motives (of which the mind is so 
largely made up) so modify and mould each other as to permit 
of the proper discharge of psychical energy along ail suitable 
channels without undue friction or inhibition. Great importance 
attaches, therefore, from the point of view of mental efficiency 
and stability in adult life, to the influences which control the 
development of the conative trends during childhood and 

It is to the considération of one of the most potent of thèse 
influences that the présent pages are devoted, Even on a 
superficial view it is fairly obvions that, under existing social 
conditions the psychological atmosphère of the home life with the 
complex émotions and sentiments aroused by, and dépendent on, 
the varions f amily relationships must exercise a very considérable 
effect on human character and development. Récent advances 
in the study of human conduct indicate that this effect is even 
greater than has been generally supposed : it would seem that, 
in adopting his attitude towards the members of his family 
circle, a child is at the same time determining to a large extent 
some of the principal aspects of his relations to his feÛow men 
in gênerai; and that an individuaFs outlook and point of view 
in dealing with many of the most important questions of human 
existence can be expressed in terms of the position he has 
taken up with regard to îhe problcir::? and difficulties arising 
within the relatively narrow world of the family .3 

Besides showing the importance for mental development of 
the problems connected with family life, modem psychological 
research has also revealed something of the nature of thèse 
problems. It is true that of the results ôbtained in this field 
there are as yet few, if any, which can be regarded as definitely 
settled; many, no doubt, will, in the light of future work, be 
seen to require more or less extensive revision, qualification 
or addition ; some perhaps may hâve to be rejected altogether. 
Nevertheless it wo\ild appear that, as a conséquence of the 
work already done, certain main principles at least hâve emerged 
so clearly as to justify, if not indeed to demand, the serions 
attention of ail those who, at this critical period of human 


history, hâve to deal directly or indirectly with questions 
affecting family life in one or more of its numerous aspects. 
The sociologist, the moralist, the spiritual adviser, the teacher, 
the family physician and the parent are ail intimately concerned 
with such questions ; and it is primarily with the needs of such 
as thèse in view that the présent brief exposition of the subject 
has been undertaken. After what has been already said, it is 
perhaps unnecessary to offer any further waming against 
accepting ail the results of psychological investigation which are 
hère set forth as claiming equal validity or as being equally 
capable of généralisation or application on a large scale. No 
dogmatic enunciation of facts or principles is hère attempted or 
desired, even where, owing to the endeavour to avoid entering 
upon the discussion of matters too intricate or controversial 
to fall within the scope of our présent treatment, the 
statements may possibly appear somewhat dogmatic in form. 
Our aim is rather to produce a more widespread réalisation of 
the immense and far-reaching significance of the psychological 
problems connected with family life; to indicate some of the 
ways in which psychological knowledge has thrown light upon 
, the solutions of thèse problems ; and perhaps, by thèse means, 
to be of some assistance to that very large class of persons 
who, at one time or another during their lives, find themselves 
compelled to deal with such problems — whether as entering 
into their own lives, as affecting others for whom they are 
responsible, or as forming part of larger questions, social, 
religions, médical or pédagogie, in which they hâve an interest. 
To those who hâve once realised the complexity, the obscurity, 
and above ail the tremendous intensity of the psychic factors 
entering into thèse problems, there can be little doubt that in 
so far as Psychology is able to afford some reasonably sure 
g^idance as to their solution, it will hâve achieved one of the 
most successful and valuable of ail applications of science to 
social and ethical phenomena. The time for such application 
on a large scale has not yet come. But the progress that has 
been already made would seem to indicate that the expectation 
of some very real assistance in thèse matters from the science 
of Psychology is no longer hopeless. 




Psycho-ana- The progress that lias recently been made in our under- 

lysis and the standing of the importance and nature of the psychological 
\jnconscious^ problems connected with family life is to a very considérable 
extent due to the work of a single school of psychologists — 
the so-called psycho-analytic school, which owes its origin to 
Prof. Sigmund Freud of Vienna. The success that has attended 
the efforts of this school has arisen principally from the fact 
that the psycho-analysts hâve not confined their researches to ^ 
the conscious contents of the mind directly discoverable by 
introspection, but hâve sought also to investigate the subcouscious 
or unconscious factors which enter into human conduct and 

1 I make no attempt hère to give a systematic account of the gênerai 
nature of the methods, discoveries and hypothèses of the psycho-analytic 
school, except in so far as they directly touch our présent problem. Some 
at least of the gênerai principles underlying the work of the school together 
with some of the results they hâve achieved are now becoming fairly well 
known. Those who would pursue the subject further may be referred 
to the following books: Brill, ** Psychanalysis," 2nd. éd. 1914; Ernest 
Jones, "Papers on Psycho-Analysis/' 2nd. éd. 1918; Pfister, "The Psycho- 
analytic Method," 1917; White, "Mechanisms of Character Formation," 1916; 
Barbara Low, **Psycho-Analysis," 1920. A more detailed study would include 
référence to Prof. Freud's own works, of which the principal are: — 
"Selected Papers on Hysteria," 1909; "Three Contributions to the Theory 
of Sex," 1910; "The Interprétation of Dreams," 1913; "The Psychopathology 
of Everyday Life," 1914; "Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious," 1916; 
"Totem and Taboo," 1918; "Vorlesungen zur Einfûhrung in die Psycho- 
analyse," 1918; also four volumes of the "Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur 
Neurosenlehre," published at varions times, and two volumes in the séries 


To assume the existence of unconscious mental processes 
has seemed to some to involve an open contradiction in terms ; 
but at the présent day there are few if any psychologists who 
think that a satisfactory science of the mind can be erected on 
the basis of the study of consciousness only. Even before 
Psychology had definitely aquired the status of an independent 
science, thinkers like Leibnitz, Schopenhauer, Fechner, Helmholtz, 
Hartmann, Nietzsche, had realised that a complète account of 
the nature and origin of the phenomena of consciousness 
required the postulation of some force outside consciousness, 
or at any rate outside the main stream of consciousness, which 
yet appeared to react upon and co-operate with consciousness, 
and which could be interpreted and understood in terms of 
conscious process. 

This resuit of more or less a priori spéculation subsequentiy 
received striking a posteriori confirmation from the work of a 
large number of those engaged in différent branches of psycho- 
logical investigation; including psj^cho-pathologists like Charcot, 
Janet, Morton Prince, students of Psychical Research like 
F. W. H. Myers, Gurney, Hodgson and expérimental psycho- 
logists like MûUer and Schumann, Knight-Dunlap and Ach. 
The extensive data contributed from thèse sources seemed to 
afford convincing proof that processes such as we are ordinarily 
inclined to regard as being invariably accompanied by 
consciousness, can occur, at any rate under certain circumstances, 
without the knowledge or conscious co-operation of the person 
by whom they are accomplished. The penetrating insight, the 
fearless logical consistenc}'', combined with the exceptional 
ability of detecting widespread but hidden identities and 
similarities which hâve distinguished the work of Freud enabled 
him to show that, far from being operative only under certain 
spécial or rare conditions, the unconscious mental forces of the 
human mind are continually active during waking life and even 
during sleep, and exercise a profound influence on the whole 

entitled "Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde". For the meaning of the 
term Unconscious see Hart, "The Conception of the Subconscious/' Journal 
of Abnortnal Psychology, 1910, Vol. IV, 351. Hart's small book "The Psycho- 
logy of Insanity," 1912, affords an excellent gênerai introduction to abnormal 
psychology. (Hère as elsewhere the titles and dates of English translations 
of foreign works are given, wherever such translations are available.) 


course of consciousness and conduct As the resuit of the far 
reaching investigations of Freud and of his foUowers, it would 
^ seem indeed that we shall probably hâve to look to the 
Uhconscious for an understanding of the ultimate nature of ail 
the deepest and most powerful motive forces of the mind. 

Psycho-ana- As is now well known, the psycho-analytic method originated 

{^l^sappliedto ^3 a method for the study and treatment of hysteria and other 

the family^ functional nervous disorders, which were found to dépend upon 
the influence of unconscious mental factors. The discovery of 
the importance of the feelings and tendencies connected with 
family life, especially as affecting thèse unconscious factors, 
dates from this time of the earliest use and application of 
Psycho-Analysîs. As in the case of so many other problems 
upon which the method has cast light, Freud himself was the 
first to show something of the intimate nature of the influence 
exerted by the family relationships. Certain aspects of the 
subject were already revealed in the Papers on Hysteria, pubhshed 
conjointly with Breuer in 1895 — a work which indicated for the 
first time something of tlie importance and nature of the 
subsequently developed psycho-analytic method. 

Hère and in the other early works of Freud there gradually 
émerge the fundamental conceptions which distinguish the 

The child's psycho-analytic schooP. Among thèse conceptions is that regarding 

love^to its |.j^ç ^gj.y important part played in the moral and emotional 
development of the child by the psychological factors which 
connect the child with its parent, and more especially by the 
child's feelings of love towards its parent. This love is shown 
to be of exceptional importance for a variety of reasons. In 
the first place it constitutes as a rule the earliest manifestation 
of altruistic sentiment exhibited by the child, the first direction 
outwards upon an object of the external world of impulses 
and émotions which hâve hitherto been enlisted solely in the 
service of the child's own immédiate needs and gratifications. 
As such it constitutes in the second place the germ eut of 
which ail later affections spring, and by which tlie course and 
nature of thèse later affections are to a large extent moulded 
and determined. Further (and this is perhaps the most significant, 

1 The most important work dealing with this matter and with other 
questions of development generally is Freud's "Three Contributions to 
the Theory of Sex." 


as it is certainly the most startling of Freud's discoveries in 
this field) there is shown to be no clear eut différence between 
the nature of this early filio-parental affection and that of the 
later loves of adolescent and adult life. The sexual aspect^ 
which imparts the characteristic and peculiar quality to the 
most powerful affections of maturity, is found to be présent 
also, in a rudimentary form, in the loves of childhood and of 
infancy and to exert an important influence upon the earliest 
of ail attachments — that of the child towards its parents. Thèse 
strong emotional forces concerned in the love of children to 
parents — and particularly the sexual or quasi-sexual éléments 
of thèse forces — were found, moreover, not only to be of the 
greatest importance for the normal emotional development of 
the individual, but also to play a leading part among the 
factors determining the causation and nature of the neuroses. 

In this last conception regarding the continuity of ùie 
young child's love of its parents with the sexual émotions of 
later life we are brought face to face with one of the most 
striking and characteristic features of Freud's work. The mère 
idea of such incestuous or quasi-incestuous feehngs and 
tendencies as are hère indicated provokes astonishment, ré- 
pugnance and incredulity, The arousal of an attitude antagonistic 
to the réception of such views — even though such an attitude 
be inévitable and invariable — must not however, be regarded 
as constituting in itself a disproof of the existence of the 
feelings and tendencies in question, Such an attitude is, on the 
contrary, only what is to be expected if Freud's theory of the 
matter be correct. According to Freud's gênerai conception of 
mental development tendencies which — like thèse — are more or 
less openly irreconcilable with prévalent moral sentiments and 
traditions, become in the course of time (as wé shall see more 
fully later) opposed by other powerful forces of the mind; which 
dispute with them the right of expression in thought or deed 
and which eventually tend to refuse them admission to 
consciousness at ail. This action of opposing forces with regard 
to the more primitive aspects of the mind is termed Repression 
and so far as it manifests itself in consciousness finds its most Repression 
usual expression in the émotions of disgust, anger and fear. 
As a resuit of this repression (which is of course only a 
particular instance of the more gênerai process already weU 


known to psychologists and neurologists under the name of 
Inhibition), the sexual aspects of the child s love towards its 
parents (together with many other tendencies which conflict 
similarly with the notions of propriety developed as the child 
grows up) are, to a greater or less extent, thrust out of 
consciousness into the unconscious régions of the mind, there 
to drag out a prolonged existence in a comparatively crude 
and undeveloped form,and to manifest themselves in consciousness 
and in behaviour only in an indirect, symbolic or distorted 
manner. The very fact that, when brought into consciousness, 
such ideas are often greeted with exaggerated antipathy or 
incredulity, constitutes therefore, if anything, a confirmation of 
the real existence of thèse ideas in the Unconscious; the feelings 
of repulsion and disgust to which their introduction into 
consciousness gives rise being but a manifestation of the 
motive forces of Repression to which the original expulsion 
from consciousness of the répugnant thoughts and tendencies 
was due. 
Dreams As the result of further study with gradually improving 

technique, Freud, in his later works, confirmed, elaborated 
and extended his observations on the influence of the 
family relationships in the growth and development of the 
individual mind. Of particular importance, both in itself and 
because of the gênerai influence of the book as in some 
respects the most thoroughgoing présentation of Freud s 
methods and point of view, is the treatment of the matter in 
the "Interprétation of Dreams." Hère Freud introduces the 
subject in connection with that of the so-called typical dreams, 
i. e, dreams which occur to a large number of persons and to 
the same person on a number of separate occasions. Among 
such dreams, some of fairly fréquent occurrence are, as Freud 
points out, concemed with the death of near and dear relatives 
who are still living at the time at which the dream takes place ^ 
The considération of such dreams leâds Freud to maintain that 
they are to be interpreted (in accordance with the gênerai 
principle of wish-fulfihnent)^ as the manifestation of an actual 

1 **The Interprétation of Dreams," 219. 

2 The dreams lalling within this class (together with some others) 
appear to exhibit what is, at first sight at least, a puzzîing exception to the 
gênerai ruîe goveming the formation of dreams which give expression to 



désire in the Unconscious for the death of the person con- 

In explanation of this astonishing and repellent conclusion, 
Freud draws attention to the fact that the relations of the 
members of a family to one another are in many respects of 
such a nature as to call forth hostile émotions almost if not 
quite as readily as they call forth love; that brothers and 
sisters, parents and children, owing to the very closeness of 
the mental and material ties which bind them together and to 
the very considérable degree to which they are mutually dépen- 
dent, often find themselves in opposition to, or in compétition 
with, one another. The antagonisms thus produced are frequently 
of such a kind as to meet with the same opposition from the 
moral consciousness as is encountered in the case of the sexual 
or quasi-sexual aspects of love between members of the same 
family. In their more intense degrees, therefore, they too are 
often subjected to a process of repression and become banished 
to the Unconscious. They are, moreover, especiaUy when so 

repressed tendencies, inasmuch as the obuoxious wish is gratified openly 
and undisguisedly instead of appearing in an indirect and symbolic form, 
as is usually the case. It would seem however, that this departure from 
the rule may to a large extent be explained and reconciled with the 
ordinary methods of repression by the f oUowing considérations : — (i) although 
the content of the wish appears directly in consciousness, it nevertheless 
fails (both during the dream and after waking) to be appreciated in its full 
sîgnificance for the mental life of the personality, i. e. there is no réalisation 
of the fact that the dream represents in any way the fulfilment of a wish ; 
there is présent a sort of functional agnosia, in virtue of which the thought 
of the death is dissociated from its actual psychical concomitants, which 
alone can endow it with its full meaning; (2) in addition to this cognitive 
dissociation there is an emotional substitution, the émotion actually ex- 
perienced being one of sorrow instead of one of joy, which the simple 
gratification of a wish would by itself most naturally occasion. This sorrow 
corresponds of course to the very genuine grief which would be felt at 
the conscious level in case of any real mishap to the relatives concemed 
and at the same time serves as an additional screeu to hide the underlying 
hostile wish in the Unconscious; (3) on rarer occasions it would seem that 
the process of emotional substitution may be replaced by one of 
deëmotionahsation which prevents the cognitive éléments from calling 
up any of the feelings which would normally accompany them; thus the 
death o£ a near relative will appear not as a sorrowful (or as it would 
be at certain levels of the Unconscious, a joyful) event, but as one 
devoid of ail affective significance or as one that is absurd, ridîculous or 

The hostile 
in family 




banished, very far from being incompatible with the existence 
of a very genuine affection at the conscious level. In view of 
the conflicting nature of the tendencies that may be thus 
aroused, it is not surprising that as psycho-pathological research 
has revealed, hatred towards near relatives may be of very 
considérable importance also as a determining factor in the 
production of neuroses. It has, in fact, been found that a re- 
pressed hatred may underlie a whole séries of pathological 
symptoms in precisely the same manner as a repressed love. 

The correla- The love aspect of the family relationships itself however 

^^*^°^d*h /^^^ oiten plays a part in dreams, both in a distorted and symbolic 
représentation and, more openly expressed, in a directiy 
incestuous form. In fact very frequently both love and hâte 
aspects may be combined in a dream or in a séries of dreams 
or set of pathological symptoms. In such cases love for one 
member of the family is usually accompanied by jealousy or 
hatred towards some other member who possesses or is thought 
to possess the affections of the first. In its most typical form 
this conjunction of love and hâte aspects occurs in the attitude 
of the child towards its parents. Hère the dawning hetero- 
sexual inclinations of the child (which, as Freud, and other 
students of the mind, hâve shown, begin to manifest themselves 
at a much earlier âge than is often supposed, though full 
heterosexual raaturity is not attained, if ever, until after puberty) 
usually bring it about that the love is directed towards the 
parent of the opposite sex and the hâte towards the parent of 
the same sex as that of the child. 

The Œdipus The feelings and tendencies in question hâve found ex- 

Complex pression in innumerable stories, myths and legends, in various 
degrees of openness or of disguise, and with sometimes the 
love and sometimes the hâte éléments predominating. It is 
more especially in the myth of Œdipus, who unwittingly 
becomes the murderer of his father and the husband of his 
mother, that the ultimate nature of thèse tendencies is most 
openly and powerfully revealed; and it is for this reason that 
the combination of love and hâte aspects with ail the feelings 
and desires to which they give rise has come to be shortly 
designated as the Œdipus complex ^. 

^ Or sometimes, in the case ol women, the Electra complex; though 
the Electra myth gives a rather less complète expression ol the combined 



Tendencies, which, like those revealed in the Œdipus myth 
and its numberless variations, hâve continued to manifest 
themselves in the productions of the popular and the artistic 
mind for many générations, would seem to show by their 
universality and tenacity that their origins lie deeply embedded 
in the very foundations of human life and character; and this 
view of their importance is corroborated by the very significant 
place which they are found to occupy as etiological factors in 
the production of neuroses. Freud has gone so far as to say 
that the tendencies centering round the Œdipus situation 
form the "nuclear complex of the neuroses," û e. the fundamental 
point of conflict in the mind of the neurotic, about which the 
other conflicts gather and upon which they are to a great 
extent dépendent In the light of Freud's fruitful conception of 
the neuroses as due largely to the fact that a part of the 
emotional energy has suffered an arrest at, or a "régression" 
to, a relatively early stage of mental development, this funda- 
mental rôle of the Œdipus complex in the neuroses would 
seem to indicate that the proper development and control of 
the child's psychic relations to his parents constitutes at once 
one of the most important and one of the most difficult features 
of individual mental growth. That this is in fact the case has 
been shown both by the researches of Freud himself and by 
those of aU other psycho-analytic investigators, and may without 
difficulty be confirmed from the expérience of ordinary life by 
those whose eyes hâve once been opened to the fuU significance 
and innumerable manifestations of the psychic relationship 
between parents and children. 

In the light of thèse researches and observations the 
normal course of development of the child s affections, so far 
as they concem us here^, would seem to be somewhat as 

love and hâte tendencies in the female than is found in the Œdipus story 
for the corresponding tendencies of the maie. 

The whole subject of the manifestations of thèse complexes in legend 
and Uterature and in the mind of the poet and the artist is treated at 
length in Otto Rank's comprehensive and most valuable work *'Das Inzest- 
motiv in Dichtung und Sage*'- 

1 This is a most important and far-reaching limitation. In order to 
avoid entering upon many difficult but weighty matters which are not 
strictly relevant to our présent thème, we hâve hère — and throughout the 
book — necessarily had to content ourselves with a somewhat one-sided and 

The normal 

course of 


of the child 's 





Object love 

foUowsi: In the earliest period of its existence those tendencies 
which are afterwards to develop into love, affection and désire for 
persons or objects in the outer world are at first connected 
with sensations from varions parts of the child's own body. 
This constitutes the auto-erotic stage in which the child is for 
the most part concemed with outer things as objects of désire 
merely in so far as they serve to bring about his own bodily 
comfort and satisfaction. To begin with there is indeed in ail 
probability no clear distinction between the self and the 
environment or between the animate or inanimate objects of 
the environment. Corresponding to the graduai development of 
thèse distinctions there is found the beginning of what is 
called by Freud **object love", the expérience of désire for, 
and affection towards, some object or person of the environment, 
the highest manifestation of which is found in the passionate 
and ail absorbing loves of subséquent adolescent or adult life. 
This beginning of object love is a most important stage of 

misleading portrayal of human psychic development as a whole. This 
deficiency is most marked with regard to the treatment of the great group 
of self-preserving and self-regarding tendencies, which we hâve only 
touched upon occasionally and of which we hâve nowhere attempted any 
adéquate présentation. As a conséquence of this, it must be borne in mind 
that from the point of view of gênerai psychology, we hâve frequently 
laid too much stress upon the object-regarding tendencies (see below), to 
the relative neglect of much that is more primitive and fundamental in 
human nature. Our excuse must be that our subject naturally brings us 
into far doser touch with the social and (to use a convenient term of 
Ferenczi's) allo-erotic aspects of the mind than with those other aspects 
which are more intimately concemed with the individual as an independent 
microcosmic organism. To correct and amplify the inadéquate conception 
of the human mind and of human mental development to which our présent 
treatment might lead if taken by itself, the reader should consult Freud's 
*'Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex" and his important paper "Zur 
Einfûhrung des Narzifimus," Jahrbuch der Psychoanalyse, Yl^ i. The works 
of Alfred Adler, though often both exaggerated and, especially in their 
English form, veiy nearly unreadable, contain some interesting material in 
this connection. 

A very illuminating considération of the problem with which we are 
immediately concemed at this point — the early development of object love 
in the child and the relations of this object love to the activities of the 
auto-erotic stage — will be found in a paper on the "Psychology of the New 
Born Infant" by David Forsyth. (To be published in the Briiish Journal of 

1 Cp, especially Freud, "Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex.'* 




development, since on its success dépends not only the possibility 
of a normal growth of the sexual trends to full maturity» but 
also, to a great extent, the occasion and opportunity for the 
unfolding of many of the higher altruistic tendencies and 

It is natural that, in the graduai transition from auto- 
erotism to object love, the first object of the child's affection 
should be chosen from ainongst those who administer to its 
bodily needs and comfort Thus it is probable that in the con- 
ditions of normal family life, the mother or the nurse is, in 
nearly ail cases, the first person selected. It would appear, 
however, that at a relatively very early âge, the sex df the 
child begins to exert an influence on the choice of the loved 
object, so that (as we hâve already noted) we find after a time 
a prédominant tendency for sélection of the parent of the 
opposite sex as the object of affection. This perhaps takes Hetero- 
place to some extent in virtue of an already ripening tendency 
to heterosexual sélection in the child. But there can be litde 
doubt that in many cases another factor is to some extent 
operative in bringing about this resuit, i. e, the tendency of 
the child to appreciate and to return the manifestations of 
affection that are shown towards it. Now the parents in virtue 
of their developed heterosexual inclinations tend very frequently 
to feel most attracted to those of their children who are of the 
opposite sex to their own and thus (consciously or unconsciously) 
to indulge in greater manifestations of affection towards such 
children; this unequal distribution of affection being in tum 
perceived and reciprocated by the children themselves. 

This reciprocation on the part of the child of the hetero- 
sexual préférences of the parents undoubtedly plays a vêry 
large part in the development of normal heterosexuality : just 
how large is this part comparéd with that played by the in- 
stinctive heterosexual reactions of the child, it is difficult or 
impossible to say in the présent state of our knowledge, since 
in any given case the two factors are apt to be very closely 
interrelated. The question is of interest because the relative 
influence of the two factors must, it would appear, largely 
détermine the extent to which the direction of a child's sexual 
desires is dépendent upon innate and upon environmental 
causes respectively. Should the direction of a child's object 







in giris 

love toward persons of one sex rather than toward those of 
the other be largely determined by the manifestations of 
affection that the child receives, it would seem that the sexual 
inclinations of the parents must exert a great influence in the 
formation of the sexual character of their children, e, g, that 
marked heterosexuality in the parents would tend— ^through its 
eff ects on parental préférences and quite apart from any hereditary 
influences — to produce equally developed heterosexual inclinations 
in the children, whereas homosexusdly disposed parents would 
tend in ^ similar way to bring up homosexual children. 

If on the other hand, the direction of a child's object love 
dépends chiefly upon innate instinctive factors, the sexual dis- 
positions of the parents will play a much less important rôle 
in the mental history of the child and will be influential only 
in so far as they are directly inherited. The progress of psycho- 
logical research, statistical and psycho-analytic — ^will, we may 
hope, cast much light upon this problem in the near future. 

Another interesting question relating to the direction of 
object love towards the parents is connected with the fact 
that, in the case of female children, the influences making 
towards heterosexual choice of object would seem, under normal 
conditions of upbringing, to be liable to conflict with the 
tendency for the affections of the child to go out in the first 
place towards those to whom the child is chiefly indebted for 
the satisfaction of its more immédiate bodily needs. Under 
thèse circumstances it might perhaps be expected that it would 
be usual for girls to pass through a stage of mother love before 
transferring the greater part of their affection to their father. 
There is much reason to think that the number of girls 
retaining an unusual or pathological degree of mother love in 
later years is greater than the number of boys retaining a 
corresponding degree of father love ; if this be the case, it may 
perhaps be held to show that the mother is indeed the first 
object of affection in both boys and girls and that some of the 
latter retain marked traces of this stage of their development 
throughout subséquent life. Additional évidence pointing in the 
same direction seems to be forthcoming from a number of 
pathological cases among adult women, the study of which has 
revealed the existence of a persistent and intense attachment to 
the mother; this attachment being of an infantile character and 



situated in a deeper and more inaccessible layer of the Un- 
conscious than the father love, which appeared to hâve been, 
in the process of growth, as it v^ere, superimposed upon the 
earlier affection. If father love in giris should prove to be 
normally built upon the remains of an earlier period of ex- 
clusive mother love v^hich is common to both girls and boys, 
it is évident that in this respect the development of hetero- 
sexual object love in girls is a rather more complex process 
than it is in boys. This greater complexity of the process of 
development may, as Freud himself has pointed out in a some- 
what différent but not altogether unrelated connection^ become 
the cause of a number of those failures of adjustment to the 
conditions of adult life — sexual and gênerai — that are found to 
underlie the neuroses, The greater incidence of certain neurotic 
disturbances among women as compared with nien may perhaps 
ultimately be due in part 2 to the greater complexity of the 
original process by which the object love of the child comes to 
be directed to the parent of the opposite sex. 

With the firm establishment of object love towards the Jealousy 
parent of the opposite sex, the conditions are présent for the 
arousal of jealousy towards the parent of the same sex, since 
this latter is soon found to possess daims upon the affection 
and attention of the loved parent which are apt to conflict 
with the similar daims of the child. Thus the young girl 
begins to resent the affection and considération which her 
mother receives at the hands of her father and comes in time 
to look upon her mother as in some sensé a sexual rival who 
competes with her father's love. In imagination she will allow 
herself to occupy her mother's place and may even attempt 
to put this fancy into practice, if opportunity should offer; as 
in the case cited by Freud ^ of the eight year old girl who 
openly proclaimed herself as her mother's successor when her 
mother was absent on occasion from the family table, or in 
the still more striking case of the four year old child who 

^ **Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex,'* 80, 81. 

2 Among other reasons for the greater Hability of women to neurosis, 
one of great importance is the transference, in the course of sexual 
development, of the chief seat of erotic sensibility from the clitoris to the 

3 **The Interprétation of Dreams/' 219. 

17 2 


said: — *'Mother can just stay away now; then father will hâve 
to marry me and I shall be his wife." Boys expérience a similar 
jealousy towards their father and often corne to regard his 
présence in the family as that of an intruder or interloper who 
disturbs the otherwise peaceful and loving relations between 
his mother and himself. This view of the father as intruder 
is particularly liable to occur if (as so frequently happens) the 
father is absent from the home for relatively long periods 
during the working hours of the day or even for several days 
or weeks on end^. Even in the cases where the father is not 
frequently away from home, his continued présence is sooner 
or later found to be irksome in the same v^ay as is the mother's 
in the case of girls, and the désire for his removal will gradually 
begin to make itself felt, if not in consciousness, at least in the 
unconscious levels of the mind. 

The hâte aspect of the Œdipus complex would thus seem 
normally to arise in the first place as a conséquence of the 
love aspect, the affection felt by the child towards the parent 
of the opposite sex bring^ng about a resentment at the 
présence of the other parent; this latter parent being 
looked upon as a competitor for the affections of the loved 
parent and a disturber of the peace of the family circle. 
But though in its origin the hâte aspect is thus usually a 
secondary phenomenon, it may under suitable conditions grow 
to eqiial or even to excel in importance the love aspect from 
which it in the first place arose. This is especially liable 
to be the case when, in addition to the spécifie interférence 
with the love activities of the child, the parent in question 
Causes of causes more gênerai interférence with the child's desires and 
parent-hatred activities, by adopting a harsh, intolérant or inconsiderate 
attitude towards the child in their everyday relations or as 
regards matters in which the child's interests and ambitions 
are more especially concerned. To the envy and jealousy felt 
towards a competitor and rival there is then added the hatred 
and désire for rébellion against a tyrant and oppressor; and 

1 Many instances of the influence of the father's absence could be 
observed in connection with the war. Thus a smaîl boy of five known ta 
the writer solemnîy assured his mother that now that his father was 
permanentîy away, it wouîd be onîy right for her to marry him, her 
son, instead. 



the complex émotions thus aroused may engender a hostile 

sentiment of such intensity as, in sonie cases, to constitute one 

of the dominant traits of character, net only of childhood but 

of the whole of adult life. 

Only second in importance to the attitude of the child Hatred be- 

towards its parents are its relations to its brothers and sisters. tween brothers 

siriQ sistcrs 
Under the conditions of normal family life, brothers and sisters 

are, after the parents, the most important persons in the 

environment of the young child, and it is but natural that 

thèse persons should be among the earliest objects of the 

developing love and hâte émotions of the child. Whereas, 

however, in the child's relations towards its parents, love would 

seem to be the émotion that is usually first evoked, in its 

dealings with the other junior members of the family, the 

opposite émotion of hâte is in most cases the primary reaction. 

This fact can be easily explained as to a great extent a natural 

conséquence of the necessary conditions of family life. Brothers 

and sisters possess claims upon the attention and affection of 

the loved parent (especially when that parent is the mother) 

which are apt to conflict seriously with one another and may 

on occasion be felt by the respective claimants to be abnost 

if not quite as irksome and exorbitant as those of the other 

parent, whose compétition vv^ith the child in this respect we 

hâve already noted. From this source there frequently arise 

feelings of violent jealousy betvt^een brothers and sisters, and 

the attitude of hostility thus evoked may be increased, or at 

any rate prevented from disappearing, by the fact that chiidren 

of the same family hâve to share not only the affection of 

their parents but, to some extent at least, their material 

possessions and enjoyments also. 

The Works of psycho-analytic writers contain numerous 

examples of such brother and sister hatreds in early years. As 

a rule the younger child resents the advantages and privilèges 

of which it finds the older chiidren already in possession; it 

finds itself in many respects compelled to submit to the superior 

size and strength and expérience of the older chiidren, whom 

it is therefore inclined to regard as tyrants, the only refuge 

from whose brutal power lies in appeal to the still higher adult 

powers who control the destinies of the nursery. Older chiidren, 

on their part, are inclined to regard any new arrivai in the 

19 2* 


family circle as an intruder upon their own préserves and a 
competitor for their own cherished rights, privilèges and 
possessions. Hence the announcement of such a new arrivai is 
in many cases greeted, in the first instance, with anything but 
joy, and the wish is often expressed that the intruder should 
départ again whence he came. Indeed it would seem probable 
from some cases that not a little of the interest displayed by 
children in the processes of conception, gestation and (more 
especially) birth, is due to the fact that thèse processes are 
intimately connected with the appearance of a new brother or 
sister to disturb the peaceful monopoly of the family possessions 
and affections which the elder children hâve hitherto enjoyed. 
In other cases, again, the resentment felt towards the new 
intruder may be se great that it may even find expression in 
an actual attempt on the part of an older child to do away 
with the younger one^ should a convenient opportunity for this 
présent itself. 
Love between Although jealousy and hatred are thus apt to be the first 

^^^^sis[ers ^^ emotional reactions of brothers and sisters towards one 
another, there can be no doubt that a brother or sister 
may from the beginning be an object of affection, the object 
love of the child being directed towards its brother or sister 
in much the same manner as towards its parent. This is much 
more likely to happen in relation to an elder than in relation 
to a younger member of the faûiily and occurs most frequently 
when there is a considérable différence in âge between the 
children concerned^ so that interests and desires no longer 
conflict and overlap to the same extent as they do in the case 
of children of approximately equal âge. The most favourable 
conditions for the direction of a child*s object love in this 
manner are to be found in those large working-class families, 
where an elder sister frequently takes over some of the attributes 
of the mother as regards the younger children. In such a case 
the feelings of the younger child (particularly if that child be a 
boy) towards its elder sister are usually of an affectionate nature 
from the very start. 

1 Mr. Cyril Burt informs me that he has encountered two quite 
definite cases of attempted fratricide in the course of his work as Psycho- 
logist to the London Coimty Council. 



In the emotional and affective attitudes of the child towards 
its parents and the other important persons in its environment, 
so far as we hâve now traced them, the child's conduct is in 
some respects more nearly allied to that of the fully developed The primitive 
human being than is generally recognised or admitted. In the ^"?7h^"^M^^ 
depth and intensity of its love and hâte, in its sexual or quasi- 
sexual activities and in its distinctive attitude towards persons 
of différent sex, the child reveals characteristics which hâve 
often hitherto been regarded as exclusive manifestations of the 
adult or adolescent mind. In another very important respect, 
however, the child's conduct and feeling differ markedly from 
those of tlie adult. The emotional and affective reactions with 
which we hâve been dealing exhibit a straight-forwardness and 
simplicity which is not found in the more developed minds of 
normal adult persons, and which is due to the fact that the 
child*s early conative tendencies are able, to a relatively large 
extent, to work themselves out without any serious opposition, 
hindrance or modification caused by the présence of other 
conflicting tendencies within the mind. The child's mind is a 
relatively dissociated one ; incompatible thoughts, émotions, feelings 
and desires may successively invade the seat of consciousness, 
lead to their appropriate reactions and be but little modified or 
checked by one another. For this reason the child is, during 
the earliest part of its life, a relatively a-moral being, for 
morality implies the possibility of two or more courses of 
thought or action — a better and a worse — and the lack of 
intégration in the child*s mind only permits of this possibility 


to a vety limited extent Thus it cornes about that the very 
young child is able to indulge openly in the expression of 
sexual or hostile tendencies in a manner which is impossible 
in later life; for to the child the expression of thèse tendencies 
does not yet possess the moral and affective meaning which it 
is destined subsequently to acquire. In the earliest years of 
life the manifestations of quasi-sexual love, even in an incestuous 
direction, are at first only the natural expression of a désire, 
which is gratified as a matter of course and without any hési- 
tation produced by a sensé of the immorality of thèse mani- 
festations. Similarly, when the child seeks, by death or other- 
wise, to bring about the permanent removal of a rival or com- 
petitor, the ideas of death and murder are, as Freud points out^ 
at first quite uncomplicated by the thoughts, feelings and senti- 
ments which later come to be associated with them; the in- 
fliction of death — real or imaginary — is simply the most natural 
way of dealing, at the earliest stages of emotional development^ 
with unwanted persons who interfère with the child's desires 
and tendencies. 
Modification This open and unrestricted expression of primitive ten- 

?he*^resulT of dencies is, however, confined to a phase of relatively short 
Conflict duration in the history of the child's mind, being generally 
found only in the first few years of life. The crude love or 
hâte for mother or father, brotlier or sister, which we hâve so 
far been considering, does not long persist in its original form ; 
tlie normal development of the mind requires that thèse primi- 
tive emotional attitudes shall undergo grave and far reaching 
modifications, the production of which constitutes an important 
step towards the attainment of the adolescent or adult point 
of view. 

The forces of Thèse modifications are the resuit of a conflict which takes 

Repression pj^ce in the mind between the love and hâte impulses in their 
original form and certain tendencies of an antagonistic nature 
which (as already indicated in the last chapter), make their 
appearance after a certain time and threaten to inhibit the 
cruder manifestations of the primitive impulses. Thèse new 
tendencies are themselves, in ail probability, derived from more 
than one source. Those which produce modification in the love 
impulses of the child, may be regarded as constituting, no 
1 *'The Interprétation of Dreams," 215. 



doubt, only so many particular instances of that inhibition of 
sexual and quasi-sexual activity which exercises such a large 
influence in the formation of human character in gênerai. 

The précise history and nature of the motives that are at 
work hère are not as yet completely understood, and we shall 
hâve occasion to consider the subject again at a later stage of 
our présent enquiry. There can be Uttle doubt that one of the 
factors concerned is to be found in the suggestive influence of 
social pressure and tradition manifesting itself in the case of 
the child, through the behaviour and expression of the adult 
persons with whom it is brought into contact^. In appreciating 
and responding to thèse influences, the child is probably helped 
by a spécial instinctive mechanism which tends to make it con- Herd Instinct 
form to the behaviour, opinions and emotional atmosphère of 
its human environment A "herd instinct" of this kind is re- 
garded by some psychologists as constituting the moral force 
operating as one of the opposing tendencies in ail intra-psychical 
conflicts such as that with which we are hère concerned^. It is 
indeed almost certainly a factor of very considérable importance 
in this connection; the manner in which sexual restrictions 
and inhibitions so markedly vary from one time, place or social 
condition to another indicates that there is no deep rooted in- 
stinctive tendency towards the suppression of any particular 
manifestations of sexuality, but rather that the nature of the 
modifications and restraints undergone by sexual activities is 
determined for the most part by prévalent moral conventions 
passively taken over by the individual from the society in which 
he finds himself. Nevertheless, it would seem doubtful whether the 
practically universal existence of some kind of sexual restriction 
can be entirely accounted for in this way. For other reasons it 
would appear probable that a tendency to some sort of quite 
gênerai inhibition of primitive sexual activities is part of the 
original mental endowment of each human individual, even 
though the particular manifestations of this inhibitory tendency 

1 The earliest manifestation of the disapproval of sexual activities is 
of course encountered in the autoerotic stage of the child's development 
and in relation to the autoerotic activities. It is in connection with thèse 
activities that the sexual inhibitions in their more gênerai and primitive 
forms at first arise. 

2 Cp. Trotter, "Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War/» 


are principally determined by suggestive influences from the 
environment. To this point also we shall hâve occasion to 
revert later on, when we shall be in a more favourable position 
for forming an opinion with regard to it. 

With référence to the moral tendencies which are operative 
in producing modifications of the primitive hatreds of the child 
there can be little doubt that hère also herd instinct is in many 
cases a factor of importance. At quite an early âge, the child 
begins to learn that it is "right" to love and obey its parents 
and "wrong" to resist the dictâtes of the parental authority or 
to quarrel with its brothers or sisters: and thèse precepts are 
constantly inculcated vâth ail the impressive suggestiveness 
which social, educational and religious influences hâve at their 
command. Of equal, if not greater, importance, however, is the 

Love, gratitude tendency of the child to feel affection towards those with whom 
admr^f ^^ ^^^^^ ^" intimate relationship, to whom it is indebted for ail 
or most of its material possessions and enjoyments and whom 
it in many cases admires and looks up to as the idéal of fuUy 
grown humanity to which it may itself one day attain. The 
natural growth and development of thèse feelings are, however, 
it is true, helped and encouraged by the moral suggestions re- 
ceived from outside, whereas thèse same outside influences tend 
powerfully to inhibit the contrary feelings of hatred and 
The nature After this brief considération of the nature of the psychic 

and results of forces which at a certain stage of development come to be 
arrayed in opposition to the primitive manifestations of love 
and hâte as brought out by the circumstances of family life, we 
tum now to contemplate the nature and outcome of the conflict 
that takes place within the mind between the tw^o sets of 
antagonistic tendencies. Our knowledge concerning this and 
other similar intra-psychical conflicts has during récent years 
been very considerably increased by the work of Freud and 
other psychologists of Û\e psycho-analytic school. Generally it 
may be said that the outcome of such a conflict varies 
according to the relative success of one of the conflicting 
tendencies over the other. If the two combatants are of 
approximately equal strength, there may be a continuous 
struggle between them of such a kind as to make itself clearly 
felt in consciousness ; the individual being then as a rule in- 



capable of vigorous action in gratification o{ either tendency. 
In other cases the competing tendencies may alternately domi- 
nate consciousness and conduct; so that the behaviour of the 
individual becomes characterised by impulsiveness and want of 
balance rather than by want of energJ^ 

At the opposite extrême there are conflicts which end by 
the complète exclusion of one tendency from any direct in- 
fluence on consciousness or on behaviour; the individual be- 
coming then normally quite unaware of the existence of any 
such tendency within his mind. This exclusion from conscious- 
ness or from any direct manifestation in behaviour does not, 
however, of itself bring about a complète annihilation of the 
tendency in question. It would seem, on tlie contrary, that such 
a tendency may continue to exist for a long period (even for 
a whole lifetime) in the unconscious régions of the mind, where 
its présence may be demonstrated by the use of suitable 
methods. Such an outcome of conflict, in which one tendency 
is driven down to the Unconscious and confined there by the 
other, is — as we hâve already stated — usually designated by the 
term Repression. 

The process of Repression is, however, rarely carried to Displacement 
such a degree as to render one of the conflicting tendencies ^ hî^*^t* 
completely and permanently incapable of direct expression. 
Most frequently ail that is effected is a modification of such a 
kind that in its new form the repressed tendency no longer 
conflicts to the same extent as before with the repressing 
tendency. This process of modification bas received the name 
of Displacement and consists essentially in the abandonment 
on the part of the repressed tendency of its original end or 
object in favour of a new one which meets with less résistance 
from the opposing motives. When the new end or object is of 
such a nature as to be culturally or ethically of appreciably 
greater value than the original one, the modification undergone 
by the tendency in question is often spoken of as Sublimation 
— a term which thus comprehends ail the "higher" and more 
désirable cases of Displacement ^. 

1 For a more thorough treatment of the mechanisms of Repression, 
Displacement and Sublimation by the présent writer, see ^'Freudian 
Mechanisms as Factors in Moral Development/' British Journat of Psycho- 
îogy, 1915, vol. Vm, 477. 



In tlie conflict with which we are hère concerned, those 
motives of a relatively social or ethical character which we 
hâve already considered in this chapter, act as the repressing 
force; while the original primitive tendencies of love and hâte, 
with which we were concerned in the last chapter, suffer the 
repression. As regards the degree to which the repression is 
carried, it would appear that in a considérable number of 
cases the more strongly tabooed among the socially and ethi- 
cally objectionable éléments become forced out of consciousness 
without producing any immédiate conscious équivalents. This, 
perhaps, is liable to take place more especially as regards 
some of the more directly sexual aspects of the child's attitude 
towards its parents. As Freud has pointed out^ there occurs 
at some time in the early period of childhood — perhaps most 
usually at about the sixth year, a relatively latent sexual period, 
during which ail sexual manifestations are more or less in 
abeyance. The existence of this period would seem to imply a 
temporary gênerai sexual repression, in which the erotic aspects 
Incest in the affection of the child to its parents suffer, together with 
Repression ^ other sexual éléments. This initial period of repression seems 
to play an important part in the production of a permanent 
dissociation between the sexual desires and the feelings ex- 
perienced in relation to the parents, so that sexual émotion 
and filial affection are thereafter seldom permitted to enter 
consciousness together. Indeed it would appear that this gênerai 
repression of sexual activity is to some extent removed only in 
so far as this dissociation has taken place; for on the 
reappearance of a more vigorous sexuality at the close of tlie 
latent period, the erotic tendencies would seem normally to 
hâve undergone a process of displacement so that they are no 
longer so intimately connected with the parent-love as on their 
first appearance. 
Displacement In ail the more favourable cases of development, however, 

objecf of love ^^ ^^ probable that even from the first the conflict between the 
primitive éléments of love and hâte and the newly unfolding 
ethical tendencies results to a great extent in the displacement 
and graduai sublimation of the former and not merely in their 
repression or return to a latent state. The process of displacement 
hère takes the form of a dissociation of the more erotic 
1 **Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex." 



aspects of the child's affection from the loved parent — thèse 
aspects being thus set free for bestowal upon other persons. 
The choice of such fresh objects for the child's affection is 
determined in accordance with what would appear to be a 
gênerai lavv governing the process of displacement, viz,, that 
the new end or object, to which the psychic energy is directed, 
must hâve some associative connection with the old object 
which has been abandoned. For this reason, it is very frequently 
possible to trace some kind of resemblance between the loved 
parent and the new object of affection; though this resemblance 
may be of very varions degrees or kinds. Thus, the new object 
of affection may bear some resemblance to the parent in one 
or more of the following points: physical appearance (eitlier 
gênerai or as regards some spécial feature), mental character- 
istics, circumstances of life (both thèse last again being either 
gênerai or spécial), âge, name, past history, occupation or family 
relationship. Sometimes, moreover, the resemblance may be of 
an opposing or négative kind, the later object of love being 
markedly différent from, or contrasting with, the original object 
in some one or more of thèse characters. In the case of a 
succession of such loved objects, it is not unusual. for the 
resemblance to the original object of affection to become 
gradually less pronounced, in accordance with a further gênerai 
characteristic of Displacement, in virtue of which the higher 
sublimations {i. e,, those which imply ends very différent from, 
and of higher cultural value than, the original objects of désire) 
are only attained slowly and through a number of inter- 
mediate steps. 

A first step of fréquent occurrence and of great importance Parent 
in a large number of cases is the transference of erotic love 
from the parent to some other member of the family, e. g., 
brother, sister or (usually at a somewhat later stage of 
developnient) cousin. In the first two cases the new choice of 
object has the additional advantage of tending to abolish the 
hâte or jealousy which, as we saw, is apt to characterise the 
original attitude towards such members of the family: and this 
in two ways: — (i) negatively, by removing the cause of the 
jealousy, since, as the parent is now no longer the sole object 
of affection, the rival claims of brothers and sisters upon the 
attention of the parent are no longer felt to be objectionable ; 




(2) positively, by investîng the brotlier or sister with the 
attributes of lovableness formerly reserved for the parent. 

In the same way, the diversion of the erotic tendencies 
from the parent of the opposite sex removes the principal 
cause of jealousy and hatred felt towards the parent of the 
same sex, so that, in the absence of other causes of hostihty, 
this hatred — in itself, as we pointed out, originally in some 
respects a secondary phenomenon — may give place to the 
affection which, in their capacity of protectors and benefactors, 
tends normally to be inspired in some degree by both parents 
alike. But even in so far as the hâte may be primary (due as 
a rule to fréquent thwarting of the child's desires and activities 
or to bull3âng, nagging or generally unsympathetic behaviour 
on the part of the parent in question), it tends to undergo a 
considérable degree of repression or displacement on its own 
account, so that after a time the child no longer expériences 
in consciousness any violent aversion to its parent; such 
aversion being either confined to the Unconscious or dis- 
placed on to other objects in a manner which -we shall study 
later on. 
The infantile The fact that the first choice of loved object other than 

e^îv^Iove ^^^ parent is associatively connected with the original object 
of love, is shown not only in the nature of the objects selected 
but also to some extent in the attitude of the child or adolescent 
towards the objects of his love. In the loves of the young 
towards persons of the opposite sex, there is usually a strong 
élément of révérence and admiration, a deep feeling of gratitude 
for any faveurs that may be received, combined with a sensé 
of the lover's own unworthiness and inferiority ; a total attitude 
very similar to that not unreasonably adopted towards their 
own parents, to whom they are indebted for the very necessities 
of life throughout tlieir childhood and to whom they naturally 
feel themselves to be inferior in knowledge, expérience and 
moral wortli. Thus in the early loves of the young boy, the 
objects of his affection are apt to be regarded as queen-like 
or semi-divine beings — models of beauty, virtue and wisdom 
— to whose perfections they themselves (the lovers) can never 
hope to attain and of whom they must remain for ever to 
some extent unworthy. Similar éléments constitute the most 
important factors in that tendency to Schwdrmerei which 



so frequendy distinguishes the early attachments of young 

The adoption of this attitude by the young in their early 
loves is of course often facilitated by the fact that the objects 
selected are older than the youthful lovers themselves. But 
this is not a necessary condition. Something of this attitude 
may indeed persist throughout the love life of the individual, 
since the exaggeration of the désirable qualities of the loved 
person, which forms a normal feature of sexual (and probably 
of ail) love, easily brings with it a sensé of the relative 
inferiority of the lover's own self. In the loves of a more 
mature âge, however, this relatively childlike attitude towards 
the object of love is usually replaced by one in which the 
lover plays a more active, vigorous and self-reliant part, such 
as is suitable to a person of fully developed capacity and 

Simultaneously with this latter change there goes on a Emancipation 

continuance of the process of libération of the love impulse from ^^^"^ infantile 

love obiects 
its original object. This would seem to take place by a further 

use of the mechanisms of Repression and Displacement. The 

love as redirected to the first parent-substitutes after a time 

itself begins to meet with opposition from other psychic 

tendencies on account of the too great similarity or the too 

^ Mr. Cyril Burt, who possesses both abilities and opportunities of an 
exceptional degree as regards the observation of children, bas suggested 
to me that two types of transference corresponding roughly to différent 
stages of development, should be distinguished in this connection. In the 
first type (characteristic of children of between 4 and 9) there is a well 
marked displacement of the erotic or quasi-erotic aspects to some older 
person, usually of the opposite sex, while the child continues to feel 
tendemess for the parent. In the second type (characteristic of children 
of 10 up to the period of adolescence) the attitude towards the love object 
(parent substitute) is more reverential, tendemess being complicated by 
submissiveness and fear and the affection being in gênerai far less physical 
and démonstrative than in the first type. "The attitude" adds Mr. Burt, 
*'of emotional girls in Standard II and Standard V respectively toward 
their teachers seems to me typical. The former maul and kiss (if allowed): 
the latter révérence from afar." 

If this distinction be generally true, ît would seem that there are two 
main stages of displacement of the parent regardingfeelings: — (i) in which 
the more erotic éléments are displaced, the more tender aspects of affection 
being still directed to the parents; (2) in which thèse latter are in their tum 
transferred, in whole or in part, to new love objects. 



firm associative connection between the original object and its 
substitutes. Thus the existence of anything like erotic feeling 
towards brothers, sisters, or other members of the family or 
towards persons resembling tlie parents in âge or appearance 
ceases to be tolerated and at each fresh choice of object the 
associative link becomes less marked, so that finally it may 
cease altogether to be traceable. Thus at maturity the individual 
should, for practical purposes, be free to direct his love towards 
those who show no resemblance of any kind to the first object 
of his dawning affection. This may be looked upon as the 
normal goal of the development of the love impulse in relation 
to its objects. Any failure to attain this goal must, it would 
seem, be regarded as constituting to some extent a failure or 
arrest of development with respect to this highly important 
aspect of the individual's mental growth. 




In this short sketch of what — from the results of psycho- 
analytic and other investigations — we may regard as the normal 
development of the individual mind in regard to the family 
relationships, we hâve hitherto been concerned more particularly 
with the sexual émotions and tendencies, using the word sexual 
in the wide sensé current among writers of the psycho-analytic 
schooL This has been the case, partly because in our account 
we hâve been largely governed by historical considérations with 
regard to the actual chronology of récent psychological progress 
in this field (and it was chiefly the sexual aspects of the family 
relationships that were first brought to light in the course of 
this progress); partly also because it is with regard to thèse 
sexual aspects that the increase of our knowledge through the 
application of new psychological methods has been in many 
ways the most extensive, the most startling and the most diffi- 
cult to assimilate. The results considered in the last two 
chapters are of such a nature as to hâve been for the most 
part unrealised and unsuspected either by the professional 
psychologist or by the ordinary student of human nature: they 
are, indeed, of such a kind as could only be obtained by means 
of a spécial technique capable of overcoming the formidable 
résistances which, as we hâve seen, are interposed between the 
conscious and the unconscious levels of the mind. 

The positive results of récent research on the psychological 
influences of the family as regards matters less directly con- 
nected with sexuality are of a less unexpected kind, and seem 

aspects of 
in relation to 
the family 



to lie to some extent in the direct path of psychological 
progress even apart from the introduction of the methods of 
psycho-analysis. Nevertheless, it is the use of thèse methods that 
has given some précision to our knowledge in thèse respects 
also, and rendered more certain and definite what before 
was but vaguely suspected, At this point^ therefore, it becomes 
necessaiy to review the principal results of psycho-analytic 
research with regard to thèse non-sexual aspects of mental 
development in relation to the family environment. 
Controversies The treatment of thèse non-sexual aspects is of spécial 

on this subject difficulty for two reasons. In the first place, thèse aspects are, 
in their actual occurrence, intimately bound up with the 
processes of sexual development with which we hâve been 
dealing; and are often difficult to disentangle from them. In 
the second place, this very question of the distinction of the 
sexual from the non-sexual aspects of the observed facts of 
development has recently been, and still is, a subject of keen 
dispute among certain members of the psycho-analytic and post- 
psycho-analytic schools. The authors who hâve dealt more 
especially with the non-sexual aspects hâve written largely 
under the influence of this dispute and from a somewhat 
différent point of view from that of the writers who hâve laid 
the principal emphasis upon the sexual side. Hence a comparison 
of the chief contributions on the two aspects is not always 
easy. In spite of thèse difficulties, however, certain conclusions 
stand out with some degree of cleamess from the mists of 
controversy, and thèse are of considérable importance for our 
présent purpose. 

In the course of his pioneer work, Freud himself had in 
more than one connection drawn attention to the importance 
of the family relationships in regard to the gênerai development 
of character and vital activity of the individual. It is however 
' The work of more especially to C. G. Jung of Ztirich that we are indebted 
J""5 for a more explicit, vigorous and extended treatment of the 

problems of the family from this point of view^. The more 
récent work of Jung is marred by an exaggeratèd insistence on 

1 Many of the most important contributions of Jung are contained in 
"Collected Papers on Analj'tical Psychology." 2nd. éd. 1917, translated by 
Constance Long, and "The Psychology of the Unconscious," translated by 
Béatrice Hinkle. 



a single aspect, and by a tendency to mysticism which is apt 
to confuse and obscure the scientific considération of the 
problem. But in spite of thèse defects it undoubtedly contains 
many contributions of value and, especially when taken as 
complementary to, rather than opposed to, the work of Freud, 
Rank and others of the orthodox psycho-analytic school, it would 
seem to constitute in some ways an important step forward in 
our knowledge of the matters with which we are hère con- 

Jung's présent position is, in many respects, a reaction 
against Freud's views as to the extrême importance of the 
sexual tendencies in mental life. With Freud the term Libido 
had been used to signify the sum total of thèse tendencies 
taken in a sensé much wider than that which seems to hâve 
been contemplated by any previous writer; so wide indeed 
that many inferred that there could be but a small field left 
over for the opération of the other instincts and tendencies. 
With Jung the reaction against this attitude takes place not by 
a restriction of the term Libido to its former narrower sensé, 
but by a still further extension of its meaning so as to include 
ail the conative tendencies which manifest themselves in mental 
life. By so doing Jung is enabled to take up a relatively non- 
committal attitude as regards the sexuality or non-sexuality of 
many of the factors which Freud had regarded as definitely 
sexual in character, while at the same time he succeeds in 
minimising the importance of certain unmistakably sexual mani- 
festations by ignoring their spécifie character and regarding 
them rather exclusively from the point of view of the 
development and value of the individual as an independent 
vital unit. 

As regards the application of this gênerai attitude to our The family and 
own immédiate problem, Jung appears to look upon the family *^^ f ^T\h^' 
influences as principally of importance in so far as they afford individual 
the necessaiy conditions and mental environment for tlie growth 
of the gênerai life force of the individual personality. The child 
at birth is entirely dépendent on his parents for the satisfaction 
of his vital needs. His development and éducation would 
appear to consist ultimately in the process of leaming to satisfy 
thèse ever increasing needs himself. Hence if the child remains 
dépendent on his parents for an abnormal length of time or to 

33 3 


Attachment to 
the parents 
regarded as 
symbolic of 


presented by 

this view 

It does not 
accord with 
the gênerai 
of sex 

an abnormal extent, we may infer that an arrest of development 
has taken place. Such arrests are however liable to occur in a 
great many cases, since the process of leaming to satisfy our 
own needs by our own efforts is an arduous business which 
(in virtue, we may suppose, of some aspect of the law of 
inertia) many of us would fain escape if we could. Undue 
dependence on the family would therefore appear to indicate a 
shirking of the "life task," i. e. an unwillingness to make the 
effort which adult life itself demands, manifesting itself in an 
exaggerated tendency to remain at the stage of relatively slothful 
ease and maintenance through the efforts of others which is 
enjoyed in infancy and early childhood. 

In the neuroses the patient suffers, according to Jung, from 
an unçonscious tendency to return to this happy state of affairs 
rather than to face the hard struggle which adult hfe may 
entail. This tendency expresses itself in a symbolic way, 
according to the mechanisms which are characteristic of the 
neuroses; and what better or more appropriate symbol is 
possible than some form of exaggerated attachment to, and 
dependence on, . the parents— through whom alone that happy 
time, to which return is now desired, was possible? Thus it 
would appear from this point of view. that the incestuous 
fancies and wishes, to which Freud had drawn attention, are 
not to be taken literally as the expression of ultimate desires, 
but are only symbols of the wish to escape the hard task which 
hfe imposes and to return once more to the irresponsible con- 
dition of childhood. ; 

There are probably no experienced psycho-analysts who 
are prepared to follow Jung to this last extrême position, in 
which he appears to deny ail ultimate significance to the sexual 
aspects of the family complexes. Jung's view would seem indeed 
to involve a number of serious difficulties, amongst which the 
following are perhaps the most important. 

(i) It does not (as does the view expounded in the earlier 
chapters) cast any light upon the origin and development of, 
nor is it altogether consistent with, the very important part 
which the sexual tendencies play in the conscious and unçon- 
scious mind, quite apart from incestuous desires and fancies. If 
the principal problem of the neurotic lies in the difficulty of 
bracing himself to face the tasks which hfe imposes, it is hard to 



see why sexual feelings, thoughts, phantasies and symbols shoulcl 
appear in his mind so frequently and so persistently as they are 
now generally admitted to do in a very large number of cases. 

(2) Jung*s view does not explain why the thought of it does not 

incestuous relations should be subiect to so much repression f-'^pl^i" the 
11 . Tr , • • 1- 1 11 strong repres- 

as it actually is. 11 there is in reality no deep-rooted tendency sion of ince&t 

to such relations, there is no need for the formation of any 

powerful mechanism for preventing the fulfilment of the tendency; 

whereas if we suppose that the arousal of object love in an 

incestuous form is a normal stage of libido development — a 

stage however which is superseded in the course of further 

normal development — the existence of a strong counter-mecha- 

nism, manifesting itself in consciousness as repulsion and dis- 

gust, and in social life in the form of sexual taboos and 

*'avoidances" connected with the various prohibited relationships, 

is precisely what our knowledge of the gênerai conditions of 

the development of conative tendencies in the human mind 

would lead us to expect, 

(3) Even if we are prepared to grant that this repression 

may hâve arisen from some other cause, it still remains difficult Northechoice 
to account for the fact that the désire to return to infantile ^^ ^^Ymbof^ ^ 
conditions should persistentiy avail itself of such an objectionable 
sj^mbolic form. We should expect that the path of least 
résistance would lead to some means of symbolic expression 
calculated to arouse less opposition on the part of conflicting 
tendencies than that to which the idea of incestuous relationship 
is exposed. This leads to a fourth and still more serions 
objection on gênerai grounds. 

(4) Jung's view seems incompatible with ail we know as It is not in 
to the gênerai relations of Repression and Displacement to ^xh^^glnZal" 
conscious and unconscious factors respectively. The gênerai laws of 
rule, which is exemplified in innumerable dreams, myths, «ymbolism 
neurotic symptoms and cases of "everday psychopathology" 

would appear to be that the symbol expresses some tendency 
or désire in the unconscious which is more opposed to con- 
scious tendencies and desires than is the symbol itself *. But in 

i For an important discussion of the gênerai laws of symbolism, see 
Ernest Jones*s *'Papers on Psycho-Analysis" 1918, 129. The whole Chapter is 
worth careful study in connection with the questions considered in the 
présent chapter. 




the présent case, îf Jung s view were correct, this rule would 
no longer hold. The désire for incestuous relations with one's 
parents is obviously exposed to much more serious inhibitions 
at the conscious level than is the désire to escape from the 
labours and responsibilities of adult life. The latter désire, 
although it may of course become the object of moral dis- 
approval is generally of a nature to be freely admitted to 
consciousness. The idea of our own laziness or want of courage 
in meeting the difficulties of life can be faced by most of us 
(including the class of neurotics who, according to Jung's hypo- 
thesis, must, it would seem, hâve fallen ill owing to the re- 
pression of the desires connected with thèse ideas) without 
arousing any overw^helming sensé of moral turpitude; whereas 
the idea of incest, even in the case of others, meets with the 
greatest abhorrence, and in relation to ourselves usually en- 
counters sufficient opposition to be kept out of waking con- 
sciousness altogether. It would therefore seem that, on Jung's 
view, it is the conscious which is symbolised at a relatively un- 
conscious level — a complète reversai of the usual order which, 
on the ground of the psycho-analytic knowledge already gained, 
must be regarded as highly improbable, at any rate in so far 
as it is to be looked upon as a full explanation of the 
phenomena under discussion. 
Such a view It would thus appear that we hâve good reasons for 

^a^ compfete*^ rejecting the view that the apparent^ sexual manifestations of 
explanation love by the child towards its parents are only symbols of the 
^ntâncertSn desire to retum to the state of tutelage and protection enjoyed 
valuable ele- in early years. It does not foUow, however, that tlie whole of 
ments of truth jy^g's conclusions as regards the relation of the parent 
complexes to the development of individualité^ in the child are 
to be rejected. On the contrary, it is almost certain that they 
contain valuable truths which had to some extent been over- 
looked, or at any rate had received less attention than they 
deserved, in some of the earlier investigations. Even as regards 
the symbolisation of the developmental tendencies in the incest 
fancies, Jung may be right in a number of important points. It 
is only so far as he would maintain that such symbolisation 
exhausts the whole significance of the incest tendencies that he 
is almost certainly in error. 

The possibility of a further analysis of the incest tendencies 



in a non-sexual sensé is implied by what Freud has himself 
taught as regards the laws governing the formation of symbols, 
more especially by the doctrine of Overdetermination\ according 
to which a single dream symbol or neurotic symptom may 
often be found to constitute a complète or partial fulfilment of 
two or more distinct wishes or conative tendencies. Moreover, 
at least two authors besides Jung hâve carried ont analyses in 
this sensé. Silberer^ has shown that a number of myths and 
fairy taies may be interpreted in at least two ways: — first, as 
an expression of the Œdipus complex as outlined in our previous 
chapters; secondly, as the expression of certain moral or 
religious strivings, which he calls the anagogic aspect; the 
synibolism in this latter case being of the *4unctional" kind 
(/. e. expressive of mental processes and tendencies rather than 
of the objects of feeling and cognition), to the existence of which 
Silberer had already drawn attention in his earlier works^ 
Ferenczi* (foUowing Schopenhauer) has seen in the Œdipus 
myth the existence of certain functional symbolisnis in virtue 
of which the character of Œdipus and Jocasta (as drawn by 
Sophocles) stand for opposing tendencies in the mind brought 
out by the tragic situation, vis. the tendency, on the one hand, to 
bring ail the facts of the case into the clear light of conscious- 
ness, even at the risk of painful discoveries; and on the other 
hand the contrary tendency to repress and prohibit ail further 
inquiry for fear of such discoveries. 

In so far as thèse attempts hâve been successful (and in 
the case of Silberer's work at any rate the évidence brought 
forward in favour of the simultaneous existence of the two 
tendencies as symbolised in the same legend would appear to 
be very considérable) they afford some ground for accepting 
Jung*s interprétation of the incest fancies as constituting, in 
one of their aspects, an expression of certain ideas and tendencies 

1 *'The Interprétation of Dreams," 280. 

2 "Problems of Mysticism and its Symbolism," translated by S. E.Jelliffe. 

3 As Silberer points out, students of mythology had already shown 
the possibility of still a third interprétation, the " naturalistic " one, according 
to which the représentations of the incest motive in myth and legend may 
be taken as a symbolic portrayal of certain important and impressive 
natural occurrences — the séquence of day and night, summer and 
winter etc. 

4 "Contributions to Psycho-Analysis," translated by Ernest Jones, 214. 



and the 



of symbols 



in the case of 

the Œdipus 




relating to the original conditions of dependence in which a 
child stands towards its parents— tendencies which exist along- 
side, and to some extent independently, of the sexual tendencies 
to which expression is more directly and obviously given. 

The symbolic expression in this case, however, would appear 
to differ in some important respects from symbolic représentation 
(in dreams and elsewhere) of the Œdipus coniplex proper. In 
the latter the symbolic form is largely, if not entirely, due to 
the action of Repression, which does not permit the morally 
tabooed incestuous and hostile tendencies to find expression in 
any but an indirect manner, whereas in the présent case the 
aspects symbolised are not in any sensé repressed, so that the 
reason for the adoption of the symbolic form must be sought 
in other conditions. 

Among thèse conditions the most important is probably to 
as a product be found in the still active repression of the Œdipus complex 
of repression j^self. In SO far as the ideas connected with this complex can 
be given another meaning, such as that indicated by Jung, 
their offensiveness is not felt to be so great as would be the 
case if their only significance were that which most naturally 
attaches to them : the assumption of the new symbolic meaning 
is indeed, in ail probability, largely due to the effort of the 
repressing tendencies to prevent their true significance from 
being realised in consciousness^. The new meaning, therefore, 
as interpreted by Jung, Silberer and others, obviously cor- 
responds to a more récent and superficial (though not therefore 
less real) mental level than does the original significance in 
terms of the Œdipus complex. 
and as sennng Another reason for the adoption of this secondary 

rnora" tendent symbolism is probably sometimes to be found in the fact that 
cies the ethical or religions strivings expressed in the anagogic 

aspects undergo a very considérable reinforcement through 
association with the primitive trends which manifest themselves 
in the Œdipus complex. The latter lie very much nearer to the 
ultimate sources of human feeling and émotion than do the 

1 II is interesting to note that in the naturalistic interprétation of 
myths the same influences are pretty clearly at work, as when Max Millier 
observes that one of the advantages of this naturalistic interprétation is 
that it absolves us from the necessity of taking literally many of the more 
objectionable features of the myths as they actually stand. 


former, which, by themselves in their abstract purity, are apt 
to be only too ineffectxial as motives of désire and conduct. 
But when clothed in the symbolic form of the Œdipus com- 
plex, they at once acquire some of the primitive energy inhérent 
in the latter and so become themselves more powerful at the 
same time as they serve to purify and elevate what remains of 
the grosser éléments of the original love and hâte that the 
child has felt towards its parents. Symbolisation of lofty aims 
and motives in terms of primitive émotions called up by the 
family relationships is thus, from this point of view, an example 
of the process of sublimation, whereby the energy of the simpler 
and cruder human tendencies becomes diverted to the service 
of ends of higher cultural and social value^. 

1 In order to distinguish more clearly between the two kinds of 
symbolism with which we hâve been hère concemed — that in which an 
unconscious (repressed) thought or tendency is expressed by something 
more permissible to consciousness, and that in which the thing expressed 
is of as high or even higher cultural value than the thing through which 
it finds expression, Ernest Jones has, in the chapter àlready referred to 
("Papers on Psycho-Analysis," 129 ff.) proposed to confine the term 
symbohsm to the former class, ail examples of the latter class being 
included under the term metaphor. 





We must re- The considérations raised at the end of the last chapter 

^he sexual^and ^^^^ somewhat in the nature of a digression. Such a digression 
the individual was however inévitable, for the questions involved in the 
de^bpment controversy between the psychological schools of Vienna and 
Ziirich (whose leading exponents are Freud and Jung respectively) 
are of fundamental importance for our présent inquiry. Our 
whole attitude towards the psychological problems presented 
by the family relationships must to a very considérable extent 
dépend upon whether we believe, as the more extrême exponents 
of the Zurich school would sometimes seem to do, that the 
whole significance of thèse problems lies in the fact that they 
are intimately concemed with the development of the vital 
énergies and independence of the individual, or whether 
(following the Vienna school) we feel bound to recognise also 
the existence of a number of highly important sexual aspects 
which, directly or indirectly, play a fundamental rôle in the 
psychology of the family. 

Our short review of the principal points concerned in this 
controversy (so far as they touch our présent purpose) bas led 
us to the conclusion that the sexual aspects with which we 
were dealing in Chapters II and III possess more than a mère 
symbolical significance — that they must in fact be looked upon 
as, for the most part, actually being that which they appear 
to be, i. e, manifestations of (relatively) infantile tendencies 
which, as regards their nature and origin, are continuons with, 
and comparable to, the fuUy developed sexual tendencies of 
adult life. 



We concluded also, howevêr, that besides thèse sexual 
aspects there are other important aspects of family life, which 
may legitimately be looked upon as fundamental factors in the 
psychic growth and development of individuality. Thèse factors 
it is now our duty to study somewhat more closely, before we 
pass on (as we shall do in the next chapter) to consider the 
variations and abnonnalities that, may occur in the development 
of the individual's mental attitude towards the other members 
of his family, 

Apart altogether from the questions of mysticism and 
symbolism, with which Jung and his foUowers hâve tended to 
surround the whole matter, it is I think, abundandy clear that 
normal psychic development involves a graduai émergence from 
a condition of dependence on parental authority and care to 
one in which the individual is dépendent to a greater or less 
extent upon his own efforts as regards his HveUhood, and upon 
his own judgment as regards his conduct^. Failure in such 
development will resuit in a relatively feeble adult personality 
— one which still seeks the support of its parents (or their 
substitutes), when it should hâve leamt to stand alone. Such 
failures are, however, (as ail psycho-analysts will admit) of very 
fréquent occurrence. Normal development in this respect 
appears to be at least as difficult as in the case of the sexual 
tendencies we hâve already considered, and is hable, as in 
their case also, to arrests and retardations at various points 
and to régressions to earlier stages of development, whenever 
serious obstacles and difficulties are encountered, 

It would seem possible to distinguish tvvo main aspects of 
this process of development, though in real life thèse two 
aspects are, it is cdmost needless to say, throughout intimately 
connected with one another. The first, and more primitive 

1 The somewhat sharp distinction hère drawn between the sexual 
aspects of the family relationships and those hère under considération 
(which for the sake of convenience we may call the dependence aspects), 
although employed throughout this essay, is made primarily for purposes of 
exposition and is not intended to imply that the distinction is in fact so 
sharply eut as the présent method of treatment might possibly suggest. In 
real Ufe the sexual and the dependence aspects are inextricably intervvoven, 
and it is probable that the majority of psycho-analysts would be inclined 
to lay somewhat less stress on the distinction than does the présent 

Difficulties of 





aspect, is that which is concerned with the actual manifestations 
of vital activity for the purpose of self-preservation and for 
bringing about the fulfilment of the individuaFs aims and desires. J 
During babyhood the child is almost entirely dépendent on his 
parents or other grown-up persons for the accomplishment of 
thèse objects: at best he can only indicate by cries or gestures 
the nature of his wants, in order that others may satisfy them. 
As he grows older however, he has to learn to fulfil an ever 
increasing number of thèse wants himself — to feed, to wash, to 
clothe himself and to satisfy his other bodily needs, to walk 
abroad without the protection and guidance of his elders, and 
generally to attain his desires by his own efforts rather than 
to wait for the attentions of others. To keep pace with the 
ever growing wants and desires of the individual, a continuons 
output of energy is required, and it wiU sometimes happen that 
the motive force immediately available (the strength of the 
conation) is not sufficient to overcome the obstacles which 
prevent the fulfilment of a want. When this is the case, the 
individual may react in a variety of ways. If the conation is 
a relatively weak one, he may abandon his attempts to attain 
the desired end, at least in its original form; or he may content 
himself with an imaginary fulfilment of his désire. If the 
conation is sufficiently strong, however, it may continue to 
manifest itself in différent ways; if the first means of approach 
is unsuccessfui, other means will be tried, until the end is 
eventually attained. Of thèse other means, one that is frequently 
among the most effectuai is to call in the assistance of others. 
Especially is this the case in infancy when many feats that are 
difficult or impossible to the child are easily performed by its 
parents or other adult persons, and when such persons 
(especially the parents) often take a delight in assisting the child 
in this way.That the child should receive such assistance is 
natural and inévitable at a certain stage of development, but 
it is easy to see that help thus- given may constitute a source 
of danger to the child's development, if it is granted not only 
in cases of real difficulty (having regard to the child's âge 
and capabilities) but in cases where, by the expenditure of a 
little additional effort, the child could attain his end unaided. If 
assistance is given indiscriminately the child may acquire the 
habit of relying upon the help of others whenever any difficulty 



arises; and this habit niay persist throughout life, rendering 
the individual a relatively useless and helpless member of 
Society, incapable of any prolonged or intensive effort^ Normal 
development, however, implies that the occasions on Avhich 
assistance is required should grow fewer and fewer as ability 
and expérience increase, so that the adult should finally be able 
to transact the ordinary business of life and to maintain himself, 
entirely by his own efforts, except of course in unusual or 
exceptionally difficult circumstances, or where the économie 
principle of the division of labour makes it désirable to call in 
the assistance of other persons possessing abihty ortrainingof 
a différent nature to his own. 

The other. main aspect of the principle of development Self- 

that we are considering, is concerned with the matter of self- détermination 
guidance rather than with that of self-help. In this respect also, 
normal development implies a change from dependence 
upon others to dependence upon self. ! In infancy a very 
great part of the individual's mode of life is determined 
by others, and especially by his parents. Just as he is 
dépendent upon the efforts of his parents for the necess- 
aries of life, so is he also dépendent upon their décision 
as to how and when he shall enjoy thèse necessaries. He feeds, 
walks, sleeps, works and plays very largely according to their 
pleasure. At most the nature of his plaj^ activities is left to his 
own discrétion. Later on during the school period the authority 
of the parents is to some extent exchanged for that of his 
teachers, but it is not till a comparatively late stage of development 
that an individual is allowed to dispose of the bulk of his time 
as he himself thinks fit. 

On the moral side, again, he is at first almost entirely 
dépendent on the judgment of others. He hears certain tendencies, 
activities and sentiments condemned as wicked, others upheld 

1 This, of course, is especially liable to be the case in those children 
—for example in most of those technically described as "mentally déficient" 
and in many of those technically described as "backward"— who do not 
readily acquire interest in the détails of a process leading to a desired 
end, apart from the end itself (i. e. in whom work does not become 
pleasurable for its own sake), or in those in whom there is no strong self 
feeling associated with the idea of successful achievement. The granting 
of an undue amount of assistance will, however, in its tum tend to retard 
or prevent the formation of thèse désirable mental characteristics. 



as praiseworthy, and even when he begins to pronounce moral 
]udgments on his own account, thèse judgments must, for a 
long period, consist for the most part merely of fresh applications 
of the moral code that he has leamt from others. 

This subservience to the will and opinion of others (and 
especially to those of the parents) is a necessary and natural 
condition of early childhood, but it is plain that the successful 
development of mind and character must demand a gradually 
increasing degree of autonomy as regards both thought and 
conduct, as capabilities mature and expérience widens. Success 
in adult life requires the capacity for determining for oneself 
the nature and course of the principal activities — indeed, the 
degree of success that is attained is to a very considérable 
extent dépendent on the amount of such capacity. He who can 
only carry out the instructions of others, however obedientiy 
and skilfully, is only fitted to occupy an inferior position in the 
économie or the social scale, Hence, one who has never 
progressed far from the infantile condition of dependence on 
the commands and opinions of others will be lacking in one of 
the character qualities which are essential for the attainment 
of any high degree of individuality or of social and économie 

On the moral side also, he is debarred from the higher 

Autonomy and levels of ethical development. At the best, his morality will be 

Moral Qne of hard and fast rules, the dictâtes of parental, ecclesiastical, 
Development , , . , , . '. , , r i- t . , 

légal or social authonty, mcapable of enlightened growth or 

modification to suit the ever changing flow of circumstances 

and the widening expérience of hfe. At the worst, he may 

grow up destitute of ail true moral consciousness whatsoever, 

morality being regarded by him as a certain (usually xmpleasant) 

kind of conduct, arbitrarily imposed by exteriial authority^ and 

only fit to be abandoned as soon as the pressure of this 

authority is relaxed. 

Sound moral development is characterised by an ever 

increasing degree of autonomy in place of the heteronomy 

which distinguishes the immature, and to some extent^ the 

primitive mind generally. At first the child learns to act in 

accordance with tlie desires of its parents, as expressed in 

threats, punishments or rewards. Thereafter, the idea of **good," 

as signifying conduct in accordance with thèse desires, becomes 



operative as an inner motive force in the mind of the child, 
independently of the occurrence of the rewards or other 
incentives, This is the first stage of autonomy. As development 
proceeds, the ideas conceming right conduct (continually 
enlarged by the expérience of new persons and new situations) 
become more and more dissociated from their original authori- 
tative sanctions, new ** inner" sanctions being substituted for 
the old **external" ones which are abandoned. Thèse inner 
sanctions are themselves capable of many différent levels of 
development, ranging from the simple idea of the individuars 
own benefit in the immédiate future, to the désire for the 
ultimate benefit of humanity as a whole or the concept of action 
in conformity with the gênerai principles of tlie Universe. If 
the individual is to progress satisfactorily from the stage of 
outer sanctions to that of inner sanctions and to attain in due 
course to the higher levels of thèse inner sanctions, he must 
hâve opportunities for the graduai development of his own 
powers of initiation, délibération and self-control; this implying 
a corresponding graduai émancipation from the jurisdiction of 
the parents and their substitutes in later life (teachers, advisers, 
superiors, etc.), until there is obtained at full growth the completest 
possible autonomy of thought and action that is compatible 
with the individual's position in the society to which he 

In thèse considérations we hâve throughout laid the 
principal emphasis upon the desirability and necessity of the 
acquirement of self help and self guidance on the part of the 
individual. This has been chiefly because the results of psycho- 
analytic work hâve indicated that the danger lies most frequendy 
in the direction of too great, rather than of too little, dependence 
on the efforts and guidance of the parents or their substitutes. 
This fact must not however be ailowed to blind us to the 
existence of a danger of an opposite character — that of a too 
rapid or too complète émancipation from parental authority. 
Such émancipation would, it is true, seem to occur seldom 
enough as a direct conséquence of the unfolding of the child's 
individual capabilities and desires: the attitude of dependence 
necessarily adopted in childhood and early youth, together with 
the respect almost inevitably inspired in tiie very young by the 
greater power, knowledge and expérience of the parents, 


should corne 





èffectxially prevents this in the majority of cases. But it may 

easily corne about as the resuit of a reaction against a toc 

insistent or despotic use of the parental power. Parents who 

and not sud- are too severe, too répressive, or even too careful, as regards 

denly as the ^^ upbrinffine: of their children, will— especially if the latter 
conséquence r&& » ir- r 

of a revolt happen to possess strong tendencies to seli-assertion — oiten 

TY^^^î?^^^' bring about a state of revolt against their own authority, in 
which ail that may be good and wise in that authority is 
deliberately neglected or condemned, since tlie children hâve 
grown to look upon their parents as tyrants and taskmasters 
rather than as helpers and protectors. A stern or bullying 
father, a nagging or over anxious mother, will thus frequently 
produce a rebellious son or daughter, who will respect neither 
the advice or commands of the parents themselves nor those 
of their (mental) substitutes in later life. Such children, as they 
grow up, may be prevented froni profiting to the désirable 
extent by the wisdom and expérience of past âges, as represented 
in the traditions and dictâtes of authority, and (what is worse) 
may even become unfit for taking their place in any scheme 
of harmonious social life, through inability to submitto the 
degree of individual subordination, which such social life 
^ inevitably demands^. 
The wider These considérations with référence to the growth of the 

ofThis^sublect i^idividual personality in relation to the family environment 
are indeed, as we hâve already pointed out, for the most part 
of a sufficientiy obvions character and, in their more gênerai 
bearings at any rate, hâve for some time been commonplaces 
in certain schools of social, ethical, and educational thought. 
Where modem psychology (and particularly the work of the 
Zurich school) has been of service, is in drawing attention to 
the importance of the family as the environment in which the 
first steps in the path of self help and self guidance must take 
place — steps upon the direction and extent of which subséquent 
progress in the wider sphères of scholastic, social and poUtical 
life very greatiy dépends. The rapidity v^th which, and the 
extent to which, a child attains to independence in relation to 

1 There is good reason to believe that revolt against parental authority 
constitutes an important factor in the production of a certain class of 
delinquents. Sec e. g. several of the cases recorded in Healy's "Mental 
Conflicts and Misconduct," 19x9. 



his family, are to a large extent prophétie of the subséquent 
attainment of independence towards the world at large. A too 
close reliance upon the ideals, standards, conventions and 
protective power of the family circle may hinder ail initiative 
and originality in individual thought and action. On the other 
hand, a too sudden or too complète revolt from the parental 
guidance and tradition may be productive of a bias against, 
and disrespect for, every kind of authority and convention, that 
will tend to prevent ail use and enjoyment of the expérience 
of the past and ail orderly co-operation in the social life of the 
présent With thèse possibilities as the resuit of failure, the 
task of the proper upbringing of the child in relation to his 
family environment becomes indeed one the importance of which 
can scarcely be exaggerated. 




The study of Up to this point, in studying the process of individual 

^^s^^h^™^ development in relation to the family environment, we hâve as 
far as possible confined our attention to the more normal 
aspects of this process, neglecting for the most part the many 
variations and aberrations to which it is liable. It is now time 
to explore more carefully some of the more important of thèse 
b3^ways into which the human mind may wander in the course 
of its development — bjrways which we hâve hitherto passed un- 
noticed, or at most examined with a hasty glance, as we traced 
the direct path of emotional development from childhood to 
maturity. Some of thèse bjrways lie near to the direct path 
which we hâve aLready followed; others départ more widely 
from it, approaching near to, or sometimes definitely entering^ 
the région of the abnormal or pathological. 

As regards thèse latter, however, it must be borne in mind 
that hère (as in most other cases of the treatment of the ab- 
normal in Psychology) the distinction between normal and ab- 
normal is one which is drawn for the sake of practical con- 
venience only, and which indicates merely a différence of 
degree not a différence in quality, between the phenomena 
which it distinguishes. Even those manifestations which mark 
the most extrême departures from the normal are présent as 
, possibilities in ail of us: it is only a question of the extent of 
our tendency towards them and of the intensity of the pre- 
disposing causes in our environment A sHght altération in the 
balance of our mental forces or in the circumstances of our 
life and upbringing, and we too might fall victims to the 



aberrations which now seem to us so répulsive, foolish or 
ridiculous, when displayed by others. The abnormal in Psycho- 
logy is most frequently only an aspect of the normal magnified 
beyond its usual dimensions and thus brought out of proportion 
to the other aspects of the mind. For this reason the study of 
the abnormal is often the best nieans of investigating the minute 
structure of the normal: and in the présent case we shall find 
that when we hâve reviewed the principal abnormalities and 
variations in the psychic development of the individual in 
relation to his family, we shall be in a much more favourable 
position for arriving at a décision as to our own attitude — 
theoretical and practical — towards this development than if we 
had simply considered the process of growth in its strictly 
normal aspects, 

Byways in human development, both emotional and in- Abnormalities 
tellectual, may diverge from the main track at varions points in ^l^^^^^F' 
its course^ — some near its origin in the infantile strata of the ent levels 
mind, some at a later stage of progress. Those which leave 
the main track at a relatively early point préserve, as a rule, 
throughout their course some more or less definite indication 
of their early origin, some trace of infantile or childish character; 
while those which take their departure at a subséquent stage 
bear the marks of a later, but still immature, condition of 
development. As each variation or aberration thus, to some 
extent, corresponds in nature to the point of development at 
which it took its rise, it is possible to classify such variations 
and aberrations according to their point of origin; and to regard 
each one as a fixation or arrest of development at a certain 
point in the main track of progress. What is true of human de- 
velopment in gênerai is true more particularly of the development 
of the individuars relation to his family. The more primitive varia- 
tions vtdll be found to bear the characteristics of the early stages 
of the individual's mental growth while the later variations 
will indicate a more advanced condition of this growth. 

In the previous chapters we hâve seen that in the earUest 
stages of development the most important psychic reactions of 
the child (so far as they concern us hère) are those connected 
with the parents. At a later stage, the tendencies and émotions 
originally centering in the parents undergo (under the influence 
of Repression) a process of Displacement on to other persons 

49 4 


and objects, This important fact in the process of development 

may serve us as a preliminary basis of classification in dealing 

with the numerous variations which we shall encounter. We 

shall first undertake a review of the more primitive types of 

variation in which the abnormal éléments are directly connected 

with the child's relations to its parents, passing on subsequently 

to the more complex types in which a well marked displacement 

of the child's original feelings has taken place, as the resuit of 

which the abnormality is no longer directly connected with the 

parents themselves but with a substitute for thèse. 

Abnormalities As regards the first class, the gênerai nature of the psychic 

f"1ï,y^^™ "*^ defects which may be met with is, in the main, familiar to us 

in the parent- . , . ^ , , r ^ ^ , ' 

regarding from our considération of tlie early stages of normal develop- 

tendencies ment. If any of the features of the individual's relations to his 

parents which we there passed in review — the love and hâte 

aspects of the Œdipus complex, the dependence on the efforts 

of the parents as regards seK maintenance and préservation, 

the gênerai obédience to, and reliance on, the authority of the 

parents — should persist at a relatively advanced âge in an)rthing 

like their original quality and intensity, then there exists one 

of the defects in question. Not that any of thèse features will 

be found to manifest themselves (except perhaps on rare 

occasions) in exactly their original form and manner. The 

gênerai mental and moral growth of the intervening years 

usually ensures that many of thèse features shall hâve under- 

gone a process of repression in virtue of which they are nô 

longer permitted to express themselves fully and openly in 

consciousness. More especially is this the case with regard to 

the love and hâte éléments in the psychic relationship of the 

individual to his parents. Thèse will seldom manifest themselves 

quite openly and directly though they may attain to indirect 

expression in dreams, neurotic sjonptoms, fahcies and (as Rank 

has so abundantly shown) jn works of art. The psycho-analytic 

treatment of thèse productions has shown, however, that the 

original tendencies may persist in dieir crude form in the un- 

conscious; and thence may exercise a profound influence on 

character and mental life. 

Fixation at the In so far as, under the force of the repression, thèse 

^^^^love^^^^^ tendencies do not suffer some clearly marked modification or 

displacement as regards their object (and thus fall within our 



second class of abnormalities), the conflict to which their 
continued existence gives rise is apt to manifest itself most 
prominently in one or more of the négative forms characteristic 
of repression, rather than in any positive form indicative of the 
original nature of the repressed désire^ Thus a fixation (as it 
is now usually called) of the love impulses on the parent of 
the opposite sex may betray itself, on the positive side, in a 
relatively sublimated and asexual manner only — as in a more 
than usual degree of friendly affection, esteem or vénération 
for, or in an abnormal degree of dependence on, the parent in 
question; combined perhaps with an unusuaUy strong désire 
for the présence of the loved parent, and a feeling of contentment 
with life in the parent's home that leads to a relative v^ant of 
interest in persons and things outside it, and a liability to 
home-sickness if compelled to be away from home or parent^. 
The sexual nature of the (unconscious) source of this attitude 
reveals itself hov/ever unmistakably in the négative aspects of 
the conflict to which it gives rise. Thus a parent fixation of 
this kind may make itself felt negatively in an inability to 
direct love freely and fully upon any other person of the 
same sex as the loved parent. The normal process of falling 
in love in adolescence or early maturity may fail to take place; 
the persons concerned are content to live quietly at home with 
their parents; if sexual relations are attempted, psychic impotence 
or frigidity — relative or absolute — may result^; marriage will 

1 An excellent condensed treatment of many of the effects of 
incestuous fixation will be found in K. Abraham's *'Die Stellung der 
Verwandtenehe in der Psychologie der Neurosen." Jahrhiich fur psychor 
anaîytische ttnd psychopathoîogîsche Forschtmgm, 1909, L, iio. 

2 In a rather extrême case known to the writer a woman of about 35 
had never been able to leave home without the most intense feelings of 
sorrow and loneliness, which usually impelled her to retum precipitately 
after the absence of a day or two. In childhood she could seldom be 
induced to go more than a mile or so from her home unless accompanied 
by her parents and in later life neurotic symptoms were developed which 
effectually prevented her from living apart from her nearest relatives. As 
was to be expected, analysis revealed a very strong parent fixation, and 
after treatment she was able to fill a responsible post in a town far removed 
from the résidence of her family. 

3 Cp. M. Steiner, "Die funktionelle Impotenz des Mannes und ihre 
Behandlung," 1913. 

Freud, " Beitràge zur Psychologie des Liebeslebens." Jahrhich fur 



frequently be avoided, or will be entered into from motives 
other than those of real affection^ — sometimes from the very 
need to escape from an unconscious incestuous désire. 
Conflict and These négative manifestations, like so many others of a 

Compromise similar kind, are the resuit of two distinct and conflicting 
tendencies in the mind, and (as is usual in such cases) are of 
such a nature as to give at any rate some degree of satisfaction 
to both these tendencies at the same time. In the first place 
they give expression to the psychic forces engaged in the 
repression of the primitive incestuous trends; with the 
exaggeration and want of discrimination characteristic of repression, 
the taboo originally applicable to one particular object (the 
parent) is extended to ail objects towards which similar feelings 
could be experienced; thus producing an inhibition of a gênerai 
kind upon a whole class of feelings as such, where an inhibition 
of a spécifie kind upon a particular manifestation of such 
feelings {L e. their manifestation in an incestuous direction) 
was ail that was originally întended or required. In the second 
place, thèse predominantly négative aspects of fixation contain 
also some éléments of positive gratification of the repressed 
tendencies. In the failure to extend any considérable degree of 
affection upon a new object (parent substitute), the mind expresses 
its abiding fidehty to its first love-object (the actual parent) and 
its refusai to abandon the satisfaction which it continues to find 
in this object, in spite of the difficulties and prohibitions 
connected with this infantile direction of the love impulses and 
the prospect of greater freedom in other directions. This double 
nature of the négative aspects of fixation on the love-object of 

psychoanalytische und psychopathoîogische Forschungen, 1912, IV, 40. 

Ferenczi, "Contributions to Psycho-Analysis," 9. 

ï Even if marriage is at first apparently successful, it may be unable 
to stand the strain of circumstances which would présent Uttle or no 
difficulty in the absence of parent fixation. Thus in a case known to me, 
after a happy honeymoon spent near home, a wife proved unable to 
accompany her husband to a distant locality, where business affairs 
necessitated his résidence but (in spite of his protests and entreaties) 
tumed back while on the journey and retumed to live with her parents. 
It appeared that she had very seldom left home before her marriage, having 
been brought up by kindly but indulgent parents, as regards whom there 
was a strong emotional fixation. In her youth she had only travelled orice 
without her parents, being then so miserably unhappy that she begged to 
be sent home again as soon as possible. 



early childhood affords a striking instance of the compromise 
formations which so frequently arise in the course of mental 
development as the resuit of struggle between conflicting 

In a number of cases the repression of an incestuous Homosexuality 
affection for a parent may manifest itself not merely in relative ^. ^ ^^f "^* ^^ 

• J-rr 1 '^. , , r , , mCCStUOUS 

indiiierence to the attractions of others of the same sex as that fixation 

of the loved parent but, more violently, in active dislike of 

persons of that sex. This condition is usually associated with a 

direction of affection upon persons of the individual's own sex 

in such quality and such degree as is normally found only 

where persons of the opposite sex are concerned. Indeed it has 

been found that this process constitutes an important factor in 

the history of a large number of cases of homosexuality. In 

thèse cases the repression of the original love of the parent of 

the opposite sex has led, first, to an extension of the love 

taboo to ail persons of that sex, and then, as a further step, — 

the way to ail heterosexual affection being now barred — to the 

displacement of sexual désire into the homosexual direction. 

Some indication of the secondary and derivative character of 

thèse cases of homosexuality is, however, often to be found in 

the nature of the object selected, this object usually presenting 

some resemblance to the opposite sex for which it serves as 

substitute, e, g, some delicacy, tendemess or effeminacy in the 

case of men or boys and some quality of unusual strength or 

"mannishness" in the case of women^ 

On a priori grounds we might expect to find that in other 
cases of homosexuality the direction of affection is detennined 
in a more direct manner, viz. by the fixation of an original in- 
fantile attachment to the parent of the same sex as that of the 
child. This might seem especially liable to occur in the case of 
women, who for one reason or another hâve never completed 
the step from a prédominance of mother love (usually, as we 
hâve seen, the first form of object love with children of both 
sexes) to a prédominance of father love'^- 

1 Cp, expecially Ferenczi, "Contributions to Psycho-Analysis," 250. 

2 In the case of a woman, the record of whose analysis was kindly 
shown to me by Dr. E. M. Cole, there appears to bave been a complète 
father fixation (with corresponding hatred of the mother) at one level and 
at a lower and more unconscious level an equally complète mother fixation 



With men, too, it is possible that an overstrong affection 
and admiration for the father may lead to a corresponding- 
resuit. In thèse cases \ve should expect the homosexuality to be 
of a deeper and more fundamental character than that referred 
to above, the members of the lover's own sex exercising 
attraction, as it were, on their own merits, and not merely as 
substitutes for the forbidden members of the opposite sex; the 
objecta selected being correspondingly typical of their own sex, 
î. e. womanly women and manly men ^. The existence of such 
a type of homosexuality has indeed been demonstrated by 
Ferenczi^ (though hère, as in most cases of "types" in psycho- 
logy, it is probable that the types themselves are only extrême 
forms between which there exist an indefinite number of inter- 
mediate characters, the majority of individuals partaking to some 
extent of the nature of both types). So far as the évidence 
goes, however, it would seem that the fixation of love on the 
parent of the same sex plays a lesser part in the development 
of this kind of homosexuality than might hâve been expected ; 
the homosexuality in question being more frequently and to a 
greater extent due to a displacement of a primitive love of self 
(Narcissism, in psycho-analytic terminology) projected on to 
others, so that in loving those of his own sex the individual is 
directing his affection to those who, by his unconscious mind, 
are selected as the most suitable représentatives of his own 
beloved Ego. 
Idéalisation of It is an important characteristic of the phenomenon of 

^ paren?^ fixation on the parent, that this parent who is loved in the 
unconscious is not so much the parent as he or she actually 
exists when the child has attained to adolescence or maturity, 
but rather the parent as he or she appeared to the child when 
young, i. e. in the case of the father, a being of immeasurable 
strength, wisdom, knowledge, authority and (perhaps) love; in 

(with alî the indications of an "inverted*' Œdipus compîex), the two levels 
being characterised by a prédominance of heterosexual and homosexual 
tendencies respectively. 

1 In three cases of homosexual tendencies in men which I hâve re- 
cently had the opportunity of studying, the désire to be used by the father 
as a sexual objective was quite clearly apparent. Cp. Freud*s "Ans der 
Geschichte einer infantilen Neurose.'* Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur 
Neurosenlehre. IV. 578 ff. 

2 "Contributions to Psycho-Analysis,*' 250 ff. 



the case of the mother, one of unsurpassable beauty, tenderness 
and mercy and an ever available source of comfort, help and 
protection in face of the difficulties and dangers of an unknown 
and often hostile world. This idéalisation of the loved parent 
is especially Uable to exercise a potent influence in ail cases 
where the parent in question dies young and is therefore never 
subject to the criticism at the hands of his children to which 
he would, later on, hâve inevitably to some extent become ex- 
posed. In any case, however, it is not surprising that in com- 
parison with thèse beautiful products of the child*s imagination 
(for we can scarcely doubt that, hère as elsewhere, the passage 
of time has served to embellish still further the originally 
exaggerated estimate of the admirable qualities of the loved 
parent) the actual imperfect spécimens of humanity who are 
available as love objects in the real world hâve but little power 
of attraction ^. 

It is principally from this source that there is apt to rise the 
fruitless search for the **ideal" man or v^oman — a search which 
is bound to end in disappointment, because the object of the 
search is to be found nowhere but in the distorted and idealised 
memories cherished in the mind of the searcher himself. 

It is this search for the idéal that has been found to Don Juanism 
underlie the inability to find permanent satisfaction in any ^^^ the^^ideal 
individual of the opposite sex; an inabihty of a most distressing 
nature which characterises the love life of a certain class of 
persons^- Thèse unhappy Don Juans are perpetually attracted 
to a fresh object by the promise of some new and indefinable 
charm, only to suffer disappointment as each new object in 
turn is found in some inexplicable way to fall short of the 
lover's hopes and expectations. The misery w^hich thèse 
individuals, through their instability and faithlessness, are apt to 
bring not only on themselves but on the unf ortunate objects of 
their love, is too well known to need further emphasis or 
description. It is, however, paradoxically enough, the extrême 
steadfastness of their love towards its original object that is the 
cause of their fickleness towards ail subséquent objects of 

1 Cp. Rank, *'The Myth of the Birth of the Hero," 1913. 

2 Freud, "Beitrâge zur Psychologie des Liebeslebens," Jahrbtich fur 
psychoanaîytische nnd psychopathoîogische Forschttngen, 1910, II, 389. 



"Myth of the As a resuit of this same process of idéalisation, it may 

birth of the ^igo happen that the réalisation of the true nature of the real 
parents when compared with the beings corresponding to them 
in imagination, may give rise to feelings of very bitter 
disappointment. This disappointment is an expérience so 
widespread and of such deep emotional significance as to hâve 
found expression in a frequently recurring type of myth and 
legend, which has received illuminating treatment at the hands 
of Freud and Rank^ In thèse myths (of which the stories 
connected with Moses, Perseus, Œdipus, Romulus, Cyrus, 
Christ, Siegfried, Lohengrin afford typical examples) a child is 
born of noble or divine parentage, but for some reason (usually 
connected with hostility on the part of the father) is lost or 
otherwise, severed from his rightful home, and is reared by 
foster parents of lowly station (or sometimes by animais), only 
to be eventually restored to the position which is by birth his 
due. Hère the foster parents of the myth correspond to the 
real parents as they are revealed to the disappointed insight 
of the child who, with widening expérience of his human 
environment, begins to realise the discrepancy bëtween the 
actual position of his parents in the world of men and the 
idéal qualities with which his infantes fancy had endowed them. 
Unwilling however to give up the lofty conception of his 
parents' dignity which he had f ormed for himself (the abandonment 
of which involves of course not only a loss of cherished ideals 
as regards his parents, but a serious readjustment of his views 
as to his own prospects and importance^, the individual finds 

* See Rank, op. cit., also the more récent treatment by the Question- 
naire method by Edmund S. Conklin, "The Foster-Child Fantasy," American 
Journal of Psychology, 1920, XXXI, 59. 

2 There can be no doubt that this is a factor of very considérable 
significance. The child projects on to its parents its own desires, ambitions 
and aspirations, thus finding compensation for the graduai réalisation of its 
own deficiencies, limitations and want of power (in much the same way 
as parents in their turn find consolation for their own disappointmcnts 
in contemplating the successes — real or anticipated — of their children. Cp. 
below Ch. XIV.). In this way certain of the Narcissistic impulses find displaced 
expression in the idéalisation of the parents and the exaggeration of their 
powers — a factor which probably plays a part of great importance in the 
Psychology of Religion {Cp. below Ch. Xm.). 

The f oUowing incident in connection with a young boy personally known 
to me amusingly illustrâtes the tendency ta substitute an idéal parent for a 



in the noble parents of the myth the re-embodiment of those 
conceptions which had become untenable as regards the real 
world. The séries of legends (in so far as they immediately 
concern us hère) thus serve to express the persistence in the 
Unconscious of the original infantile idéalisation of the parents 
as a consolation for the loss of the parent idéal which an 
appréciation of the actual human imperfections of the parents 
has inevitably brought in its train. 

The manifestations of the hâte, as distinct from the love, Exaggerated 
éléments of the Œdipus complex, may also, when subjected to ^°X^/^^^^|^^' 
repression in the course of moral development, assume a négative 
form — in this case usually appearing as a morbid and exaggerated, 
but of course relatively superficial, love for the hated parent; 
a love v^hich constantly tends to find expression in somewhat 
forced and unnatural exhibitions of affection. This superficial 
love is often accompanied by an unreasoning anxiety as to the 
welfare of the parent in question and a persistent dread lest 
he or she should corne to some harm. This sj^mptom merely 
constitutes a form of repression of the unconscious wish that 
the parent should corne to some harm. Persons afflicted with 
a neurotic anxiety of this kind will frequently suffer very greatly 
at the death of the parent conceming v^hom the anxiety is 
felt; for this event constitutes the suprême gratification of the 
unconscious and repressed desires, thus calling for an exceptionally 
vigorous effort on the part of the repressing force in its endeavour 
to substitute in consciousness an émotion of the opposite quality 
to that which would be felt if the repressed tendencies held 
undisputed sway. 

Quite frequently however — in this respect unlike the Open parent- 
love tendencies — the hâte impulse may manifest itself with a hatred 
very considérable degree of frankness and directness, leading 
to openly hostile relations to the parent, which may persist 
throughout life. In such cases it will usually be found that the 
original hatred as a conséquence of jealousy or envy has been 
(disappointing) real one, together with the religious and Narcissistic implications 
of this tendency. S. F., aged 7, insisted on being called Jésus Christ, in spite 
of the remonstrations of his father who pointed out to him among other 
things that Jésus Christ was the Son of God; to which S. F. repUed **So 
ami" On receiving the reply: "You cannot be, for I am your father," he 
retorted, "God is my real father, you are only my professional father" 
(referring to the fact that his father was a "professional" musician). 




interests of 

parents and 


supplemented by vindictive feelings arising from a (real 
or imaginary) attitude of cruelty or tyranny on the part of the 
hated parent towards the child or towards some third member 
of the family, to whom the child's love and sympathy has 
gone out. 

This notion of cruelty and tyranny is indeed apt to play 
a very important part in the attitude of children towards their 
parents. The almost boundless power and authority which the 
parent possesses over the very young child, combined with the 
fact that this authority must often be exercised (even by the 
most indulgent and considerate parents) in what appears to 
the child a most arbitrary manner and one which displays a 
ruthless disregard of his own desires and longings — ail this 
may bring about a sénse of oppression and of being the victim 
of a System of brutal force. Such feelings can only be removed 
by a strong counter-impulse of affection and a graduai under- 
standing and assimilation of the parent's point of view, as 
mental growth proceeds. If the original feehng of hostility 
arising from the conflict between the parent's will and that of 
the child should not be overcome — as may easily happen, if 
(through some deficiency of tender feeling in the child himself 
or as the resuit of some genuine want of considération on the 
part of the parent) the child should expérience no compen- 
satory émotion of love towards the parent — then the hatred 
thus aroused may persist with unabated vigour into adult hfe, 
or even grow in strength as the years pass. The extraordinarily 
intense bitterness which may be felt, for instance by a son 
towards his father, may easily be realised by a study of a 
number of well known literary works, e. g, many of the poems 
of Shelley. 

Another, but a later and usually less deep seated, cause 
of hostile feelings in children towards their parents, is to be 
found in the natural and to some extent inévitable compétition 
of the successive générations for the available sources of wealth 
and power. This motive is apt to be experienced more strongly 
among the relatively wealthy classes than among the relatively 
poor, with whom under existing social conditions the children 
may at a comparatively early âge attain to an économie 
position little if at ail inferior to that of their parents. In many 
well-to-do families, however, the prospect of succeeding at the 



death of the parent to a considérable sum of money, a tide, 
or a recognised business, social, or professional position, will 
frequendy supply a motive for secredy desiring the death of 
that parent — a motive which of course usually suffers a very 
considérable degree of repression, but which nevertheless may 
constitute a factor of importance in the détermination of the 
total psychic attitude of the child towards the parent. This is 
especially liable to be the case where for any reason — e, g. an 
extravagant mode of life on the part of the child or a want of 
generosity on the part of the parent — the resources at the 
disposai of the former are markedly insufficient for the satis- 
faction of his needs (real or supposed), or again where the lack 
of adéquate funds is fdt as a hindrance to some important 
step in life, such as entering upon a marriage or upon some 
business enterprise. Hère the contrast between the économie 
impotence of the child as compared with the greater resources 
of his parents — coming, as it is apt to do, just at the period 
of his most urgent desires and raost ardent aspirations — is 
only too likely to resuscitate the dead relies of infantile envy 
and hostility. Such a revival, by the circumstances of later life, 
of hâte engendered during early years, can only be with 
certainty avoided where the remains of such hatreds are no 
longer persistent as distinct and powerful trends in the uncon- 
scious, but hâve worked themselves off naturally and hâve lost 
their pow^er by absorption in the main tendencies and interests 
of a healthy personality. 

In a number of cases hatred may be felt, not — as usually Hatred of the 
happens — towards the parent of the same sex as that of the ^cMM's °own^ 
child, but towards the parent of the opposite sex. This ^ex 

abnormahty may arise in some cases from a gênerai tendency 
to homosexuaUty on the part of the child, in which case he is 
apt to suffer from an "inverted Œdipus complex", as Ferenczi 
has termed it; love being felt towards the parent of the same 
sex and jealousy towards the parent of the opposite sex; the 
émotions being of the same quality as those met with in the 
usual form of the complex but opposite in direction. Quite 
apart, however, from any tendency to sexual inversion, the 
hatred of the parent of the opposite sex may, in other cases, 
arise secondarily as a conséquence of the natural tendency of 
this parent to display affection towards the other parent {i, e. 



from the child's point of view, to give undue attention to a 
sexual rival). The hatred thus secondarily aroused towards the 
original object of love may manifest itself openly in conscious- 
ness or may suffer varions degrees of repression, in the same 
manner as the more usual hatred towards the parent of the 
same sex. The importance and interest of this secondary hatred 
lies principally in its influence on certain forms of displacement 
to which we shall hâve to refer in a later chapter. 




In the fixations and régressions we hâve so far considered Failure to 
we were concerned more or less exclusively with the love and ^y^te^^^inde- 
hate aspects of the relations of the individual to his family. pendent of 
Wè must now tum to consider the influence of thèse fixations ^^^ parents 
and régressions upon the rather wider problems of the indi- 
vidual*s developraent and attitude towards life as indicated in 
Chapters IV and V. 

The opération of any failures or abnormalities of develop- is subject to 
ment in this direction is for the most part subiect to less inten- |ess repression 
sive and far reaching repressions than are met with m the hâte fixations 
case of the love and hâte aspects which we hâve just been 
considering- That this is so will be readily understood if we 
keep in mind the moral attitude generally adopted towards the 
failures of development of the kind dealt with in Chapter V. 
Laziness, inability to face the labours, troubles and difficulties 
of adult life, unduly prolonged dependence upon the efforts of 
the parents, thèse may indeed become objects of censure, 
especially when présent to an unusually marked extent; but 
they arouse a degree of condemnation distinctly inferior to that 
which is occasioned by the display of feelings of hatred or of 
incestuous love towards the nearest relatives. The further 
characteristics of want of personal initiative or of exaggerated 
obédience to, and reliance on, the authority of the parents or 
their substitutes, may easily corne to be regarded as virtues 
rather than as faults, since they are readily associated with the 
quahties (désirable enough in a reasonable degree and in so 
far as they do not interfère with the developraent of individual 



character) of conscientious exécution of instructions and gênerai 
amenability to discipline in nursery and school or, later on, in 
social, industrial or military life. 

In conséquence of this lesser liability to repression, any 
failure in development as regards the aspects in question will 
usually manifest itself in a positive rather than in a négative 
form. In so far as the failure is of the nature of a simple arrest 
or régression as distinct from a displacement (cases of v^rhich 
v^rill, in pursuance of our programme, be considered later), its 
manifestations consist therefore, for the most part, of certain 
characteristics proper to an earlier stage of development, but 
which should hâve been outgrown in the process of normal 
adaptation to adult life, and w^hich, v^rhen persisting in an indi- 
vidual of mature years, constitute, as has been sufficiently 
shov^rn in the earlier chapters, a serious obstacle to the full 
enjoyment of a useful and successful life._^ 

The attitude of the individual towards his life and work 
may nevertheless be affected in a certain number of ways 
which are less obvions in nature and v^rhich may therefore 
well be mentioned hère, especially as a considérable degree 
of light has been throv^rn upon them by récent psycho-analytic 
The influence! In the first place it must be recognised that the degree of 

of heredity ' independence developed by an individual and the amount of 
energy and self-reliance v^rith which he faces the difficulties of 
life, is apt to dépend to a very considérable extent upon the 
degree of development of thèse very same qualities in one or 
both of the parents.; No doubt, so far as concems direct inheri- 
tance of mental characteristics, there is a tendency, hère as 
elsewhere, for the child to develop qualities similar to those of 
his parents. This inherited tendency may moreover be rein- 
forced as the resuit of precept and imitation, the child tending 
naturally to foUow his parents' instruction and example; 
especially in so far as he admires and envies them or (as 
almost inevitably happens to a greater or less extent) so far as 
he — consciously or unconsciously — cornes to regard them as 
ideals to which he may himself hope one day to approximate. 
Psychological -^ On the other hand there are often certain influences at 
cïusr'lt'r'^nl ^^^k» which tend to make the child unUke his parents in just 
thèse qualities of energy and self-reliance. Thus a high degree 



of initiative, self-confidence or masterfulness in the predominating parents to hâve 

parent may easily cause the child— unless himself endowed with ^^^^K children 
« 1 . or vice versa, 

thèse characteristics to the same or to an even greater degree — 

to abandon himself habitually to the supremacy and initiative of 

the parent and thus in time to develop a lack of those qualities 

which distinguished the personality of the latter. Conversely, a 

lack of energy or authority in the parents may compel a child 

to fall back constantly upon his own power of décision and 

resource, thus developing in him, to some degree at least, those 

character qualities in vt^hich his parents were defective. For 

thèse reasons it may often happen that strong and masterful 

parents hâve children who are relatively weak as regards . 

initiative and power of self-assertion, while thèse in turn may 

be foUowed by a génération more resembling their grandparents 

with respect to thèse qualities than their immédiate predecessors. 

This ** alternation of générations" as regards certain important 

mental powers and characteristics has attracted some attention 

among students of heredity and some attempts hâve been made 

to give a biological explanation of the problem, but as there 

would seem to be no known laws of heredity which easily fit 

the case, it is probable that we must regard the psychological 

influences hère indicated as the sole, or at least the chief, 

causes of the phenomenon, 

Another way in which parents may influence the gênerai Children may 

attitude to life adopted by their children is through the direct ^"g'^elvl^^wit^ 

— but for the most part unconscious — identification by the latter their parents 

of themselves with their parents. We hâve already referred to 

the conception frequently entertained by children of their parents 

as ideals of humanity, — ideals the attainment of which may be- 

come a constant source and driving power of effort. We hâve 

seen too in the last chapter some of the évidence for the 

potency of this idéal and the constancy with which it may be 

cherished. This idéal, however, frequently serves not only as a 

means of leading the child to embrace some gênerai standard 

or mode of life, but, more specifically also, as an incentive to 

the adoption of the particular kind of business, profession, 

hobby or amusement followed by the parent. Influence of this 

sort is of course of especial importance in so far as it affects 

the choice of a calling in life, and there can be httle doubt 

that in a large number of cases a son adopts his particular 



means of eaming hîs livelihood as the resuit of an unconscious 
or semi-conscious identification of himself with his father. Sons 
may also identify themselves with their mothers as regards their 
principal pursuits in life; and (especially under présent con- 
ditions when work of almost every description is open to 
women) daughters with either their fathers or their mothers. 
In other cases again the choice is made in order to carry out 
some wish— expressed or implied — on the part of the parent \ 
or from a pious désire to carry on some work begun but not 
completed by the parent. 
Désire to be In still Other cases, however, a désire to be différent from 

différent from ^^e parent rather than a désire to resemble him may be deci- 
paren ^.^^ When this is so, the calling chosen will probably be very 
far removed in character from the parental one, except in so 
far as it may resemble it through being the exact contrary, 
where such a thing is possible; as for instance in politics or in 
opposing schools of social, philosophie or religious thought. 
The adoption of such a course dépends naturally upon hatred 
and aversion instead of love and admiration, and is due as 
much to a désire to oppose the parent as to the wish to avoid 
resembling him. It is especially liable to occur in cases where 
the occupation or gênerai behaviour of the parent lias întnided 
itself in an irksome and insistent manner into the life of the 
child; and may lead not only to a dislike of the parentes occu- 
pation itself, but to an opposition to the whole point of view 
engendered by such an occupation, as the proverbial tendency 
to loose living on the part of the sons of clergymen well illu- 
strâtes \ 

Thus, either positively or negatively, the lives, fates and 
convictions of the parents hâve a great but often subtle power 
in moulding the careers and opinions of their children — an in- 
fluence which, in so far as it is manifest, is generally recognised 
as a force as great as, if not greater than, that of inherited 
disposition or environmental suggestion; but which, in so far 

^ There is reason to believe that an influence of this kind was a factor 
of importance in determinlng the nature of Darwin*s scientific work. Cp. 
E. J. Kempf, "Charles Darwin. The affective Sources of his Inspiration and 
Anxiety Neurosis." Psychoanaîytic Review, V. 151. 

2 For a study of unconscious family influences affecting the careers 
of children cp. Stekel, "Berufswahl und Kriminalitât/* Archiv fur Kriminaî- 
anthropoîogie und Kriminaîistik, XLI. 



as it is not manifest except upon close psychological investigation, 
constitutes a very considérable, but hitherto largely unsuspected, 
force in shaping the destiny of the individual. It will be not 
the least of the tasks of the psychological, educational and 
économie sciences of the future to see that thèse forces, where 
bénéficiai, shall be exploited to their full extent for the benefit 
of the individual and of society, and, where harmful or 
dangerous, shall be counteracted or guarded against by the best 
means of which thèse sciences, in the course of their further 
development, may stand possessed. 


Birth and 



of the désire to 

return to the 




We hâve now reached a point in our discussion at which 
we may perhaps proîitably pause awhile to consider a group 
of phantasies, which, on account of their widespread occurrence 
and curious character, would seem to deserve some very spécial 
attention at the hands of the psychologist and anthropologist 
The phantasies in question are those which psycho-analysts hâve 
found to cluster round the idea of retuming to the mother's 
womb and of resuming there the intra-uterine life enjoyed by 
the child in the pre-natal stages of its existence, — an idea which 
is discoverable (usually of course in a sjrmbolic form) in many 
myths, legends, dreams, rêveries and sjonptomatic actions. It is 
very frequently associated with the further idea of birth or 
re-birth, and it is in this form that the phantasy was first 
described by Freud*. In consciousness this phantasy of retuming 
to the womb may clothe itself as an idea of being in an enclosed, 
dark, solitary or inaccessible place, safe from outside dangers 
or disturbances. Its influence can probably be traced in the 
pleasure that many persons find in the retirement to small 
islands, mountain tops or other places isolated from the rest of 
the world, in the "cosiness*' of smaU rooms or closets or in 
the comfort which may be experienced in snuggling under the 
bed-clothes in the présence of real or imaginary danger^. Sleep 

1 "The Interprétation of Dreams/* 243 £f. 

2 To the same cause is probably due the use of four-poster beds 
in which the sleeper is completely enclosed by curtains and of those old- 
fashioned beds (still to be seen in some parts of the world) which could 
be entirely shut off from the rest of the room by a wooden partition or 
sliding door containing only one very small circular aperture for the 
admission of air. 



itself, in its power of withdrawing the individual from the outer 
world and in its unmistakable approximation to the pre-natal 
condition of body and mind, may, from certain points of view, 
be regarded as an exemplification of the same tendency^ as 
may also possibly hypnosis. In certain forms of insanity the 
tendency may show itself quite clearly even in waking life, the 
patient withdrawing himself as far as possible from ail 
environmental influences and sometimes adopting a characteristi- 
cally foetal posture, — a posture which, it should be noted, is 
often adopted even by normal persons during sleep. More 
moderately and within the bounds of sanity, it may show itself 
in a relative degree of retirement from the world, as in the 
life foUowed in Christian monasteries or nunneries, or — more 
clearly — in the still more isolated existence of many Buddhist 
monks and devotees, some of whom will live for years in caves 
or other dark and secluded spots, almost entirely eut off 
from human intercourse and from the light and bustle of the 
outside world. In a more distinctiy neurotic form again, its 
influence may be traced in agoraphobia — the fear of open 
spaces — or negatively (the reaction against the tendency pre- 
dominating) in its opposite, claustrophobia — the fear of narrow, 
confined rooms or places — or in the morbid dread of being 
buried alive. 

In ail thèse manifestations the dominant motive would seem Meanmg of 
to consist in a désire to escape from the troubles, labours, ^^'^^ désire 
anxieties and excitements of the world, to a place where there 
is rest and peace with no necessity for effort. Now there can 
be no doubt that the intra-uterine life of the child represents 
by far the nearest approach to such a blissful state of repose 
that is ever enjoyed by us during any period of our earthly 
existence. In this pre-natal hfe the child lives effortlessly, free 
from danger and with ail its needs provided; in striking contrast 
to post-natal (and more especially adult) life, where in gênerai 
the stem rule holds that **if any will not work, neither shall 
he eat", and where the individual constantiy finds his strength 
ail too small to do battle with the formidable obstacles that so 
often stand in the way of the fulfilment of his desires, 

1 Ferenczi, "Contributions to Psycho-Analysis," 189. Freud, "Vor- 
iesungen 2ur Einfûhrung in die Psychoanalyse," 486. 

67 5« 


Difficulty of It is, as Ferenczi^ has been at pains to show, only in sa 

the process of f ^^j. ^g ^q fj-ge ourselves from the habits, associations and 

^ ^^reaUty ^ implications of this pre-natal life that we can learn to aclïi'eve 

f the fulfilment of our wishes by taking the necessary steps to 

" \ bring about their accomplishment in the outer world, instead 

u of endeavouring to make the outer world conform to our desires 

I by the shorter and easier method of imagination and delusion. 

In the earliest stages of our existence we are in a sensé indeed 

omnipotent, inasmuch as provision is made for ail our requirements 

and desires as it were automatically and without the necessity 

for effort on our own part. In early childhood this state persists 

in some degree, the child*s wants being, to a large extent, 

fuKilled by others as soon as he indicates their nature. This 

power of automatically bringing about the satisfaction of our 

needs is destined to undergo a continually increasing degree of 

restriction, as childhood changes through adolescence to maturity; 

a greater individual adaptation to reality being achieved at the 

cost of greater individual effort and of the loss of the childish 

confidence in our ability to achieve our ends by the simple 

process of desiring their achievement. Under the stresses and 

difficulties of life on this developed plane, it is only too easy 

to sink back to the earlier and simpler state where less effort 

is demanded, and if we retrace our steps in this direction as 

far as they will lead us, we return eventually to the primitive 

condition of our pre-natal life. It is thus, apparently, that a 

return to this earliest stage of our existence has corne to stand 

as the suprême goal and object of ail désire to escape from 

the turmoîl, labour and conflict which developed life inevitably 

brings in its train. 

Life before If the idea of life within the raother's womb is in this 

^'Se/death ^ ^^^ closely associated with the désire for cessation of toil and 

striving, it is not surprising that we frequently find it brought 

into connection with the most striking example of such cessation 

with which we are acquainted, i. e, the complète stoppage of 

ail vital activities at death. As a matter of fact, the unconscious 

identification of tlie state after death with the state before birth 

would seem to be one of fréquent and widespread occurrence, 

the idea of the mysterious intra-uterine life before birth 

1 Op. cit., 181 fî. 


A La Alderman 

I wish'I v/as a rock a-sett*h* on a hill 

A-doln* nothin^ ail dày long 

But just a-s0tt*n* still; 

1 wouldn^t oat, I ^wouldn^t drink, 

ï v;ouldn*t î3vsn v/asli- 
l^d set an^ sot a thcusand 7/3ars 
An* rest myself, hj ffoshl 


fumishing, through this identification, one of the causes of 
belief in a continuance of life after death — life of a kind, 
however, in which, as in the life before birth, ail our desires 
and needs are fulfilled without the necessity for toilsome and 
unpleasant effort. 

It is not only in our gênerai attitude towards death that 
the influence of this identification may be traced, but also in 
many of the détails as regards the beliefs and cérémonies 
connected with the dead. The parallehsm hère referred to may 
be seen for instance in the fact that we place- our dead in 
coffins and bury them in graves or vaults in churches (ail of 
which are womb symbols) or under the earîh (itself among the 
most fréquent of mother symbols); or that in many places the 
dead hâve been placed on small islands^ caves, mountain tops, 
or other secluded spots, or deposited (like King Arthur) in boats 
and pushed ont to sea. In this last practice we may probably 
trace the influence of an identification of theprocess of death with 
that of birth — the conception that at death we pass away by 
the same road that we traversed when we entered into life at 
birth®. For not only is the sea a fréquent mother sjmabol, but 
the idea of water is closely connected with that of birth, occurring 
as it does in a great number of symbolic représentations of the 
latter'. A similar identification is chiefly responsible for the 
belief that the dead pass across a lake or river on the way to 
their new home. {Cp. Lethe, Stjoc and Acheron in classical 
mythology or the river across which Christian passes to the 
Celestial City in Pilgrim's progress), 

The idea of birth or re-birth which we hère meet with, 
plays of itself, as we hâve already indicated, a part of very 
great importance in the unconscious mental life of many Birth 
individuals*, a part indeed sometimes of even greater significance P^^^^^^s 

1 Cp. the striking emotional effect of Bôcklin's well known picture 
^'The Island of the Dead." In Sir J. M. Barrie's remarkable- play "Mary \ 
Rose" (which is full of interest in connection with our présent subject) j 
this pièce 6f symbolism is duphcated— the "island that likes to be visited" ! 
being situated in a lake on a larger island. 

2 Rank, "^Die Lohengrinsage/' 46 ff. 

3 Freud, "Interprétations of Dreams," 1243. Rank, op. cit., 27 ff. ''-^-f^ - 
^ Freud, op. cit. 243 ff. C. G.Jung, "Psychology of the Unconscious," 

233 £f. 



than that of the idea of returhing to the mother's womb, with 
which it is so frequently associated. In its indirect (displaced) 
représentation in consciousness, this idea of birth or re-birth 
will find expression as an émergence from any of the places 
which serve as symbols for the womb — an island, grave, room, 
church or other building, or again— and very typically— in the 
process of forcing one's way through a tunnel, narrow passage^ 
staircase or other enclosed space, out into some relatively open 
lôcality. More especially, however, is the idea connected in one 
way or another with a passage through or out of water — a 
pond, river, canal, Iake or the sea. It is thus for instance that 
it appears in a typical form of myth relating to the birth ôf 
some heroic personage {e, g, Moses, Kama, Perseus, Romulus, 
Siegfried, Lohengrin) in which the birth is symbolicaliy 
repfesented by the child's floating on the water in a cradle, boat 
or basket^. 
Birth and fear Birth phantasies of this kind are frequently accompanied 

by the idea of difficulty or danger and by a corresponding 
émotion of fear. According to Freud»^ the connection between 
fear and the act of birth is a very intimate one; birth with its 
attendant profound changes of physiological and environmental 
conditions and its manifold dangers and discomforts, having 
become, as it were, the prototjrpe of ail situations of a 
threatening or disquieting character or in which life itself 
appears to be menaced. Our word Anxiety — like the French 
Angoisse, the German Angst, the Latin anxius, angere, angustus^ 
the Greek àyx^) ail of which appear to be connected with the 
Sanskrit anhus or anhas, signifjdng narrowness or constriction 
— bears witness to the fundamentàl association of fear with 
pressure and shortness of breath, which — the former owing to 
the passage through the narrow vagina, the latter to the inter- 
ruption of the foetal circulation — constitute the most menacing 
and terrifying aspects of the birth process. 
The meaning If, and in SO far as, the phantasy of re-entering the mother's 

^^phantasy ^omb représenta a désire to esc£çe from the difficulties and 
trials of life into the condition of peace and protection which 
the pre-natal period of life afforded, the idea of rebirth would 
naturally seem to give expression to tlie tendency to émerge 

1 O. Rank, "The Myth of the Birth of the Hero.'' 

2 "Vorlesungen zur Einfûhrung in die Psychoanalyse," 461. 


once more into the conflict of life and to emancipate oneself 
from the protecting influence of the mother. Such a meaning 
is indeed, as Jung ^ and others^ hâve shown, actually associated 
with the phantasy in very many cases. In this sensé, then, the 
désire to attain to individual independence and freedom from 
the parents finds symbolical représentation as a répétition of 
that process whereby we first acquired the status of an inde- 
pendent organism distinct from that of the mother who 
bore us. 

In other cases however the symbolism is of a rathef more Spiritual 
remote kind, the idea symbolised being that of moral or spiritual régénération 
régénération 3. The, reality of this significance of the re-birth 
phantasy cannot well be doubted, being vouched for as it is 
not only by the results of psycho-analytic enquiry but also by 
the stereotyped phraseologj' of many religious formulae and by 
the nature of many of the cérémonies connected with moral or 
religions conversion. Thus the rite of baptism, as is pretty 
generaUy recognised, consists, in one of its principal aspects, in 
a symbolic représentation of the act of birth, and^ the same is 
true of many of the initiation cérémonies performed at puberty 
in aU parts of the world *. 

The association — so often found in this connection — of re- 
birth with a previous retum to, and brief sojourn in, the 
mother's womb, may be due perhaps to some extent to the 
needs of logical consistency for, as Nicodemus sàid, a man 
cannot literally **be bom again" unless he has previously 
"entered the second time into his mother*s womb"; but pro- 
bably it has itself a further and deeper significance. As the 
resuit of his researches upon this point, Jung^ considers that 
the association in question expresses the necessity ol gathering 
fresh sources of psychic energy from the deepest strata of our 
mental life in the Unconscious, if the moral or spiritual con- 
version is to be successful. Starting from the considération of 

1 " Psychology of the Unconscious," 397. 

2 Especially Silberer, *'Problems of Mysticism and its Symbolism," 307 if. 
2 Cp, Jung and Silberer as above. 

* For an important discussion of certain further aspects of baptism 
from the psycho-analytical point of view, see Ernest Jones, "Die Bedeutung 
des Salzes in Sitte und Brauch der Vôlker", Imago, 1912, I. 463 If • 

û "Psychology of the Unconscious," :233 ff . 



The literal 


of the womb 

and birth 



the products of the collective mind as exemplified in cuit and 
legend rather than from the phantasies of the individual, other 
investigators, such as Sir J. G- Frazer ^ hâve come to the con- 
clusion that it is primarily a physical rather than a moral 
régénération that is symbolised by the ideas of re-birth. Thus 
the historiés of such divine personages as Attis, Adonis or 
Osiris, whose death and subséquent retum to life are plainly 
analogous to the phantasy of the retum to the mother*s womb 
(burial in the earth) and re-birth from it, hâve been interpreted 
as expressions of the désire for rejuvenation on the part of the 
individual or the race, or again as représentations (probably 
magical in intention) of the periodical decay and revival of 
végétation or of the periodical changes of the seasons upon 
which thèse dépend. This view would seem to be supported 
by the fact that such a significance (often however associated 
with that of moral régénération in Jung's sensé) is inhérent in 
many of the mysteries and superstitions of ail âges, as in the 
ideas of the philosopheras stone or the dixir of life, and in the 
symbolic practices, legends and traditions characteristic of secret 
societies and of mysticism generally^. 

Ail thèse interprétations are probably correct, so far as 
they go and as regards certain cases. Certainly the désire for 
the préservation or recoveiy of youth, the attainment of im- 
mortality, the ensuring of a good harvest or even the felt need 
of spiritual' régénération are sufficiently strong and récurrent 
motives of the human mind to justify their fréquent appearance 
m symbolic form. Nevertheless, from what we know of the 
conditions goveming the most deeply rooted and widespread 
human phantasies and from the gênerai laws which underlie 
the use of symbolism ^ it would seem likely that in a considér- 
able number of cases the meaning of the ideas of re-entering 
the womb and of re-birth is not exhausted by thèse interpré- 
tations. The frequency and relative uniformity of thèse womb 
and birth phantasies make it probable that, in one of their 
aspects at least, they are no mère symbols but represent things 
actually desired on their own account. The actual retum to 
the womb does, as we hâve seen, represent the extrême ex- 

1 "Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild." 

2 Silberer, op. cit. 

3 Cj^. Ernest Jones, "Papers on Psycho-Analysis," 129 ff. 



pression of the tendency to escape from the troubles of the 
outer world to a condition in which there is complète immunity 
from effort, responsibility, difficulty and danger. Further, psycho- 
analytic investigation of the womb and birth phantasies as they 
occur in individuals seems to show that they often hâve a Sexual sîgni- 
sexual or quasi-sexual significance, being the expression of ficance of the 
sexual tendencies and arousing sexual feeling*. Through the 
extrême intimacy which a child establishes with its mother by 
the processes of gestation and birth, it may find in imagination by 
means of thèse processes a not unsuitable method of gratifying 
the sexual inclinations which it feels towards its mother; and 
the phantasies of entering or emerging from the womb or 
of being carried in it may thus come to take on a directly 
sexual character, in the same way as any other of the numerous 
activities or processes associated with erotic feeUng. It is pro- 
bable too that in men and boys, the process of passing to or 
from the womb through the vagina is treated, on the principle 
of iofum pro parte, as a substitute for the more directly sexual 
act appropriate to later life — the individual having enjoyed, on 
the occasion of his birth, the privilège of being in that place, 
whence his incestuous desires impel him to return. In this sensé 
then, the womb and birth phantasies express the incestuous 
tendencies in a milder and less objectionable form^. 

^ Thus in a case known to the présent writer a boy frequently 
indulged in phantasies of entering into the bodies of women and girls 
whom he admired, the ideas of effecting an entrance into the body, of 
being carried therein and of re-emerging therefrom, being ail accompanied 
by voluptuous feehngs of a sexual character. 

2 A striking example of this is to be found in Sir J. M. Barrie's "Mary 
Rose "\ in which a grown up son, on retuming after many years to the 
home of his childhood, is eamestly warned and entreated by the house- 
keeper in charge of the (now empty) house not to enter his former nursery 
(womb symbol), a small room which is approached by a short passage 
(vagina symbol). He eventually overcomes his fears and boldly enters the 
forbidden apartment with a Hghted candie (phaUic symbol) in his hand. At 
that moment the ghost of his mother appearsî 

The identification of the processes of birth and coitus is well shown 
in the foUowing dream of a patient. "1 was with difficulty crawHng through 
a very narrow tunnel under a mountain which, I thought, was called the 
Aalberg. I was a good deal frightened but saw the end of the tunnel a 
long way off. In trying to get out, I seemed to force my way forward by 
continually butting with my head against some kind of soft wall". The 





In gifls (or in boys, in so far as they possess homosexual 
inclinations) the retum to the mother may be used as a means 
of attaining sexual intimacy with the father, indirectly through 
fusion, or identification, with the mother V 

The directly sexual feeling thus attaching to thèse phantasies 
is in many cases powerfully reinforced by the curiosity which 
is experienced by children in relation to the processes of 
conception, gestation and birth. Most children would seem to 
possess at an early âge a very lively interest in ail matters 
directiy or indirectiy connected with the reproductive function. 
The question **Where do babies corne from?" is one of the 
most absorbing of ail the problems of our early years; one 
which, in its more sublimated forms, may lay the foundation 
of that restless désire to know the causes and origins of things, 
which is the driving force of much that is best in science 
and philosophy; and one for which, in infancy and childhood, 
a solution is sought in many of the childish théories of 
reproduction which hâve recentiy attracted the attention of 

Curiosity of this kind is also found to underlie much of 
that désire for knowledge which manifests itself in the incessant 
asking of questions so characteristic of children at a certain 
âge, Where this is the case, the actual questions asked are 

movement hère described is a clear coitus symbol (head = pénis), while 
the mountain would appear to hâve derived its name Irom the phallic 
significance of the eel. 

In a certain number of cases the idea of retuming to the mother*s 
womb or of being bom is coloured by the infantile " cloacal theory " of 
birth, according to which the child imagines birth to take place through 
the rectum. This is shown with exceptional cleamess in the following 
dream. "I was walking down a long and narrow flight of stairs. They 
seemed to be the back stairs of a large house or hôtel and were very 
dirty and iU-lit, and every now and then I would tread in a pool of dirty 
wàter. The stairs suddenly (note the words in italics) opened out towards 
the àotiom and I emerged into a back yard. I found I was covered with 
soot and dust and my boots were filthy.*' {Cp, the well loDCgiTii passage 
from St. Augustine, **Inter urinas et faeces nascimur"). 

1 Freud, "Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre." IV, 693, 694. 
Further évidence has recentiy been brought together by Mrs. S. C. Porter 
in a (not yet published) paper on Brontephobia, 

2 Freud, " Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre," H, 169, 
Jung, "CoUected Papers on Analytical Psychology," 132. 



often only substitutes for the real problem which so insistendy 

demands solution — die problem of the origin of men — and are 

shown to be ôf litde importance in themselves by the lisdess 

and uninterested way in which the child frequendy receives 

the answers that are given him, making them, as he does only 

too often, the starting point for fresh questions, the answers to 

which prove in their tum to be equally unsadsfying. In ail such 

questioning the true nature of the real problem is for the most 

part kept below the threshold of consciousness, through the 

opération of répressive influences, originating perhaps to some 

extent in the natural course of development of the child*s own 

mind, but probably to a greater degree due to the attitude 

of his adult environment, which, direcdy or by implication, has 

taught the child to regard such questions as taboo, This notion The forbidden 

of the question which is forbidden but which nevertheless **^f^^and" 

imperiously demands an answer is one that is of fréquent legend 

occurrence in myth and legend, the forbidden question often 

disclosing itself as one which has référence to the birthplace, 

parentage or birth of the hero (as for instance in the Lohengria v 

legend) or the origîn and nature of man in gênerai (as in the 

case of Œdipus)^. 

Under thèse circumstances, it may well seem to the child 
tiiat his curiosity conceming the process by which he and 
other children came into the world could be most satisfactorily 
gratifred by the expérience in his own person of those events 
concerning which information is required. The motive thus 
aroused will then in many cases add very considerably to the 
fascination which the ideas of gestation and birth may already 
possess in virtue of their purely sexual significance. The désire 
thus satisfied may again in some cases be still further rein- 
forced by the notion that the position of the child within the 
womb is a favourable one for finding out many things about 
the life of the mother and her relations to the father which 
may be otherwise difficult to discover; as in the not infrequent 
phantasy of observing the sexual act between the parents from 
this point of vantage, 

1 Rank, "Die Lohengrinsage," 107 ff. '*Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung 
und Sage," 261 ff. This however does not exhaust the significance of the 
forbidden question motive, another important aspect of which is refêrred 
to later. 



Summary Summarising our discussion as to the significance of the 

womb and birth phantasies, we hâve seen that they may hâve 
any or ail of the following meanings: — 

As to the return to the womb:— 
(i) An expression of the tendency to withdraw from the labours 
and difficulties of life to the place where the greatest possible 
freedom from such troubles may be found; in which the 
emphasis may be laid upon: — 

(a) the désire for the effortless gratification of ail needs and 

(b) the désire for protection from the dangers of the outer 

(c) the équation of life after death with Ufe before bh-th, the 
former being invested with ail the supposed advantages 
of the latter. 

(2) A sexual significance, as representing: — 

(a) the closest possible intimacy with the mother, 

(b) a means of attaining $exual intimacy with the father 
through fusion vn\h the mother, 

(c) a means of satisfying sexual curiosity. 
As to rebirth: — 

(i) A more or less symbolic significance; in which the emphasis 
may be laid upon: — 

(a) the désire for a more vigorous and independent mode 
of life, involving greater freedom from the protecting and 
guarding influence of the parents and especially of the 

(b) the désire for physical rejuvenation (of the individual, of 
the race, or of the means of subsistence), 

(c) the désire for moral or reUgious improvement or con- 

(2) A more Uteral significance, in which the emphasis may be 
laid upon: — 

(a) a direcdy sexual pleasure in the contemplation of the 
act, the process of birth being treated as a substitute for 
sexual intercourse, 

(b) the possibility of satisfjdng sexual curiosity^. 

^ Il is a question of considérable psychological interest, as to how the 
ideas of birth and intra-uterine life corne to acquire the significance which 
we hâve found them to possess. In what way for instance do we corne to 


associate life within the womb with freedom from effort, difficulty or 
danger? In the majority of cases, not from conscious thinking on the 
subject ; on the contrary, the connotation of safety and effortlessness would 
seem in some way to belong inherently to the idea of pre-natal existence 
from the very beginning, or at any rate to hâve become attached to it 
through a purely unconscious process of association. Again, how do we 
corne into possession of the ideas of birth and pre-natal life themselves? 
Is the knowledge which has gone to the formation of thèse ideas entirely 
acquired after birth, or is there retained in the mind anything in the 
nature of impression or memory of that early period of existence in which 
gestation and birth were actually experienced? From the fact of the very 
gênerai obliviscence which attends the first years of infàncy, as well perhaps 
as from the relatively undeveloped state of the cerebrum in the newly 
bom child, we might, with considérable show of reason, be inclined to 
disbelieve that any memory traces can be operative. On the other hand, the 
surprising fact of the sudden recovery in hypnosis, during psycho-analysis 
or otherwise, of early memories which had been entirely lost for many 
years, or again the fact that phantasies of "birth or intra-uterine life seem 
sometimes to refer to détails {e. g. the amniotic fluid or the différent 
stages of labour) of which there is little opportunity to leam in ordinary 
life and which play but a small part, if any, in the average. adult's 
conscious notions on thèse subjects, hâve' made some writers hesitate to 
affirm too strongly the absolute impossibility of such opération. Again 
some may suggest that the knowledge which is mysteriously revealed in 
thèse phantasies may compel us to assume the existence of some such 
innate ideas as are perhaps involved in Jung's conception of the împersonal 
or racial Unconscious, according to which there are présent in the uncon- 
scious mind certain materials (capable, apparently, of crystallisation into 
ideas of a certain degree of definiteness) which in their origin are assumed 
to be independent of personal expérience, being, like our more fundamental 
instincts and tendencies, derived and inherited from a long Une of ancestors. 

It is perhaps possible that more exact information on this important 
subject might be forthcoming as the resuit of careful investigations into 
such questions as the following: 

(i) To what extent (if at ail) do children display — in dreams, phan- 
tasies or otherwise — knowledge as to the circumstances of their birth and 
pre-natal life which they could not possibly hâve obtained except from 
memory of their own past expérience? 

(2) Do the phantasies of prematurely bom children differ in any way 
from those of children bom at the end of the normal term? If, for instance, 
there really exist any memory traces of the later period of gestation or 
of the process of birth, it might be expected that they would be less vivid 
than usual in prematurely bom children, owing to the less developed 
condition of their brain at the time of birth. 

(3) Are the phantasies conceming birth in any way more vivid or 
fréquent or of greater emotional intensity in those whose birth has been 
a process of difficulty and long duration than in those who hâve enjoyed 
an easy delivery? 



(4) Do the womb phantasies of twins indicate any knowledge of the 
anusual conditions of their pre-natal life ? 

(5) Do the phantasies of chiidren who hâve been removed from the 
womb by Caesarian section reveal any peculiarities corresponding to the 
absence of the usual birth process ? 




The phantasies of return to the womb and of re-birth, 
withwhichwe hâve just been concemed, are intimatelyconnected 
with another phantasy which is met with surprisingly often in 
the investigation of dreams and other manifestations of the 
Unconscîous — that of initiation. The idea of initiation corresponds 
to a vnsh that is very deeply rooted in the human mind. In 
the psycho-analytic study of individuals it is found perhaps 
most frequently in the shape of a désire for sexual initiation 
at the hands of the parents (or of obvions substitutes for thèse) ; 
such initiation constituting (in the mind of the phantasy maker) 
at once a removal of the prohibition which the parents had 
formerly laid upon aU manifestations of sexuality and an invi- 
tation to pénétra te those mysteries of sexual, reproductive and 
adult life generally, which they hâve hitherto jealously guarded 
for themselves. 

It thus appears that in certain minds initiation is regarded 
as a necessary preliminary to the exercise of the powers and 
privilèges of maturity in the sexual or in any other sphère of 
life. At the same time, however, the phantasy of initiation is 
often made the means of surreptitiously bringing about a 
satisfaction of the old, prohibited, and largely superseded desires 
of infancy. Thus there are frequently clear indications that it is not 
only initiation into sex life in gênerai that is required, but initiation 
into the incestuous form of this life which was characteristic of the 
first obj'ect-love of the child. Indeed the very persistence of thèse 
infantile desires constitutes one of the principal motives of the 
initiation phantasy; it is just the fact that ail the sexual trends 


of initiation 

Initiation and 



are to an appréciable extent stiU tinged with the atmosphère 
of the repressed incestuous tendencies, which makes the removal 
of the inhibitions and prohibitions attaching to thèse tendencies 
to be feit as necessary^ before sex life of any kind can be 
enjoyed with freedom. Thus a boy may dream of "initiation*' 
at the hands of his father, because tfiis signifies to him a 
removal of the prohibition imposed by his father on ail sexual 
activity on the part of the boy — a prohibition imposed (as is 
readily recognised by the Unconscious) in virtue of the boy 's 
original direction of his love towards the mother: without such 
sign of approval and change of attitude on the father's part*, 
the boy may feel that the original prohibition is still too power- 
ful to be overcome and that his sexual life will remain for 

^ The following three dream extracts from the writer's own psycho- 
analytic expérience afford very clear examples of the kind of dream to 
which référence is hère made. 

(i) "I was trying to catch a train, but à gâte leading to the 
platfonn was closed and I could not succeed in opening it. Then 
my father suddenly appeared, shook the gâte violently, opened it 
and hurried me across the platfonn. He opened the door of a com- 
partment and pushed me in. I found a lady sitting there." The lady 
hère was associated with the mother and the opening of the gâte and 
door symbolised the sexual act. 

(2) "An elderly man" (father symbol) "led me upstairs" (coitus 
symbol. Cp. Freud, "Interprétation of Dreams," p. 252) "to the interior of a 
church or chapel" (mother symbol). "Hère hymns were being sung" 
(initiation ceremony) "I thought I ought to sing too, but had some bother 
to find the right place in the hymn book. Then one of the people said to 
me * You are one of us.' " 

(3) "I wanted to get into a house, but could not find the way in. 
Suddenly our doctor" (in this case, as so often, a father substitute) "came 
along and said: *A doctor always goes in by the window'. From a bag he 
brought out a long elastic instrument" (phallic symbol) . "with which he 
opened a window on the first floor" (symbol of sex intercourse). "We 
entered and I found it was my mother*s bedroom. The doctor said *You 
should now go to sleep' and I prepared to go to bed." 

As will be seen from thèse examples, the initiation idea may be 
easily combined with the idea of retuming to the mother's womb discussed 
in the last chapter. This combination is perhaps still more clearly shown 
in the following dream of the patient, who provided Example 2. "I was on 
a boat sailing on a river or canal which gradually became narrower and 
shallower. Finally the boat grounded on a sandy bottom. I got out and 
walked up a staircase into a cathedralwhere some ceremony was going 
on, in which I took part.'' 



ever under the ban of the strong inhibitions aroused' by a sensé 
oî parental disapproval ^. 

Similar considérations apply to the non-sexual aspects of- 
life, in which at maturity the youth takes his place as an equal 
of the father, to whom he has hitherto looked up as a 

The important and far-reaching changes in gênerai conduct Initiation 
and, more particularly, in the attitude to be adopted toward the cérémonies 
elder members of an individual's own family, on the attainment 
of full growth — involving as they do the overcoming of many 
habits and inhibitions formed during the long period of human 
infancy and childhood — are not of a kind to be accomplished 
without difficulty and conflict. With a view to diminishing this 
difficulty and to overcoming the conflict of motives which the 
accomplishment of thèse changes necessarily involves, there 
exists a well nigh universal tendency to endow the transition 
from childhood to maturity with something of a solemn or 
religious character, calculated at one and the same time to 
reinforce the motives proper to maturity and to impress the 
now full grown members of the community with the privilèges 
and responsibilities of their new condition. This tendency has 
found definite and elaborate expression in the rites and 
cérémonies of initiation which are to be found in societies of 
every stage of culture and in every part of the world. Thèse 
cérémonies are of very considérable interest and importance 
for our présent purpose, for hère, as so often elsewhere, the 
results obtained from the study of racial and social customs 
on the one hand and from the investigation of the unconscious 
mental tendencies of the individual on the other, serve very 
largely to amphfy and corroborate one another, leading 
ultimately to a degree of certainty and précision which it would 
be difficult or impossible to attain by the pursuit of either 
discipline alone. 

Since the change from childhood to maturity involves re- Initiation and 
adjustments of such a fundamental kind as to constitute to ^^* *^ 
some extent an entrance into a new phase of life, it is not 
surprising that the initiation ceremony has often in one or more 

1 Thus in a case known to me the inhibition in question constituted 
one of the principal factors in the production of a very prolonged condition 
of sexual impotence in married life. 

8r f> 


of its aspects taken the form of a symbolic process of re-birth ; 
the re^birth phantasy, as we hâve seen^ being closely associated 
with the idea of moral or spiritual conversion or régénération. 
The process' of re-birth in thèse cérémonies may indeed on 
occasion be represented by something actually approaching an 
imitation of the act of birth, as in the case of the Kikuyu of 
British East Africa, who "hâve a curions custom which requires 
that every boy just before circumcision must be.born again. 
The mother stands up with the boy crouching at her feet, she 
prétends to go through ail the labour pains and the boy on 
being rebom cries like a babe and is washed, He lives on milk 
for some days afterwards h** Elsewhere the novice is swallowed 
by a monster and again disgorged, thus simulating the retum 
to the womb and the re-birth therefrom^. In still other cases 
a drama of death and résurrection is enacted by the novices 
or played before them^. Frequentiy an essential part of the 
process of initiation consists of a more or less prolonged period 
of seclusion about the time of puberty*; girls especially being 
often confined in small buts for weeks, months or in some 
cases years, at or before the time of their first menstruation^. 
General and These initiatory rites would seem, like the womb and birth 

isexual olgects phantasies which we hâve already studied, to hâve in the main 
two principal objects in view; first, an introduction of thé 
initiated into the rights and responsibilities belonging to an 
adult member of the community; secondly, an introduction into 
sexual life. 

As a means to the former end, the novice usually receives 
instruction in the laws, customs, religions beliefs and cérémonial 
practices of his tribe, or undergoes certain (often very severe) 
trials of capacity and endurance with a view to ascertaining 
his fitness to enter into the privilèges o( maturity. 

On the sexual side the novice receives permission to marry 
and generally to indulge his sexual tendencies (the process of 
initiation being often succeeded by a period of unusual hcence), 
but at the same time is instructed in the numerous prohibitions 

1 Sir J. G. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy.'* IV. 228. 

2 Sir J. G. Frazer, "Balder the Beautiful." H. 239. 

3 Op. cit n. 243, 246. 

* op. cit, n, 253, 259. 

3 Op, cit. I. 22. 


and taboos as regards persons, circumstances and occasions 
which are usually placed upon such indulgence. 

Many of the détails of thèse initiation cérémonies hâve, The abandon- 
directly or indirectly, référence to the emotional attitude of the ^^^} ^i ^?"" 
children towards their parents with which we hâve been con- on the part of 
cemed in the earlier chapters of this book^. A gênerai effort *^^ initiated 
to repress the mental attitude which the novice has at an 
earUer period adopted towards his parents, is to be observed 
in the — real or feigned — amnesia^ which so often occurs after 
the initiation, the newly initiated sometimes failing to recognise 
even their nearest relatives and being thus compelled to start 
life with them on a new footing. The same tendency to break 
loose from the old attitude is manifested in the actual séparation 
from the parents which seems always to take place at the 
period of seclusion or at or before the ceremony of re-birth, 
the affectionate farewell which is taken before such séparation 
(especially of the son from the mother) and in many of the 
symboUc prohibitions of the period of seclusion, such as that 
in virtue of which girls must, during their seclusion, neither 
touch the earth (a universal mother symbol), nor be exposed to 
the Sun (an almost equally universal father symbol)^- 

In the cruel rites which are so often inflicted on the novices xhe attitude of 
by the elder members of the community it is possible to see *^^ initiators 
a manifestation of that fear and hatred which fathers often feel initiated 
towards their sons and which mothers often feel towards their 
daughters — feelings which often correspond in nature and 
intensity to the équivalent émotions in the children themselves 
{Cp. below Ch. XIV); the pretended killing or death of the 
novice being frequently of the nature of a punishment on the 
talion principle for the thoughts of parricide or matricide 
which the children may themselves hâve entertained towards 
their parents. Before initiation youths are often not allowed 
to carry arms, probably because of the fear that they may be 
tempted to hurt or kill the father; sometimes, however, before 

1 A careful study of thèse ail important aspects of the initiation 
cérémonies has recently been made by Th. Reik (Die Pubertàtsriten der 
Wilden, Imago, 1915, IV. 125, 189) from whose work many of the state- 
ments and conclusions hère given hâve been taken. 

2 An amnesia the production of which is often facilitated by the use 
of intoxicants. 

3 Sîr J. G. Frazer, op. cit., I. 22. 

83 ^» 


they can be admitted to the full privilèges of maturity, they must 
hâve killed a man— in order, probably, to work off their hostile 
feeUngs on some third person who may serve as a substitute 
for the father who was the original object of thèse feelings. 

The hostile attitude of the older members of the community 
towards the novices, which finds an outlet in the cruelties 
practised at initiation, does not however spring exclusively 
from sexual jealousy on the part of the elders, but also to 
some extent from the disinclination which they feel to admitting 
the youths — at any rate without some payment — into the 
numerous secrets and privilèges from which they hâve hitherto 
excluded them, and from the gênerai tendency to grudge the 
abandonment of that superiority over the youths which they 
themselves hâve hitherto enjoyed. The manifestation of thèse 
feelings in some form of cruelty is most often rationalised as 
a désire to prove that the novices are worthy of admission to 
the privilèges and responsibilities of the initiated and to ensure, 
by adding to the impressiveness of the occasion, that they will 
remember what they hâve seen and heard during the 
initiation cérémonies*. Similar motives, leading to similar 
manifestations, may often be observed even in highiy civilised 
communities, where the initiation is usually oçe destined to 
intrôduce the individual not into adult life in gênerai but into 
some spécial class, institution or society, or into some corporate 
body consisting of persons who hâve enjoyed some spécial 
kind of expérience or mode of life. Under this head, for 
instance, come many of the time honoured customs and 
cérémonies, to which boys on entering school or joining a 
"gang", students on going to collège, or persons joining some 
professional societj?^ or guild, are made to submit^. 

^ Sometimes apparently this procédure is very successful. Thus a 
well known psychologist has told me; **0n passing every illumination 
during the night of the Jubilee, my father, who was carrying me, smacked 
me *to make me remember the day'. I was four, and I hâve remembered 1" 

2 In many of thèse, as for instance the nautical practice of ducking or 
"keel hauhng" those who are crossing the equator for the first time, it is 
possible also to trace certain typical symbols of the re-birth phantasy. 

The sexual aspects of initiation are apt to be particularly prominent 
in the case of boys entering a criminal or anti-social **gang". Thus an 
acute student of this subject writes to me: "I hâve often found that a 
delinquent boy was initiated into sexual knowledge and practices on the 



In other aspects of the cérémonies, however, the motive 
of sexual jealousy stands unmistakably displayed. Thus the 
rites of circumcision and subincision, the puUing out of hairs 
from the head, face or pubic région and the knocking out of 
teeth, which so frequently précède or accompany the process 
of initiation, are ail symbols ' of castration; a penalty which 
it is desired to inflict — really or symbolically — from a 
number of distinct though closely connected motives, the most 
important being: — (i) as a means of rendering impossible the 
réalisation of forbidden sexual cravings, (2) as a threat to show 
that the power of the elders still exists and that it will be 
exercised should the prescribed Umits be overstepped, (3) as 
a punishment for past incestuous desires or acts (as is shown, 
for instance, in the superstition that if the wound caused by 
circumcision does not readily heal it is because the youth has 
already been guilty of incestuous connection^), The same object 
of preventing incest is sought in the stem "avoidances" which Prohibition 
are often practised at the same tïme; as, for instance, that by and licence 
which a youth must keep very carefully from ail contact with 
his mother, even to the extent of avoiding her footprints. 

But if ail love in the old direction is forbidden, sexual 
activity in other directions is often encouraged as a substitute, 
as in such instructions as the followng: **Thou, my pupil, art 
now circumcised. Thy father and thy mother, honour them. Go 
not unannounced into their house, lest thou find them together 
in tender embrace. But hâve no fear of maidens; sleep and 
bathe together with them"^. Even so, however, there usually 
remain, as we might expect from the gênerai nature of dis- 
placement, some remuants of the old incestuous fixation; such 
as those, for instance, which manifest themselves in the belief 
that after the first sexual connection of a youth, either he him- 
self or his partner in the act must shortly die (as a punishment, 

first evening that he joined his "gang"; e. g. in one such gang every new 
member had to exhibit himself. He was asked if he knew "what it (the 
pénis) was for"; this was explained; and after certain criticisms were 
passed, the leader, after a thorough inspection, dçclared "you will do". 
Thére was also a: catechism; "Do you know what your mother and father 

do " etc; the resuit being to discrédit them in the eyes of the 

boy .and to lead him to emulate them or at least to defy and despise them." 

* A. Schweiger, "Der Ritus der Beschneidung*" Antkropos. 1914. 

3 K. Weule, " Negerleben in Ostafrika," 304. Quoted by Reik., op. cit. 



we must , suppose, for the sin committed) — a belief which 
leads young men to fall upon and bave forcible intercourse 
wîth old women (mother substitutes)^. Hère the youth is 
definitely permitted some degree of (symbolic) incestuous 
indulgence before he finally abandons bis infantile desires. A 
still wider permission of the same kind is^ however, granted 
in the fairly widespread practice of remo^^ng the usual sexual 
taboos on ail or most of the .prohibited persons during "the 
period of revehy which follows initiation, where the nearest 
relationshîps — even those of own brother and sister — seem to 
be no bar to the gênerai licence," even though shortly after- 
wards thèse same "brothers and sisters may not so much as 
speak to one another".^ 
Rerbirth and The monster from whose belly the novices are rebom 

Reconciliation would appear in many cases to represent the yoting men's 
grandfather, through him their dead ancestors and ultimately 
the ancestral founder of the tribe. This rather astonishing fact 
as regards the supposed sex of the monster is probably due 
in the first place to a psychic identification of the child with 
his grandfather — zsx identification of very fréquent occurrence 
and considérable significance, the psychological foundations of 
which can however be more appropriately discussed in a later 
chapter. (Ch. XIV). The novice in being bom from the body 
of the grandfather becomes in a sensé a re-incamation of 
the grandfather and is endowed with ail his powers and 

In a secôndary and "rationalised" sensé, this process of 
re-birth from the grandfather bas been interpreted as the 
expression of a désire to re-create the youth as the son of his 
tribe rather than as the son of his mother, «. ^. to sjrmbolise 
and emphasise the fact that he bas now exchanged the narrow 
sphère of family rule and affection for the viâder one of 
obédience and loyalty to the community; at the same time 
representing a means of obtaining freedom from the old fixation 
of love upon the mother (since he is now bom not from her 
but from the tribal ancestor)^ and through this of becoming 
reconciled to the father. This same motive of reconciliation 
based on the renunciation of incestuous désire and on the 

1 Chazac, " La religion des ïCikuyu." Anthropos II. 317, 1910. 

2 Sir J. G. Frazer, "Totemîsm and Exogamy/' n. 144. 



establishment of common love and interest between those of 
the same sex, is exemplified also in the Age Classes, Men's 
Clubs and Secret Societies found in so many primitive peoples, 
to membership of which women are in the majority of casés 
rigorously excluded. 

Thus it would appear that the ideas underlying the almost 
universal social custom of the initiation ceremony are those 
which we hâve alreàdy. met with in the study of the development 
of the individual mind in relation to the family: showing thereby 
that thèse ideas are to be found not only in mmds of a certain 
constitution or of a particular âge, race, or type of culture, but 
represent a gênerai human characteristic, having its foundations 
deeply rooted in the history of mankind; a part of our mental 
inheritance which bas to be reckoned with in ail efforts at 
social or individual improvement, a factor for good or evil 
which éducation, instruction or upbringing may perhaps modify 
but can scarcely hope to eradicate. 




Our last two chapters hâve again been something in the 

nature of à digression — a digression however which, we will 

;hope,-faas net beea altogether unprofitable, inasmuch as it bas 

opened to our view some of the wider aspects of our problem, 

and afforded us a ghmpse of the extent to which ..the aspects 

of family life which are forcing* themselves on the attention of 

psychologists at the présent day, are the same as those which 

hâve exercised the greatest influence upon mankind in ail 

places and of ail degrees of culture, and hâve manifested 

themselves everywhere in human beliefs and institutions. It 

is now time, however, to résume our previous problem — the 

study of the influence of the family upon the development 

of the individual in its more remote, indirect and abnormal 


Varieties and In the failures and abnormalities of development vnûi which 

^^re^ds^th^ we were Concemed in Chapters VI and VII, the principal 

displacement characteristic was the persistence of, or retum to, an infantile 

re^rdln^ or childlike relationship towards the parents. In normal 

tendencies development, as we hâve seen, this relationship is outgrown 

largely by the help of the mechanism of Displacement, in virtue 

of which the emotional attitude towards the parents is trans- 

ferred to other persons, who (at any rate in the early stages. 

of the process) are connected with the parents by some 

associative link. Supposing development to hâve proceeded 

normally along thèse Unes for a certain period, it is still possible 

for an arrest or régression to occur, as a resuit of which any 

of thèse later stages may become permanent instead of transitory, 

in precisely the same manner as in the case of the earlier 


stages in which the émotions and feelings are still directly 
related to the parents themselvés. 

From one point of view abnormalities occurring in thèse 
later stages are perhaps less serious than those which we 
considered in the earlier chapters, inasmuch as the régression 
is less complète; sôme degree of psychical émancipation from 
the parents being still preserved. Nevertheless thèse abnormalities 
may constitute a very grave hindrance to the gênerai development 
and mental health of the individual and, in the case of the 
displacement of very intense affects, may give rise to conséquences 
of a distinctly pathological order; while, on their more sublimated 
side, they hâve contributed much to somé of the most important 
aspects of social life and culture. 

We hâve already in Chapter III studied some of the ways in 
which the displacement of the original love from parents to 
other persons takes place. If the displacement remains at a 
stage in which the associative link between the origiital and 
the later object of love is a very firm or close one, we may 
say that the development is incomplète, inasmuch as the 
individual's love is still to an undue extent on an infantile 
fixation. Of the various associative links which wé hâve 
enumerated as being those of most fréquent occurrence — mental 
or physical characteristics, âge, circumstances of life, past history, 
family relationship etc., the last named is apt to play an 
especially important part in cases of arrested or régressive 
development. The displacement of love from parent to brother 
or sister may probably, as we hâve seen, be regarded as a 
normal transitory phase. The intensity of the attachment 
frequently aroused and the sexual nature which it often retains 
in the Unconscious right on into adolescent and adult life are 
vouched for, on the négative side, by the strength of the 
repressions raised against incestuous tendencies of this kind — 
repressions which arescarcely less severe than those directed 
against parent incest. Similarly, on the positive side, the true 
nature of the brother-sister relationship is often startlingly 
revealed by the process of psycho-analysis and is also shown 
by the study of legend, of literature and of the habits and 
customs of primitive peoples. 

We bave already seen (p. 86) that on occasions of spécial 
licence connection between brother and sister, though otherwise 


on family 


Brother and 



Cases wheie strictly tabooed, may be temporarily permitted. It seems to be 

brother-sister p^etty srenerally aereed among anthropologists that thèse 

mcesthasbeen f J i> -^ , , ^ f -1 j-^- c 

permitted occasions are of the nature ot reversions to a condition or 

affairs that was once comparatively fréquent, if not indeed quite 

gênerais There are in fact nimierous indications that such 

brother-sister connections were, among certain peoples at any 

rate, the rule rather than the exception. H. L. Morgan, to whose 

crédit lies the discovery of the so-called classificatory System 

of relationship, thinks indeed that a group marriage between 

own brothers and sisters was the earliest kind of restriction 

upon absolute promiscuity and constituted the basis of the 

oldest form of the human family^. The évidence for the really 

primitive character of any such family has been seriously dis- 

puted in more récent writings'; but the fréquent occurrence of 

temporary or permanent brother-sister unions among both 

primitive and more advanced peoples would seem to be beyond 

dispute. Thus the incest of brother and sister is said to be, or 

to hâve been, common among the Antambahoaka of South East 

Madagascar*, among many tribes of Brazil*, in Cali® (Colombia), 

Tenasserim^ (Burma), .Mexico^ and many other places. The 

ancient Persians seem to hâve permitted incest of this kind, 

though Herodotus remarks with référence to the marriage of 

Cambyses to his sister that this was not a usual procédure ®- 

In Egypt, however, such connections were not only admitted 

but approved, marriage between brother and sister being there 

regarded as the "best of marriages" and acquiring "an 

ineffable degree of sanctity when the brother and sister who 

contracted it were themselves born of a brother and sister, 

who had in their tum also sprung from a union of the same 

^ See e. g. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," n, 145. 

2 Ancient Society, 385 ff. 

3 See especially W. H- R. Rivers, "On the Origin of the Classificatory 
System of Relationship." Anthropological Essays, presented to E. B. Tylor, 
p. 310 ff. 

* Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy/' E, 638. 
5 Frazer, op. cit. El, 576. 

^ L. Femandez de Piedrahita, " Historia de las Conquistas del Nuevo 
Reyno de Granada," 1688, 113. 

' Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengaî, VU, 856. 

? F. S. Clavigero, *'The History of Mexico." Trans. 1787, I, 319. 

9 Book. m, 31. 



sort"*. Even in Greece a similar practice does not seem to hâve 
been unusual, for, if we may believe Cornélius Nepos^, no dis- 
grâce attached to Cimon's marriage with his sister Elpinice, 
since his fellow-citizens had the same custom, Among the Jews 
too, the prophet Ezekiel» complains of the occurrence of this 
form of incest. Primitive customs, it is now generally agreed, 
are apt to persist in the case of royal families long after they 
hâve ceased to be observed by the common people; and the 
persistent brother and sister marriages among the Ptolemies 
of Egypt and the Incas of Peru, as well as the existence of 
similar practices among reigning families in primitive peoples 
of récent times\ afford further évidence of the former wide- 
spread occurrence of brother-sister unions. 

On the négative side too, there is évidence to be gained Répression of, 
from the nature of the taboos and institutions erected against ^uch^inc^eiT^ 
incest. According to Frazer^ the exogamous Systems of the 
Australian aborigines seem to hâve originated in the first place 
as a means of preventing connections between brother and 
sister, the prohibition of marriage between other relatives 
having been brought about by subséquent developments and 
elaborations of the primitive two class System, instituted for 
the purpose of avoiding brother-sister marriages, The abhor^ 
rence of brother-sister incest is indeed very marked in many 
primitive communities, and that this abhorrence represents the 
repression of a genuine désire for incest of this kind is shown 
by the remarks of travellers that the "avoidances" and other 
methods of enforcing the prohibitions are often '* very 
necessarj^"® and by the fact, already referred to, that as soon 
as the customary restrictions are relaxed, the otherwise for- 
bidden connections are freely indulged in. To this évidence 
from anthropology there might be added the scarcely less con- 
vincing data from mythology and literature, vt^hich has been 

» Sir Gaston Maspero, quoted by Miss R. E. White, "Women in 
Ptolemaic Egypt"» Journal of Heîîenic Studies, 1898, XVIII, 244. Q. Frazer, 
"Adonis, Attis and Osiris." II, 214, who also quotes the above. 

2 Cimon. 

3 ch. xxn, u. 

* Cp. €, g. W. Ellis. *'Tour through Hawaii," 414. 

ïi "Totemism and Exogamy," I, 273 ff. 

« See e. g. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," H, 189. 



studied in such détail by Rank* and which perhaps, for this 
reason, we need not stop to dwell on hère; it being sufficient 
to remind the reader in passing of such well known mytho- 
logical cases as the unions of Zeus and Hera and of Osiris 
and Isis, or, as regards literature, to refer him to such récent 
examples as Artzibasheff's '^Sanine" or d'Annunzio's "City of 
the Dead" where the existence of erotic feeling between 
brother and sister is treated in an open manner. 
Displacement As a further stage of development the original parent 

of parent- jq^^ j^^y be displaced, not on to a brother or sister, but on 
tendfncies^on to some more distant relative, such as a cousin (a brother or 
to more distant gjg^g^ substitute) or an uncle or aunt (more directly parent 
substitutes)^. Cousin marriage is, among ourselves, passing 
through the stage of being legally permissible though still 
regarded with some degree of moral disapproval or suspicion. 
In other times and places it has, like brother-sister marriage, 
been the object both of stemest prohibition^ and of warm 
approval*. Any kind of sexual relationship between nephews 
and aunts or between nièces and uncles seems to hâve been, 
too, reminiscent of the repressed tendencies to parent-incest to 
hâve received sanction either legally or morally, but unions of 
this kind hâve nevertheless sometimes been found among pri- 
mitive peoples^, and are not infrequently présent as objects 
of désire in the unconscious mind of those who live in civilised 
communities to-day. 
Relatives by Of particular interest in this connection is the displacement 

marriage ^f feelings originally directed to the parents towards relatives 
in law, Since by marriage one partner in the marriage is 
supposed to hâve entered into the family of the other, and, 
in virtue of the partial identification of the two partners through 
common ties of interest and affection, may really be said to 
hâve in some measure effected such an entrance, it is not 

1 ** Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage/' 443 ff. 

2 See especially K. Abraham, " Die Stelle der Verwandtenehe in der 
Psychologie der Neurosen," Jahrbuch fur Psychoanalytische und Psycho- 
pathoîogische Forschungen, I, 1909^ iio. 

3 See e. g. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy/' I, 346, 439, 449 ff 475^ 
483, n, 75 ff., 233 ff.. m 552. 

^ See e. g. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," I. 180 ff. II 6^. 

î> See e. g. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," II, 525, UI 575, IV 316. 



altogether surprising to find much the same conflict of tenden- 
des centering about the new relatives acquired by niarriage 
as that which formerly centred round the relatives by blood. 
Thus on the one hand we find among primitive peoples the 
same taboos and avoidances practised in the one case as in 
the other. In some places, for instance, a man may hâve no 
dealings with some or ail of the members of his wife*s family, 
nor a wife with those of her husband's^. On the other hand 
a number of practices indicate that connections of an intimate 
kind between relatives by marriage are, under certain circum- 
stances at'any.rate, regarded as permissible and appropriate. 
Such, for instance, is the widespread custom of the Levirate*, 
whereby a man is expected to take unto himself his deceased 
brother's wife or the scarcely less fréquent usage of the 
Sororate^ whereby a man marries his deceased wife's sister 
— practices which seem to hâve made their influence felt 
(negatively) in our own table of relatives with whoin wedlock 
is forbidden, including, as this does, not only blood relatives 
but relatives by marriage^. 

In récent times the relationship by marriage which has 
attracted most attention is that of parent-in-law and child-in- 
law. In view of the complex nature of the relations between 
parent and child and of the elaborate process of re-adjustment 
in thèse relations which takes place in the course of normal 
development, it is only to be expected that, when a person 
suddenly acquires, as it were, new parents by the act of mar- 
riage, he should expérience some difficulty in establishing a 
satisfactory relationship with thèse new parents, with whom, 
unlike his own original parents, he may hâve had but little 
time or opportunity to grow acquainted. To this gênerai cause 
tending to make the relationship between children-in-law and 
parents-in-law one of difficulty, there are often added at least 
three further spécial sources of embarrassment, to the consi- 
dération of which we may perhaps profitably dévote a few 
words hère. In the first place, husbands and wives are not 
free to adjust their relations to their parents-in-law according 




cause d by 

parent fixation 

on the part of 

husband or 


1 For numerous examples see Frazer. "Totemism and Exogamy." 

2 The reader will remember that in England permission to marry a 
deceased wife's sister has only recently been granted. 



to the inclinations of the two parties directly concerned, but 
must (if they are to be successful) also bring thèse relations 
into some degree of harmony with those of their partners in 
marriage towards thèse same parents (in this case parents by 
blood): this is often far from easy, especially if, as so often 
happens, either husband or wife or both hâve not entirely 
freed themselves from their original infantile attitude towards 
their parents. Thus let us suppose that a young woman at the 
time of her marriage still retains a large amount of vénération 
and (unconscious) love towards her fathen This may cause 
her even after marriage to look to her father rather than her 
husband as the source of her ideals and aspirations, to mould 
her life according to his, rather than her husband's, precept 
and example, and generally to adopt an attitude towards her 
father, which her husband (who does not altogether share 
her — probably exaggerated — views as to her father's admirable 
qualities) can scarcely be expected to imitate or to approve. 
A very similar difficulty may be brought about in the case of 
daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, where a son has retained 
an unduly infantile attitude towards his mother; while in still 
other cases the trouble may be due to an exaggerated 
dependence of husband or vrife upon the parent of his or her 
own sex, /. e., the husband upon his father, or the wife upon 
her mother respectively. It is obvious that a fixation of this 
kind on the side of either partner in a marrage may (quite 
apart from its influence on the harmony of the marriage itself) 
be sufficient to bring about a very considérable degree of 
difficulty in the relationship between one partner and the 
parents of the other. 
The displace- This tendency is moreover liable to be largely reinforced 

ttm ^païinte ~ ^^ ^^ ^^^^^ complicated — by the other factors to which 
to parents-in- we referred above. The second of thèse sources of difficulty 
(the one which is mdeed most intimately connected with our 
présent line of thought) lies in the fact that the child-in-law 
himself is frequentiy unable to regard his parents-in-law with 
impartial eyes, but transfers to them some of the feelings of 
love or of hatred which he originally directed towards his own 
parents. This is perhaps most often and most openly manifest 
in the case of hostile émotions; men or women expressing 
relatively freely towards a father-in-law or mother-in-law 




respectively those feelings of hatred which they had felt (but Hâte 

had perhaps repressed) with référence to the corresponding 
parents by blood. The natural identification of their parents-in- 
law with their own parents, in virtue of which this displace- 
ment of affect is enabled to take place, is often facilitated by 
the opération of the factor we hâve already considered — a 
parent fixation in the case of the other partner to the marriage. 
Where such a fixation exists, a father-in-law or mother-in-law 
may be felt to be in some sort a sexual rival, in very much 
the same way as was at one time the original parent (p. 17). 
Thus (to return to the example that we just now used) a 
husband may feel that his father-in-law unduly influences his 
wife and absorbs much of her affection and interest to the 
détriment of that devoted to himself: this recalls the earlier 
situation in which a similar rival — his own father — exercised 
a similar influence over the then object of his affection, his 
own mother; and as a resuit of an unconscious identification 
of the new situation with the old, the hostile feeling originally 
directed towards his own father may be re-awakened and 
transferred to the father-in-law. In this way the feeling of 
enmity directed towards the latter may be more intense than 
that which would be really appropriate to the situation. Any 
recendy aroused (and perhaps to some extent legitimate) feeling 
of annoyance is reinforced by the émotions set free by the 
stirring up of the still powerful parent complexes of infancy 
and childhood. 

Less liable to open manifestation is the corresponding Love 
transfer of affect from parent to parent-in-law where the 
émotion concerned is love ralher than hatred. Such a transfer 
may nevertheless occur in certain circumstances. Li a positive 
form it may resuit in a high degree of vénération or affection 
for the parents-in-law (or one of them), which — especially if 
it should coincide with a high degree of parent love in the 
other partner to the marriage — may lead to the existence of 
very friendly and intimate relations of the younger couple with 
the elder; relations which may, however, in many cases, 
tend to undermine the initiative and independence of the 
younger pair. In a négative form (which is very liable to occur, 
since the vigorous repression of the original incestuous thoughts 
very easily extends to any fresh tendencies calculated to arouse 



them) a transfer of this kind may lead to fréquent troubles^ 

misunderstandings and frictions between the child-in-law and 

parent-in-law whom it conceras, 

Corresponding The third and last of our three factors which complicate 

displacement ^j^^ relations of children-in-law and parents-in-law consists in a 

on tne part of r « i x ^ 

the parents-in- similar displacement of affect on the part oi the parents- 

law them- fn-law, in virtue of which they may direct towards their 
children by marriage the affection or hostility which they 
ôriginally experienced in relation to their own children; a 
factor the significance of which may perhaps be more fuUy and 
easily appreciated after we hâve discussed the intimate nature 
of Âese original feehngs of parents to their own children 
{cp. Ch. XIV below), and with regard to which perhaps it is 
therefore best to content ourselves with a mère passing 
référence hère, 
Son-in-lawand The relation between child-in-law and parent-in-law which 

Mother-m-law j^^g become notoripusly the most difficult in récent times is 
that of son-in-law and mother-in-law. This relation too has 
been made the object of some spécial study by psycho-analysts*, 
who hâve found in it ail the factors which we hâve referred 
to above. Among the most important grounds for the hostility 
which so often marks this relationship hâve been observed 
the foUowing: — 

I. The conflict between the mother and the husband for 
the possession of the daughter and her belongings, The mother 
having in the majority of cases in the past enjoyed a greater 
or less degree of authority over the daughter, is loth to abandon 
this source of power, and seeks to retain it by exercising 
(through the fréquent giving of advice, appeal to her own 
greater expérience or otherwise) some sort of control over 
die daughter's household or mode of life. This interférence on 
the part of the mother-in-law in the domestic arrangements of 
the younger couple is very apt to be resented by the son-in- 
law, either directly, because it appears to threaten his own 
suprême control over his own family, or indirectly, because he 
identifies himself with the daughter (his wife) who in her turn 
may not unnaturally object to the continuance of maternai 
supervision after her marriage. On the other hand, shôuld the 

^ See especially Freud, *Totem and Taboo,** 24 ff. 



daughter display a marked tendency to be influenced by her 
mother or a high degree of vénération or affection for her, 
the son-in-law will again* resent the interférence of the latter, 
as threatening an encroachment on his wife's love and 
respect towards himself. 

2. The husband's fear of losing (through too intimate 
contact with his mother-in-law) the sensé of sexual attractiveness 
which his wife possesses for him. The mother-in-law reminds 
him of his vdfe, but is without her youthful beauty and this 
is apt to produce in him a dim sensé of appréhension lest, as 
a resuit of seeing, as it were, the mother in the daughter, and 
of vaguely realising that the daughter may one day come to 
resemble the mother, the former may lose for him her charm 
and his whole marriage become thereby distasteful. 

Of thèse two motives tending to produce disagreement 
between mother-in-law and son-in-law, the first is for the most 
part situated at or near the surface of consciousness, while 
the second can in many cases be brought to consciousness by 
the exercise of a little courageous introspection. Both motives, 
however (especially the second), are liable to be reinforced by 
two further motives, which remain for the most part buried in 
the Unconscious. 

3. The mother-in-law may re-awaken in the son-in-law, in 
the manner we hâve already indicated, feelings which are 
incestuous in origin, being a displacement of those originally 
directed towards his own mother; the repression of thèse 
feelings of affection then giving place to their opposite — a 
feeling of repulsion or hostility — as a means of preventing the 
irruption into consciousness of the tabooed incestuous desires. 
As some indication of the reality of this factor, apart from the 
results of psycho-analysis, may be mentioned the fairly well 
recognised facts that it is possible for a man to be attracted 
to his future mother-in-law before he falls in love with his 
future wife, that he may hesitate as to whether he shall marry 
mother or daughter, or that he may fall back upon the mother 
should the daughter die or fail him in some other way. As 
further évidence too — on the négative side — we may refer to 
the extraordinarily numerous and widespread taboos and 
"avoidances" which affect the relations between son-in-law and 
mother-in-law among primitive peoples. 



4. A corresponding displacement of incestuous désires^ 
leading to a similar repression and reversai of émotion, may 
occur in the case of the mother-in-law herself, who, in virtue of 
this displacement, identifies her son-in-law with a son of her 
own (either real or imaginary); the one re-awakening in her 
incestuous tendencies originally aroused in connection with the 
other. Or again, the primary motive on the part of the mother- 
in-law may be unconscious sexual jealousy of her daughter, to 
whom she grudges the superior attractiveness of youth and 
the pleasures of dawning sexual life — a life which for the 
mother may be largely or entirely at an end. In this case she 
may unconsciously identify herself with her daughter, imagining, 
as it were, that it is she herself, and not her daughter, that 
is married to her son-in-law. In either case it is often the less 
tender and more sadistic éléments of the mother-in-law's love 
which are directed to the son-in-law, since thèse are more 
easily reconciled with the maintenance of the requisite degree 
of repression than would be the case with the more gentle 
and affectionate components. 
Step-child and Only less important than the relations of child-in-law and 

Step-parent parent-in-law are those of step-child and step-parent ^ ; and such 
lesser degree of importance as thèse hâve is due rather to the 
lesser frequency of their occurrence than to any lesser signifi- 
carice which they possess for the individuals actually concemed. 
The generally outstanding feature of thèse relations is the 
manifestation of a more intense, or at any rate a more open, 
form of those feelings and tendencies which would normally 
exist between the child and the corresponding blood parent. 
A boy, for instance, who may successfully hâve displaced or 
repressed his original feelings of jealousy or hostility towards 
his own father, may often prove incapable of carrying out a 
similar re-adjustment in the case of a subsequently acquired 
step-father. The latter may hâve none of the glamour which 
belonged to the former in virtue of his position as head of the 
family (and therefore centre of the child's world) during the 
infancy of the child {cp, p. 55) and which may hâve helped to 
inhibit the original hostility experienced towards him through 
arousal of the opposite émotions of love, gratitude or admiration. 
The step-father, therefore, may easily re-awaken in his step-son 

^ Cp. Rank, **Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage," 44 ff. 



any remnants of the hatred which the latter may hâve ex- 
perienced towards his real father, without re-awakening in 
corresponding degree the compensating forces which kept the 
hâte in check. 

Furthermore, the boy's mother only marries the step-father 
after a period of widowhood during which the boy may hâve 
appeared to possess the sole, or at any rate the chief, claim 
upon her interest and affection. By her re-marriage she will 
probably seem to the boy's unconscious mind to hâve been, 
in a very real and poignant sensé, unfaithful to himself, and 
to hâve rejected his own love for that of an outsider; an idea 
which may appear in consciousness in the rationalised form of 
an imputation of unfaithfulness towards the mother's previous 
husband — the boy*s own father. It is a complex of feelings of 
this kind which, as Ernest Jones ^ has so convincingly shown, 
underlies and forms the principal psychological motive in 
Shakespeare's tragedy of *'Hamlet". It is this which is the cause "Hamkt" as a 
of Hamlet's vacillation in regard to the contemplated murder ^^^e^ijtionsiij^^ 
of his step-father; the latter had only done what Hamlet him- 
self would fain hâve done before him, but was inhibited from 
doing. The contemplation of Claudius's ill deeds serves dimiy 
to call up the buried tendencies which at one time prompted 
Hamlet himself to commit a similar atrocity — the murder of 
the king (his father) — for a similar end — the possession of the 
queen (his mother) — and the paralysing effect of the arousal 
of such feelings makes itself feit as an inability to carry out 
the punishment of one with whom he thus has much in 
common, and whom he feels to be in a sensé no worse than 
himself, the would-be punisher. Moreover, in virtue of his 
marriage with the queen, Claudius now really stands in the 
old king's place; in killing him, therefore, Hamlet is to his 
own unconscious mind becoming guilty of the very crime of 
Œdipus which had tempted him before his father's death; 
hence the résistance to the consummation of the act which 
hatred of the interloper prompts him to perform. 

In the case of a girl, corresponding feelings may be called The wicked 
up towards her step-mother on the re-marriage of her father— ^*^fP[^''2les"' 
feelings which hâve found expression in the very numerous 
and familiar myths and fairy taies (such as those of Cinderella, 

1 ''TheFrohlemoîUam\eX;'AmericanJournalofPsychoIogy,jgio, XXI, 72. 

99 '* 


Snow White, Mother Holle), of the wicked step-mother who 

kiUs, beats, neglects, falsely accuses, drives out or otherwise 

ill-treats her step-daughter^ Hère the feelings of the girl, Hke 

those of the boy under similar circumstances, are given free 

vent towards the step-mother, v^here they were formerly 

inhibited by émotions of an opposite character (or at least 

repressed by considérations of gênerai or traditional morahty) 

in the case of the girl's true mother; the step-mother thus 

serving as an object capable at once of arousing, and of 

becoming the récipient of, hostile and jealous feelings, which 

had hitherto successfully been held in check. 

The attitude of These feelings of hostility on the part of children to their 

step-parents step-parents are of course bound to call up some degree of 
towards their .^,r,. , r, ii 

step-chiidren reciprocal feehng on the part of the step-parents themselves. 

The feelings thus aroused, however, are often reinforced by 

more direct causes of hostility, such as are liable to affect in 

any case the attitude of parent towards child {Cp, Ch. XVI). 

Hère, hov^ever, the absence of the real bond of parenthood, 

with its accompanying incentives to tender feeling, may easily 

cause the hostile tendencies to meet with less résistance than 

usual so that genuinely cruel or neglectful behaviour is more 

hkely to occur. 

The displace- Although it is the displacement of hâte which manifests 

ment of love itself most openly and strongly in the relations of step-children 

step-parents to step-parents, the displacement of love from the original dead 

parent to the new parent may also play an important (though 

nearly always more or less unconscious) part in these 

relations^- The taboo on incest works less powerfully in regard 

to the feelings towards the new parent than it did in regard 

to those towards the old. The new parent is, as a rule, no 

relative by blood, nor is the surviving real parent felt to hâve 

the same exclusive rights over his or her new partner as over 

the old; therefore the step-parent,. when of the opposite sex 

to that of the child, is often made the object of a displacement 

of those feelings of tenderness and love which were formerly 

directed to the real parent of this sex; this state of affairs 

leading of course in the majority of cases to a corresponding 

re-awakening of jealousy or bitterness towards the surviving 

1 Cp. Riklin, "Wishfulfillment and Symbolism in Fairy Taies" 

2 Cp. Otto Rank, "Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage/' 44 ff. 

after divorce 


original parent. This love of step-child to step-parent (and 
particularly that of step-son to step-mother) and the contest 
between both of thèse and the remaining parent, is one which 
has indeed been used for âges as a mild form of displacement 
of the tendencies and affects originally aroused when both the 
child's parents were alive, and one which has found very 
fréquent expression in myth, legend and literature^. 

AU that we hâve hère said as regards the feelings of Re-marriage 
children to their step-parents holds good to an even greater 
extent than usual in the case of the re-marriage of parents 
aftor a divorce or on their acquiring a fresh sexual partner 
after séparation from their lawfnl husband or wife. Hère indeed 
the feehngs and émotions aroused are apt to be still further 
intensified by the fact that the children hâve been, in the nature 
of the case, more or less compelled to take sides in the previous 
struggle or disagreement that has taken place between the 
parents. A child's feelings of love and hâte towards his parents 
are usually intensely stirred by ail manifestations on their part 
of conjugal unhappiness or infidelity and when the barriers 
which prevent the full expression of thèse feelings towards the 
child's real parents are removed by the substitution of a step- 
parent, this new parent will often receive the full force of the 
love or hâte which had hitherto been pent up. 

In this chapter we hâve been concemed with the dis- 
placement of the parent-regarding émotions and tendencies on 
to persons who resemble the parents in that they are connected 
with the child by some close tie of family relationship. In the 
next chapter we shall proceed to discuss some of the other 
associative mechanisms through the opération of which this 
displacement may be effected. 

1 For numerous examples see Rank, op. cit. 119 ff. 




The more ad- When the original object-love, at first directed to the 

vanced stages parent, has been successfulv transferred to some more remote 
of love dis- ^ , . ' . , 1 . 1 • 1 1 1 i_ 

placement relative in the manner studied in the last chapter, the course 

of normal development now requires that a further transference 

should take place by means of a similarity or association of 

some kind between this latter relative and some other person 

totally unconnected by family relationship. In conséquence it is 

often possible to trace in the sélection of the object of love 

the influence of similarity, or of some other Connecting Hnk, 

between this object and the lover's sister, brother, cousin or 

other relative. Hère, however, the émancipation from the original 

object is carried too far for the underlying motive determining 

the direction of affection to be regarded as in any sensé 

pathological or abnormal or as indicating an undue degree of 

fixation at an infantile stage of development; except in cases 

where this motive is so strong as to bring about the direction 

of love upon an object which is totally unsuitable, through the 

overlooking of defects which would otherwise be patent. Rather 

is this act of transference, when free from any such exaggeration, 

to be looked upon as the final stage of the whole process of 

development we hâve been following and as an indication of the 

attainment of maturity as regards the direction of the love 


"Falling in The importance of the displacement hère at work will be 

^°^^" more readily grasped, if we bear in mind that it constitutes 

one of the principal factors in the normal and ail-important 

process of ** falling in love," and particularly of that most 



striking but at the same time most mystifying aspect of that 
process which we call **love at first sight." Love and its causes 
hâve ever raised the wonder and curiosity both of the plain 
man and of the philosopher, but, apart from more or less 
unsatisfactory theory and vague spéculation, neither has been 
able to bring forward any explanation of the sudden over- 
powering attraction which a young man or woman, boy or 
girl, may feel for some one member of the opposite sex; one 
whose charms may appear to more unbiassed eyes to be but 
Uttle if at ail superior to those of others of the loved one's 
âge and situation. Thanks however to the work of the 
psycho-analytic school, psychology is at last beginning to cast 
a few rays of light upon the darkness which has hitherto 
surrounded this central problem of human life and feeling. 
Freud, in a récent article^ summarizing the results of psycho- 
analysis in this direction, has divided loves into two main 
types:— Two types of 

(i) the narcissistic type, love:— 

(2) the dependence type. 

In the first type the love is the resuit of a projection of 
the lover's self on to some other person — the narcissistic love The 

originally directed to the Self being thus displaced on to the ^^'*,^J^t^^^*^ 
person of the loved one— through some process of identification 
or some strong associative link. Love of this type is frequently 
manifested in ties of a homosexual nature, where the lover 
finds in one of his own sex a nearer copy of himself than 
would otherwise be possible. It is also manifested in some of 
the fervent affections of parents for their children, where the 
parents regard those whom they hâve produced as in a manner 
an extension of themselves {cp, below Ch. XIV). And finally it 
is manifested in some connections of a normal heterosexual 
kind; a man for example finds and admires in his wife those 
féminine qualities which are présent in himself but to which, 
so long as they are in himself, he is unable (owing to repression 
of the féminine side of his nature) to afford fuU récognition 
or appréciation; or a woman finds attractive in a man those 
qualities of boyishness and masculinity which she herself 
possessed in some degree before the time of puberty but which 

^ *'ZurEinfûhrung des Narzifîmus:" Jahrbuch fur Psychoanalyse y VI, i. 




she has since sacrificed to make way for a more pronounced 
development of her **woinanly*' characteristics. 

The dépend- In love of the second type the affection is more genuinely 

ence type ^^^ primarily **objecMove.'* The lover is hère attracted towards 
his object because he finds in it something that is essential to 
the fulfilment of his own bodily or mental needs. It is this 
love which, as we hâve seen, is under normal circumstances 
first aroused in connection with the parents (and especially 
the mother), by whom the first primitive requirements of the 
infant are fulfilled. It is this love toc which, in its displaced 
form, we hâve seen to be so frequently directed on to brothers, 
sisters or other near relatives, and which, by a further process 
of displacement, in the course of normal development eventually 
flows on to persons unconnected with the lover by any bond 
of relationship. The repression, as a resxilt of which this latter 
displacement has occurred, as a rule, brings it about that 
the associative links that connect the newer with the older 
love are not perceptible to the lover himself; the bond is an 
unconscious one. Nevertheless, this bond is often sufficiently 
clear to any keen observer, whose eyes hâve once been 
opened to the fact of its existence. In other cases however 
it may be of a more obscure nature, so as to require a deeper 
study of the personality of the lover and of his psychological 
history (such as can often only be obtained by employment of 
the psycho-analj^ic method) before the nature of the association 
becomes apparent. 

The repression The fact that in the personality of the loved object there 

uous^^basis^ of ^^^^^ ^^^^ hidden, as it were, the buried image of a brother, 
affection, as sister, parent or other object of incestuous affection in the past, 

^^arXl^end^ would seem to play an important part in the formation of a 
type of story of world-wide occurrence, of which the Cupid- 
Psyché myth and the Lohengrin legend are perhaps the best 
'known examples ^. In thèse stories a marriage or love affair 
takes place between partners, one of whom is usually of 
mysterious (sometimes divine) origin and consents to enter 
upon the alliance only upon the condition that no question 
shall be asked as to his (or her) name, parentage or home; or 
upon the érection of some other prohibition, such as one which 

1 See especially Otto Rank, "Die Lohengrinsage," Schriften zur ange- 
wandten Seelenkunde. 



forbids the use of vision or of speech (either generally or 
under specified circumstances) ; upon the infringement of which 
conditions the mysterious partner vanishes, leaving the 
remaining member of the pair to lament the loss that has been 
thus foolishly incurred through curiosity. Hère the prohibition 
would seem to be imposed with a view to concealing the fact 
that the union is based ultimately upon the foundation of an 
incestuous affection, or is itself incestuous in nature: a réco- 
gnition of this fact would spoil the pleasure of the union by 
arousing the repressions connected with incestuous love and 
must therefore (as in the case of the marriage between Œdipus 
and Jocasta in the Œdipus myth, where Jocasta — in Sophocles' 
play — strenuously opposes, ail efforts at investigation) be pre- 
vented by the most rigorous prohibitions, the breaking of which 
involves the permanent dissolution of the union. 

Among associations other than those of family relationship 
by means of which the process of displacement is brought 
about, those depending on mental or physical similarity are 
probably the most important; of ail the available methods of 
transference, they are too, in many respects, the easiest, most 
natural and the least liable to cause pathological aberrations 
of development. There can be little doubt, too, that the fréquent 
occurrence of the displacement of the love impulse along thèse 
lines constitutes a factor of very considérable sociological and 
historical importance. The tendency to choose a mate re- 
sembling in some essential aspects — mental- or physical — one's 
own nearest relatives, must, for good or evil, act as a potent 
means of preserving the purity of individual types and of 
family, national or racial qualities; especially when, as may 
often happen, there is added to the influence of this factor that 
of the narcissistic élément of love to which we hâve already 
referred. So long as the associative link which conditions the 
displacement is one that has some correspondence to reality, 
the doser the unconscious identification of the sexual partner of 
adult life with the object loved in infancy, the more likely will it 
be for this partner to possess hereditary qualities similar to those 
of the lover himself, and the greater therefore, in ail probability, 
the resemblance of the ensuing offspring to their parents. 

Among the similarities of a less essential kind which may 
assist in the process of displacement, those of name are apt to 

Similarity as 
a basis of dis- 

Its biological 




play an important but subtle part and one that is veiy liable 
to be overlooked or where observed, ascribed to coincidence 
rather than (as it more often should be) to the opération of 
unconscious mental factors^. They are in some respects a source 
of danger, inasmuch as they are concerned with relatively 
superficial characteristics^ which hâve little to do with the real 
nature of the person selected, thus making easy the choice of 
otherwise unsuitable objects of affection. 
Age Similarities with the parents as regards âge often exercise 

some influence in early years and in the early stages of dis- 
placement, but in later life are less operative than, in view of 
the intensity of the parent fixation in some individuals, might 
perhaps be expected. This is probably due, to a large extent 
at any rate, to the fact already referred to, that the un- 
conscious parent love of adult life has as its object the image 
of the parents as they appeared to the child in infancy; thèse 
image-parents being therefore of a considerably younger âge 
than that which the real parents hâve actually attained by the 
time the child has reached maturity. 

1 An influence of this kind may also manifest itself by causing the 
successive falling in love with several persons of the same name, as for 
instance, in the case of Schiller (Charlotte von Wolzogen, Charlotte von 
Kalb, Charlotte von Lengefeld) or in that of Shelley (Harriet Grove, Harriet 
Westbrook and the later affection for Harriet de Boinville). The incestuous 
origin of such a name influence may be shown even more clearly in cases 
where the names of persons successively loved are those of différent 
members of the lover*s own family; as in the case of Môrike; (Clara and 
Louisa, after the name of his two sisters). Cp, Rank, *' Das Inzestmotiv in 
Dichtung und Sage," pp. 91, 543. In a case known to me, a young woman 
fell in love successively with three men possessing the same Christian 
name, one of whom had the same surname as herself. In a fourth love 
affair the surname of the man was the same as the Christian name of her 
brother, to whom she was much attached, and contrary to her usual custom 
she always called this fourth lover by his surname instead of by his 
Christian name. 

2 Though not perhaps quite so superficial as is often supposed. 
Psycho-analytic work has drawn attention to the influence that a name may 
often exercise upon the behaviour and mental characteristics of its 
possessor. (Cp. Stekel, "Die Verpflichtung des Namens," Zeitschrift fur 
Psychothérapie und medizinische Psychologie, m. Part 2, 1911. Abraham, 
"Ûber die determinierende Kraft des Namens," Zentralbîatt fiir Psychoanalyse^ 
n, 1912, 133. Goethe (Wahlverwandtschaften, Part I, Ch. 2) too had already 
noticed the possibiUty of this influence. 



The similarities as regards gênerai or spécial circumsiances 
may also on occasion be important in determining the direction 
of transference and in cases where the process of displacement 
has suffered an arrest at a comparatively early stage, may 
cause serious difficulties or restrictions in the choice of 

Thus it may happen that, just as the child^s love activities Falling in love 
in relation to its earliest love object were impeded by the "^are^a^re^^^ 
fact that this object was already bound by affection, law or married^or 
both, to a third persan {i. e, the parent of the same sex as betrothed 
that of the child), so in adxilt hfe the individual^s choice may 
fall only on objects who are similarly not at liberty in the 
disposai of their affections ^ There are indeed some men and 
women who can only fall in love with married or betrothed 
persons, and who are doomed therefore either to become 
dangerous enemies to the harmonious married life of others 
or else themselves to suffer successive répétitions of the 
unsuccessful love of their childhood^. Marriage in such cases 
may bring no relief, because the object of their affection may 
cease to exercise attraction as soon as its possession is 
undisputed and unhindered. The widespread occurrence and 
intensity of the unconscious ideas underlying this kind of 
aberration is shown by the fréquent treatment of the subject 
in legend and literature {Cp. Tristan and Iseult, Paolo and 
Francesca, Pelleas and MeHsande, Don Carlos and his stepmother, 
Casandra and a host of other examples in which the expression 
and fulfilment of a great love are prevented by the fact that 

^ Cp. Freud, ** Beitrâge zur Psychologie des Liebeslebens," Jahrbuch 
fur Psychoanalytische und Psychopaîhoîogische Forschtmgen, 1910, II, 390. 

2 It is such a character for instance that Ibsen appears to hâve met in 
the person of Emilie Bardach of Vienna, who served as principal model 
for Hilda Wangel in The Master Builder and who is referred to in the 
following description given to his friend EHas {Neue Deutsche Rundschau 
1906, p. 1462, quoted by WilHam Archer in his Introductions to Ibsen's 
plays, Vol. X, p. XXIV) "He related how he had met in the Tyrol a 
Viennese girl of very remarkable character. She at once made him her 
confidant. The gist of her confessions was that she did not care a bit 
about one day marrying a well brought-up • young man — most likely she 
would never marry. What tempted and charmed and delighted her was 
to lure other women's husbands away from them. She was a little daemonic 
worker: she often appeared to him like a little bird of prey, that would 
fain hâve made him too, her booty." 



one of the lovers is already married or affianced to a third 
person, usually a relative, and one who on analysis can 
easily be shown to represent the parent who stood in the 
way of the first love of the child.)^. 
The désire for In a number of other cases stress is laid not so much on 

obstacles in the ^-j^g unfree condition of the loved object, but, more generally, 
on the barrier raised by the incestuous nature of the desired 
relationship. This factor will of course in the majority of cases 
merdy add its force to those demanding previous marriage 
or betrothal to another as a necessary quahfication of the 
loved object, but will sometimes manifest itself alone as a 
felt need for the occurrence of some sort of hindrance to the 
consummation of love, the lover being unable to dérive fuU 
satisfaction from the union or to remain permanently attracted 
to his chosen object in the absence of such hindrance^. 
Hère it will usually be found that the loved object is un- 
consciously identified with the parent or with some other near 

In other cases the désire for some kind of obstacle may 
manifest itself in a tendency to keep secret the existence and 
the circumstances of the love. With persons subject to this 
tendency (which would seem to be found more especially among 
women) a love affair may lose a great part — or perhaps the 
whole — of its attractiveness as soon as it is made public and 
is openly admitted, as by the act of marriage, 
The rescue Since the thought of the sexual relations of the parents 

is, both on account of jealousy and on account of the re- 
pression of incestuous cravings, one that is usually extremely 
distasteful to the child, the latter often hkes to imagine that 
the loved parent enters into such relations unwillingly and 
under compulsion. Such a belief can anse most easily in a 
boy's mind as regards his mother: it then in its turn gives 
rise to the idea of rescuing the mother from the unwelcome 

^ Otto Rank, ** Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage," especially p. 121. 

' An interesting example of this curious désire is quoted by Rank 
(Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage, p. 94.) from the life of Schiller: 
on the occasion of the publication of the banns for the marriage between 
the poet and Charlotte von Lengefeld, the former is said to hâve remarked 
jokingly to his bride that it would be a pity if no one came to 
raise some objection to the marriage or to dispute his right to Charlotte's 



and tyrannical attentions of the father^; a phantasy which has 
found expression in the many stories and legends (of which 
that of Andromeda and that of St George are perhaps the 
most widely known examples) in which a distressed and 
beautiful maiden is delivered by a young knight or hero from 
the clutches of a tyrant, giant or monster^. This phantasy is 
sometimes found too in a sublimated form in which, for instance, 
great enthusiasm may be aroused by the effort to deliver a 
small or helpless race or nation from the dominion of a 
larger and more powerful people^ or again by the struggle for 
the libération of an oppressed section of a community from 
the tyranny of a ruhng class*. 

The idea of rescue has too, as has recently been discovered, The symboUc 
a further symbolic meaning, which may be présent to the naeaning of the 
Unconscious^. To rescue means to save from death, t. e. to 
présent with hfe, and thus comes to be equated with the 
notion of begetting or bringing to life. In this way the rescue 
of the mother may signify to the Unconscious a begetting, t. e. 
a process of cohabitation with her, the boy thus putting himself 
in the place of his father and fulfilling in a symbolic manner 
his incestuous desires. As a further déterminant of the rescue 
phantasy in this sensé there is sometimes to be found an 
obscure notion of self-begetting — the création of oneself without 
the co-operation of the parent of one's own sex, ail obligation 
to and connection with this parent being thus repudiated. 
Such a répudiation of the undesired parent may also find 
expression in the phantasy of rescuing this parent from 
death — an idea which is not infrequent in legend and folklore : 
the obligation that the child had incurred through the gift of 

1 This belief is often strengthened by, and in its turn tends to confirm, 
the frequently held infantile theory which regards sexual relations as 
consisting essentially of an attack on the mother by the father — a theory 
which itself exerts in many cases an important and often harmfui influence 
on subséquent sexual life. 

2 Cp. E. S. Hartland, "The Legend of Perseus." Vol. I, p. 94. 

3 Byron's espousal (note, by the way, the implications underlying the 
use of such an expression in this connection) of the cause of Greek 
independence may be cited as a classical example of this form of 

4 Cp. below, Ch. Xn. 

5 Cp. Otto Rank, **Die Lohengrinsage." 87. ff., Ernest Jones "Papers 
on Psycho-Analysis/' 233. 



Hatred and 
contempt of 

the mother 
for permitting 
the advances 
of the father 

The mother 

regarded as a 


dissociation of 



and esteem 

The import- 
ance of this 

life by the parent being now cancelled by the incurring of a 
similar obligation on the part of the parent towards the child. 

Freud has drawn attention to the occurrence of a curious 
case of displacement — not infrequent among men and of very 
considérable importance for subséquent sexual life — which 
seems to dépend to some extent at any rate, upon an arrest 
in the Unconscious at the stage of secondary mother hatred 
or contempt to which we referred on p, 59^. In such cases the 
mother is not pitied for having to suffer unwelcome advances 
from the father, but hated and despised for permitting or 
encouraging thèse advances, The father, being, according to 
the estimation of the child's Unconscious, a partner altogether 
undesirable, one who would under no circumstances be 
preferred to the child himself by any woman of good taste, 
the mother is regarded as a person quite lacking in such taste, 
a woman who indeed might give herself to anybody (a view 
which of course also encourages the hope that she may some 
day give herself to the child). If this view should persist in 
the Unconscious, the mother may come subsequently to be 
regarded as a a sort of prostitute. 

Now although such a séquence of ideas in the Unconscious 
may lead to contempt of the mother, it has not deprived her 
of her original power of attracting love and admiration; it 
leads rather to a mental spKtting up of thèse original attractive 
attributes, the more purely and direcdy sexual ones being 
separated from the other characteristics in virtue of which 
she stands as an example of ail that is morally désirable in 
womanhood. Thèse two différent aspects of the mother attributes 
are then in later hfe sought and found in différent individuals — 
the sexual attributes in prostitutes or in women of inferior 
morality, éducation, intelligence or social station; the other 
attributes — objects of tender love and admiration — in women 
of a higher standing, towards whom however no physically 
sexual attraction can be felt. 

This dissociation of purely sexual attraction from tendemess, 
esteem and the other components of fully developed love, is, 
if we take account of its présence in minor as well as in 
major degrees, of such fréquent occurrence, that it has been 

1 "Beitrâge zur Psychologie des Liebeslebens." Jahrbuch fur psycho- 
analytische und psychopathoïogische Forschungen, 1910, II, 389. 


in later life 
which are 
liable to 
reinforce it 

regarded by some as a normal feature of the sex impulse in 
the human maie. It is at the same time a feature which cannot 
but be productive of harm in a monogamous society, so that 
if Freud's explanation of its origin should prove to be one that 
is at ail generally valid, this aberrant process of development 
must be regarded as one that entails very serions conséquences 
of an ethical and sociological as well as of a psychological 
nature, and one therefore to whose incidence, genesis, growth 
and history a little further considération may perhaps not 
unprofitably be devoted hère. 

The dissociation between the more purely sexual consti- 
tuents of love and the éléments of esteem, révérence and, 
tenderness which is originally brought about in the manner 
indicated by Freud, probably owes much of its prevalence and 
importance in later life to the fact that, once estabhshed, it is 
very apt to be strengthened and maintained by certain of the 
conditions under which the development of a youth's sexual 
knowledge is liable to occur. Among the most important of 
thèse conditions are the two foUowing: 

(i) The first actual expérience of acute sensory pleasure of Masturbation 
a sexual kind about the time of puberty is very frequently 
associated with the act of masturbation, which in its turn is 
often accompanied by visual phantasies in which the rôle of 
sexual partner is played by women or girls known to the boy. 
As masturbation itself is usually carried on in the face of 
considérable psychic opposition, being looked upon as sordid, 
disgusting or injurions to health, there is not unnaturally a 
reluctance to bring into connection with this manifestation of 
the sexual impulse any woman or girl who is sincerely and 
profoundly loved, esteemed or honoured ; those introduced 
into the masturbation phantasies being therefore such who, 
while not devoid of superficial sexual attractiveness, nevertheless 
display some real or supposed inferiority (as regards beauty, 
virtue, social standing or what not), as a resuit of which they 
make no appeal to the boy s sensé of higher moral values. 
Through fréquent répétition of this process, women of an 
inferior tjrpe come to be firmly associated with the more 
directly sexual aspects of love, from which women who are 
looked upon with tenderness or vénération are correspondingly 
dissociated, lest thèse dear objects of affection should be sullied 


by being brought into contact with what the boy regards as 
dishonourable, lewd or filthy^. 

Prostitution (2) At a later stage of development the original dissociation 
thus reinforced is frequently still further strengthened by the 
association (in thought or deed or both) of sexual practices 
with prostitutes — a class of women whom the youth is himself 
prepared to condemn because of the already existing connection 
in his mind between inferiority and sex, and as regards whose 
condemnation from the moral point of view he, as a rule, finds 
ample corroboration in the opinions expressed or implied by 
those around him, 

Effect of the The moral dégradation of the sexual object thus receives 

dissociation on j^g £jj^^ confirmation, and when later in marriage the young 
man endeavours to unité esteem and tendemess with sexual 
passion, he may find that the dissociation between thèse 
éléments of love has grown too wide and fundamental to be 
overcome, so that one or other of thèse requisites of a com- 
plète and happy married life has necessarily to be sacrificed. 
As a resuit of this, a man may marry a woman whom he is 
prepared indeed to cherish, honour and esteem, but towards 
whom (for this very reason) he feels himself but little attracted 
in a purely sexual sensé; in which case he will often be 
tempted after a while to seek a more complète degree of 
sexual satisfaction elsewhere. Or else, should the directly sexual 
trends prevail, he may sélect a partner who is inferior to him 
in some important intellectual, moral or social respect, thus 
paving the way for a married life in which many of his more 
sublimated tendencies, desires and aspirations are doomed to 
suffer permanent lack of gratification 2. 
The liability There can be httle doubt that women are, on the whole, 

co^esponding ^^^^ liable to suffer from this kind of dissociation than are men. 
dissociation With women the directly sexual éléments of love are more 
frequently aroused together with the éléments of tenderness 
and esteem, than is the case with men. Thus many women 
1- Indeed it frequently happens that a boy will call up the image of 
some girl whom he sincerely loves in order that he may the better resist 
the temptation to practise masturbation. 

' For an interesting and suggestive study of the influence of a high 
degree of this dissociation upon married life and upon the gênerai attitude 
towards questions of sex and of morality, the reader is referred to J. D. 
Beresford's novel "God's Counterpoint ". 



expérience sexual désire or gratification only in relation to 
men to whom they are bound also by feelings of deep affection, 
admiration or respect. This différence between the sexes is 
perhaps to some extent a constitutional one, the éléments in 
question being by nature more intimately fused and integrated 
in one sex than in the other\ Som^ part oî the différence is 
however due, beyond ail reasonable doubt, to environmental 
and educational factors. 

Of the three principal factors we hâve enumerated as 
liable to bring about a high degree of dissociation between 
sexual attraction and esteem in men, it seems probable that 
the first— that due to the child's contempt for the (otherwise) 
loved parent for yielding to the sexual advances of the hated 
parent — is almost if not quite as potent with women as with 
men. The subséquent reinforcement of the dissociation by the 
two remaining factors is however to a considérable extent in- 
operative with women. The influence of masturbation is in 
nearly ail respects less marked in women than in men, partly 
perhaps because at the important âge, at or about the time 
of puberty, the practice is less fréquent with girls than with 
boys, but principally because for a variety of reasons it meets 
with less violent psychic opposition, arouses less violent moral 
conflicts and is to a much lesser extent liable to become the 
cause of self-contempt or self-reproach^. Nor again is the 

1 If this is so (and indeed perhaps in any case), it is évident that the 
différence in question must be taken into considération in dealing with 
such questions as those affecting the pre-marital chastity or unchastity of 
men, the "double moral standard" in sexual matters etc. 

2 Among the causes of the greater condemnation of masturbation in 
men one of great importance consists in the fear of castration which — as 
resuit of threats by parents and nurses and otherwise — frequently becomes 
intimately associated with the onanistic act. Closely connected with this is 
the fact that the significance and conséquences of masturbation are more 
obvions in the maie than in the female — the émission of semen and the 
lassitude that follows this being very hable to produce a sensé of loss and 
injury, thus easily arousing or reinforcing the fears connected with the 
ideas of castration. Perhaps a further factor of a more gênerai nature is 
played by the greater freedom of narcissistic impulses in women {Cp. 
Freud, '*2ur Einfûhrung des Narzifimus/' Jahrèuch/ur Psychoanalyse^VIA.), 
The relatively greater persistence of infantile self-love shows itself clearly 
in the greater freedom of the milder manifestations of homosexuality in 
women (the homosexual partner being a projection of the lover's seH; 



of the dissocia- 
tion in women 

association of sexual activity with prostitution (although the act 
of prostitution itself may be regarded with considérable re^ 
pulsion) so deeply ingrained in women as in men. 

In spite, however, of the lesser opération of thèse factors 
in the case of women and in spite of any possible doser 
connection (through innate organization) of the éléments of the 
love impulse which are liable to dissociation, it is nevertheless 
true that a very considérable number of women do suffer from 
some degree of this dissociation ^ 

Such women will often be attracted to two kinds of men 
— one of which (frequently physically inferior) may arouse 
sympathy, respect, dévotion or tendemess, while the other 
(frequentiy of a morally, socially or intellectually inferior type, 
but often physically superior^) will alone be capable of arousing 
sexual désire. Quite often the attraction to an inferior person 
is combined with the désire for clandestinity to which we 
referred above; the whole complex finding its most satisfying 
and appropriate expression in a furtive love affair of such a 
kind as to be contrary to the moral or social standards of the 
woman's upbringing and environment. It is obvions that the 
difficulties which bar the way to a completely successful 
marriage for such women are but httie if at aU inferior to 
those existing in the case of men who suffer from a corre- 
sponding condition of dissociation^. 

Cp. above p. 103) and may very well also be the cause of women's more 
natural attitude to masturbation as a form of auto-erotic gratification, 

1 Cp. Ernest Jones, "Papers on Psycho -Analysis/' 558, the whole 
chapter being important in this connection. 

2 Since there is a very gênerai tendency for physical superiority in 
men to arouse sexual feelings in the woman, whereas inferiority in men 
as regards size, strength, health, ztc,^ is apt to arouse a sympathetic, 
motherly affection in the woman. 

s I am indebted to my friend Major O. Berkeley-Hill for the suggestion 
that the attraction which women often feel for men of a racially more 
primitive type, and the corresponding jealousy that the (often subconscious) 
perception of this attraction arouses in men of the women's own race, 
are among the most important factors which prevent the re conciliation 
or co-operation of différent races and which are the cause of much of the 
brutality and violence which a superior race is apt to exercise towards an 
inferior one. {Cp. the fréquent lynchings of negroes for real or supposed 
sexual offences in America, or the anti-negro or anti-Chinese riots that are 
of not infrequent occurrence in EngHsh seaport towns.) K this should be 



In a certain number of cases there is to be observed a Combinationof 
combination of the original prostitute phantasy (the remoter *^^ prostitute 
conséquences of which we hâve been hère considering) with phantasies 
the rescue phantasy to which we referred above, Such a 
combination of motives may give rise to the enthusiasm for 
"rescue work" as displayed by such persons as John Storm in 
Sir Hall Caine's novel "The Christian" or, more generally, may 
bring about the désire to lead the prostitute, fallen or abandoned 
woman (mother substitute) to a better way of life {Cp. Hamlet 
and his mother) ^ In women too this combination of motives 
may not infrequently be observed, manifesting itself most often 
as a désire to effect the régénération of some drunkard, ne'er- 
do-well or criminal or of some class of men of this description; 
sometimes leading even to marriage with a person of this 
kind, with a view to the better attainment of this end (though 
in thèse cases the superior sexual attractiveness of such men 
is of course usually an additional — though not always a reco- 
gnised — motive). 

In still other cases again the intensely disagreeable feeling The désire for 
that is associated with the idea of the mother giving herself chastity 
to the father may lead to an overwhehning désire for the 
strictest previous chastity in any woman that may be selected 
as bride or sexual partner; the virginity of the later love 
serving as a recompense for the supposed impurity and faith- 
lessness of the earlier object of affection, and to some extent 
no doubt (through the process of identification) bringing 
about — so far as the unconscious mind of the lover is concer- 
ned — a purification of this former object. Such feelings as 
thèse, working in the Unconscious, are probably among the 
most powerful factors which détermine the behaviour of that 
not inconsiderable number of men whose affection and gênerai 

true (and there can be little doubt that it applies to certain cases) it would 
appear that we are dealing with a psychological fact possessing historical 
and sociological bearings of even wider significance than would at first 
appear — bearings which must be kept in mind in ail attempts to produce 
rapprochement or better understanding between the différent races of 
mankind. (For a study of the tendency In question in individual cases Cp. 
the novels of Robert Hichens, e, g. *'Bella Donna" and "Barbary Sheep.") 
1 A very interesting case iUustrative of the rescue and prostitute phan- 
tasies will be found in Ernest Jones. " Einige Fàlle von Zwangsneurose,"/*»^'^- 
huch fur Psychoanaîytische und Psychopathologische Forschungen, 1913, V, 55. 

115 8* 


attitude towards a woman are completely changed by the 
merest suspicion that she has experienced sexual relationships 
with any but themselves, however great the extenuating 
circumstances connected with such relationships; who are 
utterly unable to entertain the idea of marriage with any 
such woman {Cp. Angel Clare in Thomas Hardy's ''Tess of 
the d'Urbervilles") or who in temporary or vénal intercourse 
will go to much trouble or expense to secure a virgin for 
their partner^. 
The import- The brief review which we hâve undertaken in this 

ance of^dis- chapter of the displacement of the love impulse from persons 
theTove^life of the immédiate family environment to objects selected from 
a wider circle, is sufficient to show that the whole nature 
and course of the love life of an individual is to a very large 
extent dépendent on the way in which this displacement is 
achieved^. There is little doubt but that the further advance of 
psychological science will reveal more intimately the working 
of those mechanisms with which we hâve hère been dealing, 
and of whose nature and importance we are now beginning 
to gain some rough prehminary understanding. In view of the 
desirability of a satisfactory direction of the love impulse, as 
well from the point of view of national and racial well-being 
as from that of individual happiness and family prosperity, it 
is to be expected that the further enlightenment which we 
may hope for on this subject, will be, both practically and 
theoretically, as important as any which the science of Psycho- 
logy will bring us. 

1 This psychic tendency must of course be distinguished from the 
sexual jealousy so characteristic of paranoïa, which has been shown to be 
due to repressed homosexuality, the paranoiac projecting on to his v/ife 
or paramour the tender feelings towards some person or persons of his 
own sex, which he himself harbours in his Unconscious. {Cp. Ferenczi, 
"Contributions to Psycho-Analysis," trans. by Ernest Jones, Ch. XI, p. 238 ff.) 

Both the importance and the incestuous origin of this désire for 
chastity are clearly demonstrated by the irequently recurring thème of 
the Virgin Mother in religion and mythology. Cp. below Ch. XIV. 

2 An Interesting historical case of one whose career was probably 
influenced to a large extent by quite a number of the unconscious motives 
discussed in this chapter is that of King Henry Vm of England. See 
J. C. Flûgel, "On the Character and Married Life of Henry Vm/' The Inter- 
national Journal of Psycho -Analysis, 1920, I, 24. 



In studying the hâte aspects of the original Œdipus complex Displacements 

we saw that thèse aspects, on their first appearance and in so °^ ^f ^ l^^s 
r ^111.1 T complex than 

lar as they dépend on mère jealousy or envy, are secondary those of love 

products, arising as a conséquence of the love aspects. When 

the cause of the jealousy is removed by a successful displacement 

of the love impulse, there is no longer any reason for the 

continuance of the hâte. It is probably for this reason that 

the displacements of the hâte aspects appear to be, on the 

whole, less numerous and less complicated than those of the 

love aspects. 

Certain forms of love displacement, it is true, necessarily 

imply, to some extent, corrélative forms of hâte displacement; 

as in the case (studied in the last chapter) of the transfer of 

love exclusively to married or betrothed persons or in the 

case of the rescue phantasy. In thèse cases the rival with 

whom the lover competes for the possession of the loved object 

or the tjnrant from whose clutches the captive lady is snatched 

by the skill or daring of the youthful hero, are (in the light 

of psycho-analytic knowledge) manif est substitutes for the original 

rival or tyrant who existed in the person of the father. The 

intensity of hostile feeling of which thèse représentatives become 

the objects may however vary very considerably from one 

instance to another, according as the emphasis of the whole 

phantasy is laid upon the éléments of hatred or of love. Some- 

times the hostile rival may be présent only in a vague and 

shadowy form, constituting little more than a necessary back- 

ground; as, for instance, in cases where the existence of some 

kind of opposition is essential to the arousal or enjoyment of 



love. In other cases, however, the hâte élément may be equaJ 
in importance to the love élément, or may even constitute the 
prédominant motive of the whole displacement. 
The develop- In thèse latter cases it will usually be foimd that the 

ment of hâte hostility brought about secondarily as the resuit of jealousy has 
been powerfuUy reinforced by hatred of a more direct and 
indépendant kind, arising as a reaction against a more gênerai 
interférence with the child's aspirations or desires on the part 
of a tyrannous parental authority (or one that is considered to 
be such). The présence, in some degree, of this form of reaction 
is very prévalent, and this is not surprising when we bear in 
mind the fact that the child has, during its early years, to be 
continually moderated, guided, stîmulated or restrained in its 
actions, or tendencies to action, by the exercise of parental or 
of delegated parental authority^. 

The exercise of such restraint or guidance, even within 
necessary and désirable hmits and with ail the care, refinement 
and regard to the child's own natural course of development 
which modem methods of training may dictate, is bound to 
give rise to some feeling of resentment, especially in children 
of self-wiUèd, obstinate or independent character or in those 
with whom the tendencies in need of guidance or restraint are 
unusually vigorous or persistent. Much more so even is this 
liable to be the case where (as may often happen) the child's 
upbringing is carried out with but little regard for, or under- 
standing of, its own feelings, susceptibihties or tendencies. In 
ail such cases the hostile sentiments aroused by the conflict 
of parental authority with the impetuous desires of childhood 
may be such as to outlast the period of early life to which 
they properly belong and to furnish a basis for a pathological 
fixation at the stage of parent-hatred, as a resuit of which this 
hatred may constitute an important — and usually maleficent — 
component of the individual's character throughout his life. 
Displacement We hâve already, in the earlier chapters, discussed the 

of hâte on to manner in which parent hatred of early origin (together with 
substitutes most other aspects of the young child's attitude towards its 

^ Cp. Emest Jones, *'Papers on Psycho-Analysis/' 2nd. éd. 540 ff. for 
a study of the manner in which restraint of the child in one particular 
respect — ^with regard to the excretory functions — may lead to a hostile 
attitude of this kind on the part of the child. 



parents) should, in the course of normal development, be over- 
come. We hâve already seen, however, that certain of the 
secondary hatreds conséquent upon incestuous love are in many 
individuals incapable of being completely and satisfactorily 
resolved in any of the normal ways, but become, instead, 
displaced on to parent substitutes in the same way as the love 
impulses which they accompany. The same fate of displacement 
awaits, in most cases, those more direct and primary hatreds 
which are conséquent upon the parentes interférence with the 
child's more gênerai wishes and desires. In the course of the 
individual's life, the authority over his expressions, activities 
and gênerai mode of Uving originally exercised by the parents, 
passes in succession, wholly or partly, to a number of other 
persons; to whom the feelings directed to the parents in virtue 
of the exercise of this authority is then transferred. Among 
those to whom such transference most frequently and regularly 
takes place are to be found — nurses, teachers, school prefects, 
poUce officers, employers, professional or miUtary superiors, or 
persons occupjdng gênerai positions of command, such as 
magistrates, statesmen or kings. 

There can be little doubt that much of the gênerai This displace- 
resistance to, and intolérance of, authority, that may be ex- ment may lead 
hibited by certain individuals, or at times by whole sections against 
of a community (or even by whole peoples) dérives its motive authonty and 
power from a persistence in the Unconscious of parent hatreds who 

of this kind. A very considérable proportion of criminal actions exercise it 
in the individual are also due to the same unconscious source, 
the still existing désire to resist the authority of the parents 
finding outlet in a displaced form in infringements of the laws, 
conventions, or régulations imposed by the authority of society 
or of the State. Particularly is this true of crimes against 
persons who embody or exercise this authority — emperors, 
kings and other persons in high places, and it would seem 
probable indeed that many cases of régicide or of attempts on 
the lives of officiai personages hâve been committed by those 
suffering from insufficiently controlled parent hatreds of un- 
usual strength. Bearing in mind the dangers that beset a com- 
munity in which tendencies to anarchy, lawlessness or un- 
reasonable opposition to governmental authority are widespread, 
it is obvious that the fréquent occurrence of violent and per- 




of respect and 




as parent-sub- 


sistent parent hatreds in children, leading, as they so often do, 
to displacements of this kind, is a matter of very serious 
sociological and political importance ^ 

Thèse same persons in authority, who thus become the 
récipients of displaced enmity towards the parents, may how- 
ever also serve in later life as substitutes for those aspects of 
the parents in virtue of which thèse latter were in childhood 
reverenced as the possessors of unlimited power, wisdom, 
virtue or knowledge {Çp, above p. 54). Especially is this the case 
perhaps with regard to ecclesiastical authorities; the priest, as 
the interpréter of wisdom that transcends earthly knowledge and 
the transmitter of commands that transcend earthly authority, 
being peculiarly suitable as an object of this emotional attitude. 
The head of the Roman Catholic Church has indeed, through the 
doctrine of infallibility, been explicitly endowed (with référence 
to a certain sphère of thought) with the character of perfect 
knowledge and perfect v^sdom, which the young child with the 
sensé of its own immense inferiority in thèse respects, is hable 
to attribute to its parents. The teacher too, in his position of 
moral and intellectual authority, frequently becomes the récipient 
of similar feelings; the additional influence which he possesses 
over his pupils through the latter's childish over-estimation of his 
knowledge and capacity often receiving frank acknowledgment 
in the fact of his unwillingness ever to appear to hâve been 
mistaken or to hâve been ignorant with regard to any matter, 
lest the réalisation of his fallibility should detract from the 
suggestive power that he has hitherto enjoyed. 

The displacement on to médical advisers and attendants 
of feelings originally directed to the parents, has frequently 
been recognised. Hère again, it is more particularly the attri- 
bute of benevolent omniscience that is liable to be transferred. 
Three factors contribute especially to this resuit: — (i) The 

^ Thus, as Mr. Burt has suggested to me, the influence of displaced 
father-hatred is probably in large measure responsible for the fact that 
strikes and other crude forms of rebelUon against authority in industry 
occur principally among the working classes, where the tyranny of the 
father is often of a primitive and répressive type. For the same reason the 
number of delinquents from thèse classes is almost certainly relatively 
jarger than that from the upper and, middle classes, quite apart from the 
influence of économie and educational factors. Cp, too in this connection 
p. 128 below. 


physician's knowledge on matters of the highest interest 
and importance, about which others are relatively ignorant 
(particularly perhaps "médical" matters, in the sexual sensé 
of that euphemism); (2) the fact that the situations in 
which his assistance is called in, for the most part urgently 
demand some kind of action which he alone can adequately 
perform; the sensé of helplessness which others feel in thèse 
situations being similar in many respects to that frequently 
experienced in early years when, as children, we were dépen- 
dent upon the efforts of our parents in many of the important 
affairs of life; (3) the fact that this sensé of helplessness and 
the gênerai attitude of suggestibility are still further increased 
in the case of the patient by the gênerai régression to a rela- 
tively childish state of mind which illness so frequently brings 
in its train. The physician's capacity to stimulate and maintain 
the power of suggestion, which he possesses in virtue of this 
attitude on the part of those who consiilt him, is undoubtedly 
the secret of much real success in médical practice, inasmuch 
as the mental factors in disease — the importance of which is 
now becoming fully recognised, although their nature is net yet 
always clear — are to a large extent directly affected by the 
patient's belief in his doctor's ability to understand and cure 
the complaint from which he suffers, 

This suggestive power plays of course a specially promi- The rôle of 
nent part in dealing with disorders of a directly psycho-pathic pare^t-regard- 
nature ^ and peculiarly so where a condition of enhanced in suggestion 
suggestibiHty is deliberately induced and utihsed with a view ^^^ hypnosis 
to the cure of such disorders, as in the practice of hypnotism. 
The work which has been directed to the study of hypnotism 
from the psycho-analytic point of view has brought out very 
clearly the similarities between the condition in hypnosis and 
some of the mental characteristics of early childhood; and has 
led to the conception of the hjrpnotic trance as a régression 
to a relatively infantile state of mind, the rapport between 
operator and subject being regarded as, in certain important 
respects, a répétition or revival of the relations which had 
previously existed between parent and child. Ferenczi^ has 

1 Cp. Ernest Jones, "Papers on Psycho-Analysis," 2nd. éd., 318 ff. 

2 ^'Contributions to Psycho-Analysis," trans. by Ernest Jones, Ch. n, 
especially 57 ff. 


gone so far as to regard the différent methods of inducing 
hypnosis as depending upon a revival in a displaced form of 
the child's typical attitude towards its father or its mother 
respectively; the stern, commanding, confident tone, adopted 
by some operators, tending to bring about a relationship 
between them and their subjects that constitutes a revival of 
the former relationship between father and child, the calming, 
soothing, soporific methods of others serving to recall the 
attitude of the child towards its mother, as when in early in- 
fancy it was lulled to sleep by its mother with the aid of a 
very similar procédure. 
"Trans- ^^ ^^e practice of psycho-analysis, too, the displacement of 

ference" in emotional attitudes originally adopted with référence to the 
^sJysîs parents has been shown to play an important part, though the 
therapeutic effect of the method is not, as has sometimes 
erroneously been supposed, due to the simple action of 
suggestion^. Psycho-analysis aims at producing a state of greater 
co-ordination in the patientas mind by giving him an under- 
standing of the nature and direction of his unconscious mental 
trends, thus putting him in a position to bring about a state 
of relative harmony between the différent impulses which 
formerly, by their mutual antagonisms, were responsible for 
the production of the neurosis. A mère understanding of the 
nature of the unconscious processes involved is however, as 
has frequently been shown, powerless to effect the desired 
resuit, unless the conative and affective sides of thèse processes 
are also loosened from their fixations in the Unconscious and 
made available for use in other directions. It is hère that the 
transference of tendencies originally directed to the parents 
becomes important. Just as, in the first unfôlding and develop- 
ment of the child's emotional capacities, the direction of the 
love impulses on to the parents was the means of bringing the 
child beyond the primitive stages of auto-erotism and narcissism, 
so now in the emotional re-education that psycho-analysis in- 
volves, the further process of displacement of the parent love 
on to new objects is one of fundamental importance and is 
often an essential condition of the necessary readjustment and 
intégration of the emotional life. Not of course that the parént- 
love is the only impulse requiring displacement in this way, 
1 Ernest Jones, " Papers on Psycho-Analysis," 2nd. éd. 301. 


but, inasmuch as the Œdipus Complex is (as Freud has put it) 
the nuclear complex of the neuroses, it is just the émotions 
that centre round the parents that usually coristitute the most 
fundamental and far-reaching, as well as in themselves the most 
massive and weighty, of those that need readjustment as regards 
their object. In this process of readjustment, the analyst him- 
self — as is now well recognised — usually plays a highly im- 
portant, though a transitory, rôle; the émotions loosened from 
their fixations by the process of analysis being temporarily dis- 
placed on to his person, (on their way to more suitable and 
permanent objects) both because he is the first available object, 
and because his position of authority as the conductor of the 
analysis naturally suits him for the part^. 

It is principally because a displacement of this sort can be Transference 
much more easily produced in certain kinds of neurosis than ^^/ ^^^ ^^^^ 
m others, that neuroses differ from one another markedly m 
their amenability to treatment; what Freud has caUed the 
Transference Neuroses^ (such as Hysteria or Obsessional 
Neurosis), in which the patient, though unable to adjust his 
émotions to the level required for satisfactory adult life, has 
nevertheless for the most part attained — and retained — the 
stage of object-love, comparing very favourably in this respect 
with the Narcissistic Neuroses (such as Paranoia), in which the 
patient has regressed beyond the stage of object-love to the 
relatively infantile level at which his emotional outlets are 
sought only in, or in connection with, his own person. 

Ail the displacements with which we hâve been hitherto The displace- 
concemed hâve at least this one important feature in common, mentof^rent- 
that the feelings and tendencies originally directed to the feelings, on 
parents are transferred to definite individuals. There are, how- ^*îh*^^''fh^ 
ever, certain forms of displacement, of very considérable individuals 
sociological importance, in which this is no longer the case, 
the parent substitutes being found, not in any individual 
persons, but in groups, places, societies and institutions. 

Thus in many cases the home, as the place in which the 
parents lived and in which the feehngs of love, tenderness and Home 
admiration towards the parents were first developed, acquires 

1 In technical psycho-analytic literature, the term ''Transference" is, 
as a rule, used to dénote this particular kind of displacement only. 

2 "Vorlesungen zur Einfûhrung in die Psychoanalyse,'* 526 ff. 



and retains throughout life a peculiar attractiveness, in which 
piety, tenderness and pride are intermingled and which is, it 
would seem, to a very large extent derived from the emotional 
attitude of the child towards the parents themselves. The 
attachment to the home in this sensé frequently manifests 
itself in home-sickness whenever the individual is compelled to 
leave his native place or native land; those who suffer from 
home-sickness to an unusual degree or for an unusual length 
of time being in most cases burdened with an overstrong 
attachment to and dependence on their family, or certain 
members of it, having failed to free themselves ' adequately 
from their infantile fixations in this direction. 
Family or Clan In certain persons again — especially in members of an 

aristocratie caste or in others who are able to trace their 
descent through a long line of ancestors — some important 
aspects of the parent-love come to be attached to the idea of 
the whole family of which they form a part; the tendencies to 
esteem, obédience, admiration or idéalisation originally aroused 
by the child's immédiate parents being transferred to the family 
or clan regarded as a social group, which has existed in the 
past, exists now in those of its members who happen to be 
hving and will continue to exist in their descendants. This 
kind of transference may constitute a sublimation of considér- 
able value, inasmuch as it may afford a powerful motive to 
the individual for not falling below the level of attainment or 
civic worth that is expected of the family, and generally for 
doing ail that may enhance, and avoiding ail that may dégrade, 
the family réputation ; on the other hand, it may sometimes be 
productive of an undue tendency towards conservatism and 
may lead to the stifling of individual effort, independence and 
initiative, through the imposition of a too uniform standard 
of conduct and achievement or a too close adhérence to 
School In many persons, again, the school, as the centre of 

influence that succeeds in time (and often in importance) to 
that constituted by the family circle, naturally draws to itself 
many of the émotions which had hitherto found their exclusive 
outletin the family; loyalty and obédience to school traditions, 
together v\àth respect, tenderness, pride and admiration for the 
school as a collective body replacing to some extent the 



corresponding feelings which had previously been experienced 
principally or solely in relation to the parents. 

At a later âge, thèse same feelings may be again displaced University 
on to a Collège or University; the term Aima Mater ^ so 
frequently applied to the latter, bearing witness to the extent 
to which a University is habitually endowed with maternai 
attributes — being regard ed as a kindly mother (often of 
vénérable âge and expérience) who imparts to her sons the 
learning and wisdom that she possesses, and generaUy equips 
them for the tasks and trials of life in the outer world. 

Towns^ may also become the récipients of parentally, and Town 
especially matemally, directed feeling; those who love and 
admire a town often referring to it in terms which would be 
more directly appropriate to a woman ; a woman behind whom 
the mother image can usually be discovered. The émotions 
aroused by the besieging, attacking or capturing- of towns in 
warfare are also in part derived from the same source. 

The same feeling too is often directed to houses, ships, Other objects 
churches (and especially to the institution of the Church; cp. the 
phrase **Mother Church"); also to trees, woods, mountains, 
lakes, rivers, the sea and other natural objects. 

Probably the most important displacement of this kind The attitude of 
from the sociological point of view is that in which parental J^^ .^^*^^^j^J^^! 
attributes are transferred to the community, state^ or country. 
The mental ties that bind the individual to the community are 
of course complex in nature, comprising emotional and intellectual 
factors belonging to a variety of psychic levels. Among the 
most fundamental and deep seated of thèse factors are, as 
Ernest Jones ^ has pointed out, those that take their origin 
in feelings that regard the self, the mother and the father 

The self-regarding tendencies are enlisted in the service Self-regarding 
of patriotism; — on the conscious, inteUectual level, through a tendencies 
récognition of the community of interest between the individual 
and the state ; on the more primitive, emotional and unconscious 
level, through a process of identification of the individual with 

1 O. Rank, "Um Stâdte werben," Zeitschrift fur Ârstliche Psychoanalyse, 
1914, II, 50. B. Dattner, "Die Stadt als Mutter/' Zeitschrift fur Ârstliche 
Psychoanalyse, 1914, II, 59. 

2 **War and Individual Psychology," Sociological Review, 1915, p. i. 



the State, as a resuit of which the former participâtes in the 
successes and failures of the latter in much the same way as 
if they affected him directly and principally in his own person. 
In thèse latter respects the feelings of the individual towards 
the State are similar in many ways to those that are involved 
in a corresponding identification of the self with the family, 
the school or any other group with whose prosperity and 
honour the well-being and self-respect of the individual is 
bound up. 
Mother regard- The displacement of the mother-regarding feehngs on to 

ing tendencies ^^le state is, it would seem, chiefly connected with the ideas 
of being nourished, trained and protected, on the one hand, 
and of actively protecting, on the other. Thus we tend to 
regard our native land as a great mother who brings into 
being, nourishes, protects and cherishes her sons and daughters 
and inspires them with respect and love for herself and her 
traditions, customs, béUefs and institutions ; in retum for which 
her children are prepared to work and fight for her — and above 
ail, to protect her from her enemies; a good deal of the horror 
and disgust which is inspired by the idea of an invasion of 
one's native land by a hostile army being due to the 
unconscious tendency to regard such an invasion as a desecration 
and violation of the mother. 
Father-regard- In the displacement of the father-regarding feelings on to 

ing tendencies ^j-^^ state, the tendencies connected with the attitude of respect, 
obédience and loyalty to the paternal authority are usually the 
most prominent. Great importance is moreover almost invariably 
attached to the head of the state as its embodiment and its 
suprême authority, the country over which he rules being 
looked upon as his possession or estate, which it is the duty 
of his children to uphold, to protect or to enlarge. Kings, as 
we hâve already seen, are habitually identified in the Unconscious 
with the father, as are other persons in positions of authority, 
and it is interesting to note that the évidence of language and 
of certain common appellations applied to thèse persons fully 
endorses the conclusions of Psycho-Analysis in this respe ct. \ 
Thus, as Rank^ and Jones^ following Max Millier, hâve pointed 
out, the word king is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit root 

^ " Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage,*' 83. 
2 "Papers on Psycho -Analysis," 143. 



gan^ meaning to beget, ganaka being Sanskrit for father. The 
Czar of Russia was until recently called the **Little Father," 
the same title as the Hunnish Attila (diminutive of Atta = father). 
The title *'Landesvater" is commonly used in Germany just as 
the Americans still call Washington the Father of his Country. 
The ruler of the Roman CathohcChurch is called the **Holy Father," 
or by his Latin name of "Papa^" (from the root pa to protect, 
nourish). Similarly, the word '*queen" cornes from the Sanskrit 
gain^ which means mother (Greek yovri, Gothic quinof' and a 
queen who has had children, is the mother of the reigning 
monarch or has merely attained to a certain âge, is frequently 
spoken of as the ** Queen Mother." 

There are considérable différences, both individual and 
national, as regards the relative importance of the father and 
the mother éléments respectively in the gênerai attitude adopted 
towards the state, and it would seem probable that thèse 
différences are apt to lead to, or at least to be correlated with, 
political characteristics of very great importance, Thus England 
is looked upon almost entirely as a mother, the father-regarding 
aspects of an Englishman's feeling for his country playing but 
a very minor part in the formation of his total attitude; the 
same is in the main true of modem — as distinct from pre- 
revolutionary — France (though, as Ernest Jones ^ points out, 
the term 4a patrie' — combining as it does a féminine form with 
amascuHne connotation — implies to some extent the co-operation 
of both éléments), while the colossal female statue of Liberty 
at the entrance to New York would certainly seem to indicate 
that the land of freedom which the traveller is approaching is 
to be regarded as an embodiment of the matriarchal, rather 
than of the patriarchal, aspects of human society. Germany, on 
the other hand, is habitually spoken of as the Fatherland; 
while in Russia the Czar was regarded, to a unique extent 
perhaps among modem nations, as the Father of his country, 
The tendency to blind loyalty and obédience manifested in 
thèse latter countries compared, until recently, most markedly 
with the relatively free and unconstrained affection exhibited 
by the citizens of the former states towards their native land, 

1 Ernest Jones, îoc. cit. 

2 Ernest Jones, Ioc, cit. 

3 "War and Individual Psychology," Sociologicaî Revim, 1915, p. 10. 


of thèse 



and suggests the existence of a fairly close correspondence, on 
the one hand between the maternai view of the state and the 
development of démocratie institutions and individual indepen- 
dence, and on the other hand between the patemal view and 
the development and rétention of autocracy and a relatively 
strict subordination of the individual to the authority of the 
govemment and of its représentatives. 

It would be possible also perhaps to point to a gênerai 
tendency towards a similar association of the mother-regarding 
attitude with a trend towards change, progress or instability, 
and of the father-regarding attitude with a corresponding trend 
towards stability and conservatism ; though the extrême 
progressiveness, in certain respects, of modem Germany has 
shown that any such tendency does not hold for ail cases or 
for ail aspects of culture. 

Where the attitude towards the state, its institutions and 
authority is not one of love, friendliness or révérence, but one 
of hâte and rébellion, it is of course the corresponding feelings 
of hostility towards the parents which play a leading part in 
the unconscious motivation of malcontents or revolutionaries. 
It is principally for this reason that révolutions in autocratie 
patemal states {cp. the récent upheavals in Russia and Germany 
and the French Révolution) are usually more violent and ex- 
trême than in the case of the freer and more libéral maternai 
countries, since the désire for rébellion in early family life is 
generally directed against the authority of the father to a much 
/ greater extent than against that of the mother. 

There probably exists, moreover, as Rank^ and Jones ^ 

hâve already suggested, a considérable degree of correspondence 

Family between . the nature of the family system as found in any 

^liTstatr country and some of the political features to which we hâve 

organisation referred. Thus the authority of the head of the household — the 

patria potestas — was perhaps more developed among the 

Romans than among any other western people, and the 

Romans elaborated a military and civil administration of such 

strength and durability that the whole of western civilisation 

has to a large extent been raised and developed on the 

foundation and the model it afforded. With the Jews also the 

^ " Das Inzestmotiv in Dichtung und Sage/' 414 ff. 
2 Ernest Jones, îoc. cit. 



patriarchal System was developed to its fullest extent and this 
people has shown its inhérent conservatism and stability by 
the préservation of many of its characteristic physical, psycho- 
logical, moral and social qualities, though homeless for upwards 
of two thousand years. Among Oriental nations, the Chinese 
are distinguished for their rigid system of family rule and 
individual subordination to the parents and they evolved a 
civilisation which lasted almost without change for a period 
that is without parallel in recorded human history. On the 
other hand it is notorious that in times of rapid social change 
or political upheaval, family ties and family authority tend to 
be relaxed, the individual asserting his freedom in domestic 
as well as in political matters; and it is probable that there 
exists a tendency for ail periods of national or racial instability, 
whether leading to development or to degeneration, to be 
characterised by a relaxation or throwing off of parental 
authority and tradition ; though it is obvious that, owing to the 
great complexity of the factors involved in the rise or fall, ex- 
pansion or decay of nations, the correspondence cannot be an 
absolute one. 

As regards the attitude adopted by the individual member Ambivalent 

of a State towards the king or ruler, Freud has shown ^ that , ^^^^î^^^i. 

• T^i 1 » r 1 1 • towards the 

it tends to be, m Bleuler s useful phrase, ambivalent, t. e.y to king 

be determined by two motives of opposite character, in one 

of which hâte is the principal élément, in the other love. This 

ambivalency manifests itself most clearly in the many restrictions 

and taboos that are attached to, or connected with, the office 

of king in différent parts of the world, and that are to some 

extent still operative eveh in civilised societies at the présent 

day. Thèse taboos are in the main of two kinds : — 

(i) Those that restrict the activities of the king himself, such Taboos affect- 
as the rules in virtue of which he may only live in certain ^"^ ^^ ^^ ^^ 
places, go out at certain times or eat certain foods, must avoid of this attitude 
ail situations involving danger of any kind and must submit to 
a cumbrous, wearisome and often exhausting system of court 
routine and ceremony. Taboos of this kind would seem on 
analysis to hâve two main objects: — (a) to guard the king from 
any harm, (b) to limit his power in a variety of ways, and 
generally to make his life burdensome and unpleasant (under 

1 "Totem and Taboo," 70 ff. 

129 9 


the guise of assuring his dignity or safety). The exaggerated 
fear of some harm coming to the king, which is manifested in 
(a), anses by way of a reaction against the unconscious désire 
that some harm may befall him, in the same way as an 
exaggerated and unreasonable anxiety as regards the health 
, and wdfare of some relative usually indicates a repressed 
I feeling of hostility towards that relative {cp. above p. 57); 
while (b) even more obviously involves éléments of fear and of 

(2) Taboos that affect the subjects in their relations to the 
king, such as those which forbid looking at, or touching, the 
king, or the touching or eating of his food, or the touching 
or removal of his personal effects. Thèse may hkewise be 
traced to two prédominant motives: — (a) the désire, as before, to 
préserve the king from any harm — in this case more especially 
from harm that may resuit from the actions of those about him; 
(b) the désire to avoid any harm befalling the subjects as a resuit 
of influences emanating from the king, the latter being regarded 
as a potent but mysterious source of danger to ail who rashly 
approach or come in contact with him. The latter tendency, with 
its corrélative belief, arises as the resuit of a projection of the 
hostility felt towards the king; this hostility (in accordance vdth 
the mechanism of Projection — now well recognised both in normal 
and in abnormal psychology)*, being falsely attributed to its object, 
instead of to the person in whose mind it really originates. 

In both sets of taboos the présence of hostility towards 

the king is thus made manifest, the taboos themselves arising 

chiefly as a resuit of this hostility and aiming only secondarily, 

and by way of reaction, at an increase of the king s safety, 

dignity or happiness. 

Hostility The reality of this hostile feeling is placed beyond ail 

and^uJder ^'^^sonable doubt when we bear in mind the fréquent occurrence 

of the king of openly cruel practices, such as imprisonment, enforced 

immobility^, starvation^, or even beating"*, especially when we 

1 For a brief général account of projection cp. Bernard Hart, "The 
Psychology of Insanity," 117 ff. 

2 A certain priestly king in West Af rica may not even quit his chair, 
in which he has to sleep sitting. Frazer, "Taboo and the Périls of the 
Soûl," 123. 

3 Frazer, op. cit., 124. 
* Frazer, op. cit., 18. 



take into considération the very widespread custom of killing 
the king at the end of his period of office or as soon as his 
strength or ability show signs of failing — a sinister thème which 
Frazer has treated with such charm of manner and such 
wealth of érudition in the twelve immortal volumes of the 
Golden Bough. Both on account of the actual nature of many 
of its manifestations^ and because of the close unconscious 

^ We may briefly mention hère a few of the main lines along which 
the évidence for the identification of régicide and parricide proceeds: — 

(i) The very person who performs the deed of murder is frequently the 
one who succeeds to the throne; taking this in combination with the fact 
that it is usually the son or some other near relative who is the recognised 
successor, it is évident that there exists a natural tendency for the murderer 
to belong to the murdered king's own family. 

(2) The birth of a son is very frequently associated with the idea of 
<ianger to the father. This danger would appear to be the principal motive 
for the widespread custom of killing the king's son, which seems to be 
regarded as, in many respects, an alternative to the killing of the king 
himself (see Frazer, *The Dying God," Ch. Vï, 160 ff.) Cp, the very fréquent 
legends (of which the story of Œdipus is one) in which a kingly father, to 
avoid threatened danger to himself, exposes or otherwise attempts to murder 
his young son. See Rank, *The Myth of the Birth of the Hero." 

(3) There exist many cases in legend, and some in actual fact, in which 
the son fights with his father for the privilèges of chief tainship ; while in 
at least one case (Frazer, *The Dying God/' 190) the king is made to abdicate 
as soon as his son is bom. 

(4) In the many quaint practices of the Camival type, which, as Frazer 
has shown (*The Dying God," 205 ff.), usually represent, in one at least of 
their aspects, the murder of the king in the shape of the spirit of végétation, 
the death of the old monarch is usually followed, immediately or after an 
interval, by gênerai rejoicing at the coming to power of his successor {cp. 
the well known phrase, **Le roi est mort, vive le roi") showing that the 
idea of the superseding of an outwom potentate is a prominent underlying 
feature of the whole type of ceremony. 

(5) Festivals of this kind, and indeed those connected with the succession 
of kings generally, are usually associated with some kind of sexual orgy, in 
which the relaxation of the usual prohibitions, especially those which relate 
to incest, is often a prominent feature; this fact seems to point to the 
existence of some connection between incest and succession to the kingship, 
such as that which is manifested in the myth of Œdipus. 

(6) This connection is indicated even more clearly by the widespread 
custom of the new king taking over the wife of the king whom he has 
succeeded, even if she should be his own step-mother, or in some cases 
perhaps his real mother (See Frazer, 'The Magic Art and the Evolution of 
Kings," n, 283 ff ., "The Dying God," 193 ff .). Where (as seems to hâve happened 
not infrequently) this is combined with the murder, déposition or defeat 

Ï31 9* 


identification of king and father, to which we hâve already 
referred, it is évident that this hostility is in many of its aspects 
a displaced form of the hâte éléments of the Œdipus complex; 
the historical, sociological and political bearings of which acquire 
in this light, and in the light of the other facts and considé- 
rations brought forward in this chapter, a new, and in many 
respects an altogether overwhelming, significance. 

of the old king, we get both éléments of the Œdipus complex in intimate 
association, and openly expressed. 

(7) Among the prohibitions and conditions to which a king is subject 
during his tenure of office, not the least burdensome are those connected 
with his sexual life. On the one hand his sexual activities are often restricted, 
permitted only under certain circumstances and conditions or even forbidden 
altogether; while on the other hand any failure or weakness of sexual power 
may be made the reason for his déposition or exécution. If the sexual 
jealousy, which is such an important constituent of the Œdipus complex, 
plays an active part in the attitude habitually adopted towards kings 
(especially by those who are hkely to become their successors), such 
restrictions on the king's sexual activity or such a utiHsation of any sexual 
failing on his part as an excuse for his déposition or exécution are only 
what we might expect to find. 

In bringing forward thèse arguments in favour of the opération of the 
Œdipus complex in the treatment accorded to kings, we must not of course 
shut our eyes to the co-operation of other important motives belonging to 
the later and more conscious levels of the mind, such as that emphasised 
by Frazer, according to whom the king is regarded as the embodiment of 
natural fertility, so that, if he were to become old or enfeebled. Nature (in 
virtue of the principles of homoeopathic magie) would suffer from a 
corresponding weakness and produce less abundantly; this beUef naturally 
leading to the désire to kill the king 'while he is still in his prime, lest in 
âge or disease he should endanger the sustenance of the community. Such 
a motive as this (and perhaps still others) may very well coexist with the 
motives connected with the Œdipus complex, in virtue of the psychological 
mechanism of over-determination, just as — as Silberer, Rank, and others 
hâve shown — many myths, legends and neurotic symptoms may give direct 
or symbohc expression at the same time to two or more distinct sets of 



the Divine 

We saw in the last chapter that the feelings with which The rôle of 

men tend to look upon the holders of the hiehest earthlv parent- regard- 
j . , , 1 , 1 f , , T . i"g feelings in 

dignity and power — the heads of churches, states and empires primitive 

— are to a large extent derived from those which had originally notions 

shaped and coloured the child's attitude towards its parents. 

From the position of suprême human authority to that of 

superhuman power is, in imagination, but one further step; and 

accordingly we find that the tendencies and émotions connected 

with the parents can frequendy and easily, by a further process 

of displacement, bridge over the gulf between kings and gods; 

and, by their association with the ideas of the Superhuman 

and the Divine, become important factors in moulding the 

religions feelings of mankind. 

Apart from this however, reasons for the transfer of many 

of the parent-regarding émotions to the sphère of religion are 

not far to seek. There exists a close and obvions correspondence 

between the attitude of the young child towards his parents 

and that of man towards the superhuman powers which he 

personifies as God, the Divine Father. In both cases the 

individuaFs life and destiny are controlled by powers that seem, 

in comparison with his own puny capacity and understanding, 

to be immeasurable in their might and mystery. In both cases 

the health, happiness and even the very existence of the 

individual seem to be dépendent upon the beneficence and 

approval of thèse powers; powers which can be terrible, and 

against which no effort will avail, if once aroused to wrath; 

but which nevertheless can be to some extent controlled and 

made to work in harmony with the individual's needs and 



desires, if the latter will but conduct himself towards them 
obediently and with due persuasiveness and understanding. 

Small wonder then that the adult human being, confronted 
with the mighty forces of nature, the laws of which he is 
compelled to follow, if he would avoid destruction, but which 
— especially if he be ignorant or uncivilised — he cannot com- 
prehend, tends to revert to the attitude of mind in which, in 
childhood, he looked upon his parents as the forces— equally 
powerful, as they then seemed, and equally inscrutable — that 
controlled his fate. In proportion as the child, with increasing 
âge and expérience, loses the delusions he had entertained as 
regards the all-powerfulness, all-knowingness and all-goodness 
of his parents, he begins to realise, both from his own expérience 
and from instruction and tradition, that there are powers in 
the Universe which exceed the greatest human might, powers 
before whom the child's own parents — together with ail other 
mortals — must acknowledge their own humility and impotence, 
powers so vast that it may seem only reasonable and befitting 
to regard the wielder of them as the possessor of those qualities 
of omnipotence and omniscience that were once, in the crude 
ignorance of infancy, vaguely attributed to the parents and to 
other adult persons of importance. The divine and superhuman 
forces, about which the child thus begins to hâve some notions, 
constitute in this way a very natural substitute for the exaggerated 
and idealised estimation of the parents which the child's increas- 
ing knowledge of human life compels him to abandon, but 
which he nevertheless, as we hâve seen {cp. above p. 55), gives 
up reluctantly. 
The divine The displacement of the parent-regarding émotions and 

and the human tendencies in this direction is, in the case of the individual, 
often further facilitated in the three following ways: — (i) owing 
to the generally pronounced animistic tendency of the primitive 
mind, the child naturally and indeed inevitably conceives of 
natural forces in a personal and usually in a human form; 
(2) the child early learns to conceive of the suprême forces of 
the Universe as créative — créative on a large scale, just as 
his own parents and other human beings are créative on a 
small scale; further he learns that he owes his own création 
to God as much as to his own parents — to God ultimately, 
to his parents proximately; (3) in both thèse respects the 




individual tendency to endow the Divinity with attributes 
derived from the parents is greatly stimulated and reinforced 
by the suggestive power of religious tradition, working through 
the channels of direct teaching or of représentation in language, 
literature and art. 

The correspondence between the divine and the human 
parent is one that, for thèse reasons among others, is very 
deeply rooted in the human mind. In an advanced stage of 
culture it may find its most natural expression in the related 
concepts of an ultimate and an immédiate creator respectively, 
but at a more primitive mental level it is usually brought into 
connection with the distinction between remoter ancestors and 
immédiate parents. There can be no doubt that the most 
important aspects of the theory and practice of religion are 
very largely derived from, and influenced by, ancestor worship, 
even though they may not, as Herbert Spencer has contended ^; 
hâve entirely originated from this source. Granted the 
fundamental assumption of animism — the existence of an indi- 
vidual soûl or spirit which is to some extent independent of 
the body and may survive bodily death — it becomes easy to 
attribute to one's dead parents or to one's remoter ancestors 
powers that exceed those of persons who are still alive. There 
is not, as in the case of the living, any obvious and well 
defined limit to their capacity, and it becomes possible there- 
fore to displace freely on to them the exaggerated notions 
which it is no longer possible to hold with regard to parents 
who are still subject to the conditions of earthly existence. 
The tendency which thus arises is reinforced by the very 
gênerai fear of the dead^ which easily attributes to its objects 
an exaggerated power — especiaily for evil. The more remote 

ancestors as 
divine parent 


1 ** Principles of Sociology." Vol. I. 

2 A fear which, as modem psychological knowledge seems to show, 
is largely the resuit of the guilty conscience of the living; the feelings of 
hostiUty (including of course death wishes) which the living had ex- 
perienced towards the dead during their lifetime being projected on to 
the dead (in accordance with the now famihar mechanism, which can be 
studied most clearly in psychopathological disorders such as Paranoia ; 
cp. above pp. ii6, 130); as a resuit of which the dead are conceived as being 
on the whole evilly disposed towards the Hving and consequently to be 
feared. Hence the very gênerai fear of ghosts. Cp. Freud, "Totem and 
Taboo," 88 ff. 




features of 





the ancestors in time, the more easy does it become to assign 
to them a power which is manifestly superior to that of the 
living, though the ideas of the ancestors and of their power 
necessarily become at the same time more shadowy and vague. 

The conditions are thus given for a rehgion of simple 
ancestor worship, such as has existed in very many parts of 
the world^ and has often continued to exist alongside of a 
wider state religion, as for instance in Rome. As a rule 
however a further step is involved, probably because a simple 
ancestor worship of this kind is both too indefinite and too 
individualistic to prove permanently satisfactory, either from the 
point of view of the individual himself or of the community 
of which he forms a part. It is too indefinite because it does 
not provide any sufficiently clear and characteristic object or 
objects upon which the displaced parent-regarding feelings can 
be directed; and it is too individualistic because, so long as 
each family is thrown back solely upon its own ancestors as 
objects of worship, the religions feelings and tendencies aroused 
lack the stimulating force which they dérive from the coopération 
of the herd instinct (in virtue of which the individual is partic- 
ularly liable to be affected by the émotions to which his 
fellows give expression) ^ and through which alone, in many 
cases, religion is able to become a permanent and stable form 
of expression for the displaced parent-regarding tendencies of 
childhood and a social force which has proved to be of the 
greatest importance in the history and development of mankind. 

For thèse and other reasons, ancestor worship is not often 
found in its pure and simple form, but is usually complicated 
and modified in at least two important ways : — (i) a single 
ancestor is selected as the originator and founder of the family, 
the high patriarchal attributes being for the most part reserved 
for him alone; (2) this same ancestor is regarded as the 
founder, not merely of a single family, but of the whole clan, 
tribe, nation or other social unit, or, by a further extension, 
of the whole human race, of ail living beings or, ultimately, of 
the whole Universe. There is thus created the notion of a 

1 For numerôus examples, see Herbert Spencer, "Principles of Socio- 
logy." Vol. I, Part I, Ch. 20. p. 280 ff. 

2 Cp. W. McDougall, *' Social Psychology," 1908, pp. 84 ff., 296 ff. 
W. Trotter, "Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War," 1916. 



single AU-Father, who serves at once as the suprême and 
most satisfying embodiment of the father-ideal for the individual 
and as a potent means of strengthening and iiniting the com- 
munity through the sensé of brotherhood and loyalty that 
attaches to a common worship and a common origin from a 
divine ancestor. The satisf5âng character of the religions con- 
cept that is hère reached is apt to be still further increased 
by a complète or partial fusion of the notion of the divine 
father with that of the kingly father which we hâve already 
discussed. The mythical divine ancestor, the founder of the 
race, is frequently supposed to hâve been originally a king 
also, and it is usual for the reigning line of sovereigns to trace 
their descent more especially from him, Verj?- often too the 
kings, or at any rate the greater ones among them, receive 
divine honours at their death, being then worshipped along 
with the other illustrions ancestors of the tribe, having but 
exchanged their earthly power for a more exalted throne in 

It is in the early stages of tribal ancestor worship of the 
kind we hâve been hère considering that we corne across a 
widespread social and religions System so curions in nature 
that it may undoubtedly rank as one of the most remarkable 
discoveries brought about by the study of primitive man. 
I refer, of course, to Totemism. In Totemism the mythical 
ancestor takes on a non-human form, being as a rule some 
animal, but sometimes also a plant or even an inanimate 
object. Ail examples of the totem class are, as a rule, held 
sacred by those who belong to the respective totem, and must 
be treated with care and révérence, but (in the case of animal 
totems at any rate) are sometimes killed and eaten at a solemn 
sacrificial feast. Combined with thèse religions or quasi-religious 
manifestations of Totemism there are usually to be found 
certain well marked features of social organization. A single 
totem is not, as a rule, common to a whole tribe, but each 
tribe consists of two or more (most often four, but sometimes 
as many as eight) totem clans, which are ail stricdy exogamous, 
no man being allowed to take a wife from his own clan; the 
field of choice being indeed sometimes still further restricted, 
in such a way that the women of only one small section of 
the total tribe are available for this purpose. The sociological 





The totem as 
a father 

Relies of 

Totemism in 


and psychological influences that led to the création of the 
totemic System in a number of widely separated parts of the 
world are still to a large extent a matter of dispute. A number 
of théories hâve been propounded on the subject, and although 
many of them are suggestive, there is perhaps no single one 
that fully and satisfactorily accounts for ail the facts^ Among 
the few points that émerge clearly from the investigations and 
discussions to which the matter has given rise is the connection 
of the totem with the father. It has been shown that the 
totem spirit regularly, either to a complète or to a partial ex- 
tent, plays the father's part in the création of the child; the 
substitution of totem for father being rendered easier by the 
existence of a confused and ignorant state of mind on the 
subject of paternity; which makes it conceivable that the spirit 
of an animal or other object should enter into the mother's 
womb and thus produce conception 2. 

That this vagueness on the subject of paternity in the 
mind of primitive man finds its counterpart even in civilised 
societies^ is shown by the many legends of a supemormal 
birth in which the father is dispensed with or is replaced by 
some non-human being*. The deep rooted and persistent nature 
of the tendency to totemism is shown also by the very fréquent 

^ A clear and instructive examination of the whole question is given 
by Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," Vol. IV. 

2 It is still to some extent a matter of dispute as to how far existing 
races of savages are ignorant of the rôle of the father in reproduction. 
There is much évidence in favour of such ignorance being often very con- 
sidérable and sometimes perhaps complète (See E. S. Hartland, "Primitive 
Paternity," 1910). Some authors however {e. g. Walter Heape, " Sex Antago- 
nisme' and Carveth Read, *'No Paternity," Jour, Royal Anthrop, Inst. 1918, 
XLVm, 146) hâve maintained that the facts do not admit of the assumption of 
complète ignorance. Read especially has shown that such ignorance as exists 
may often be due to social or individual inhibitions, which prevent the know- 
ledge of the true facts (a knowledge which exists in certain persons even in 
primitive communities) from penetrating to the consciousness of the majority 
of the inhabitants. If this view is correct, it reveals an interesting parallel to 
the f ate of sexual knowledge in the individual ; psycho-analytic investigation 
often showing that knowledge of the facts of sex and reproduction can be 
repressed from consciousness, though persisting in the unconscious levels 
of the mind. {Cp. Freud, "Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex," 37 ff., 51.) 

3 Where of course the vagueness in question is beyond ail doubt due 
to repression. 

* E. S. Hartland, "Primitive Paternity." Vol. I, Ch. i. 



occurrence at ail stages of culture of theriomorphic gods, whose 

cuit often leads to certain animais or classes of animais being 

regarded as sacred, just as in the case of totemic communities, 

Even when the gods are no longer habitually regarded as 

animais, they still occasionally take on animal form {cp, the 

fréquent animal disguises of Zeus) or are connected with, or 

represented by, animal symbols {cp. the dove, the pélican, the 

lamb, the fish and the ass in Christianity). In the individual and in the 

mind of the civilised person animais are frequently utilised as individual 

symbols of the parents in dreams and other productions of the "^^ 

Unconscious^. There are indeed persons who expérience a 

peculiar fascination for some kind of animal, which they regard 

with mixed feelings among which love, admiration, awe, disgust 

and hâte are often to be found; those émotions usually pre- 

dominating which are most prominent in the individual's relations 

to his fathen Thus in one case well known to the présent 

writer, in which the ideas connected with the father were 

chiefly those of goodness and wisdom, the hostile aspects being 

much repressed, the owl was looked upon very much in the 

light of an individual totem, the solemn stare and pouting 

figure of the bird appearing to symbolise the kindly beneficence 

and immense wisdom of the (earthly and heavenly) father — with 

just so much of mystery and possibility of evil as to add a 

tinge of awe and horror to the total attitude. Freud ^ and 

Ferenczi^ hâve each reported interesting cases in this connection, 

in both of which the father-regarding tendencies and émotions 

had become displaced on to a particular kind of animal (in 

one case the horse, in the other the fowl) with the resuit that 

1 A fréquent dream in childhood consists in being chased by some 
wild and dangerous animal, which on analysis is almost invariably found 
to represent the father — the dream being comparable as regards conative 
tendency to the games of being pursued, in which children so often delight 
and which arouse in them a pleasant combination of fear and excitement, 
highly tinged with masochistic feeling. As regards mythology, the cases in 
which — as in that of Romulus and Remus — the rôle of foster parent is taken 
over by animais are of course quite numerous (cp. too in this connection 
the récent literary examples of Mowgli and Tarzan; also the dog Nana in 
Peter Pan), while in fairy stories there are also many examples of animais 
being endowed with parent attributes. 

2 "Analyse der Phobie eines fûnfjâhrigen Kmben.'' Jahrbuck/ûr Psycho- 
pathoîogische und Psychoanaîytische Forschungen, 1909. Vol. I, p. i. 

3 "Contributions to Psycho- Analysis," Ch. IX, 204. 


The psycho- 
logical con- 
nection be- 
ism and 


this animal exercised an intense and persistent fascination, in 
which opposing éléments of love and hâte could clearly be 

If, as thus seems probable, we hâve in Totemism a peculiar 
form of displacement of the feelings originally directed to the 
parents (and especially the father), it is not surprising that 
Totemism should be frequently accompanied by manifestations 
of the other, and sexual, aspect of the Œdipus complex. Such 
manifestations are, in effect, not far to seek and are in ail 
probability to be found in the system of Exogamy which almost 
invariably accompanies the institution of Totemism. Whether 
or not Exogamy is co-eval with Totemism (some authorities 
think that it is of later origin), there is now a very fair measure 
of agreement that Exogamy has (consciously^ or xinconsciously) 
been created as a means of avoiding incest. If this view is 
correct it would appear that the connection between Totemism 
and Exogamy (a connection the nature of which had for long 
been anything but clear) is due to the fact that the two 
institutions hâve respectively come into being as the resuit of 
the opération of two closely-joined psychic factors, namely the 
two principal éléments of the Œdipus complex. Just as in the 
individual mind, the présence in any high degree of one of 
thèse éléments tends to bring about the présence of the other, 
so too in societies, the manifestations of the one élément 
tend to be closely correlated with the manifestations of the 

In touching on the subject of Exogamy, we hâve come 
very near to the most fundamental sociological problems 
connected with the main thème of this book. To thèse problems 
and to the whole question of the meaning of Exogamy we shall 
return in a later chapter. For the moment we must leave 
them, in order to pass on to the considération of certain other 

1 Sometimes however, one of thèse opposing éléments is directed to 
the animal, the other to the human parent. Thus, as Mr. Burt has suggested 
to me, it would seem that in delinquents the tender éléments are often with- 
drawn from the parents and manifest themselves in the excessive fondness 
for animal pets, to which Lombroso has drawn attention. ("Criminal Man," 
1911, 62—3.) 

2 Frazer considers that the Australian system of exogamy bears the 
stamp of "deliberate design.*' "Totemism and Exogamy." IV, 112 ff. 

3 Freud, "Totem and Taboo," 198 ff. 



aspects of the influence upon religion of psychic tendencies 
connected with the family. 

We hâve seen that the child's attitude towards his father 
is usually an ambivalent one, /. e. it is determined partly by 
tenderness and affection and partly by hostihty or fear, 
Naturally the relative prédominance of one or other motive 
varies from one case to another, both as regards the religious 
life of individuals and as regards the behefs and forms of 
worship adopted by varions races, nations, sects or dénomi- 
nations. Thus the patemal qualities ascribed to the deity are 
sometimes derived chiefly from that attitude of the child towards 
its father in virtue of which it sees in him a being full of help- 
ful wisdom and tender pity, to whom it can turn for encourage- 
ment, guidance and assistance in the difficult affairs of life, 
and especially in times of trouble; sometimes on the other 
hand more emphasis is laid upon those aspects of the father 
in which he appears as a severe and perhaps cruel master or 
tjT-ant who enforces strict obédience to his harsh commands 
and who inflicts dire penalties upon ail who dare to oppose 
his wishes or defy his laws. In the higher forms of religion 
the more direcdy hostile relations between child and parent 
are seldom openly manifested, the conception of the father as 
wicked or immoral tending to disappear with increasing culture, 
though the notion of obédience to a stern, relentless authority 
may be maintained. This in its turn however frequently gives 
place to the idea of the kindly, helpful and forgiving father, 
according to a process of development which in many respects 
appears to resemble the évolution of thought as regards the 
relations of the individual to the state or the king, to which 
we hâve already drawn attention. It is a change of this nature 
for instance that, more perhaps than ail else, marks the step 
from Judaism to Christianity ; the latter giving promise of a 
reign of kindiiness and forgiveness in place of the harsh and 
uncompromising exercise of patemal authority so characteristic 
of the former. It is for this reason that Christianity (at any 
rate in its primitive form) especially appealed to and encouraged 
the poor, the weak and the helpless, those who were most in 
need of kindness and assistance; and by so doing has en- 
countered the opposition or contempt of those who see the 
patemal authority (and therefore its projection as the authority 

The ambi- 
valent attitude 


the father as 

reflected in 




of the Universe) in a sterner shape^ or of those who (like 
Nietzsche's Supermen), in their own sensé of power and indé- 
pendance, despise ail who» as though théy were still children, 
require the assistance of a beneficent father to help them 
through their lives. 
The splitting In polytheistic religions, or those with polytheistic tenden- 

up of parental ^j^g^ ^-^e différent paternal qualities may be divided among a 
among two or number of divinities; though as a rule there is a single 
moredivinities heavenly father who combines in his person the most exalted 
aspects of créative and paternal power. Especially fréquent is 
the splitting up of what appear to be the désirable and un- 
desirable aspects of the father and the attribution of them to 
distinct deities, so that a kind, benevolent, forgiving and pro- 
tecting divinity, upon the one hand, is contrasted with a stem, 
wicked and cruel one upon the other. The mediaeval conception 
of the Devil corresponds for instance, as has been shown by 
The Devil Ernest Jones ^ in his suggestive work upon this subject, to a 
deity thus obtained by the splitting off of the evil attributes 
of the father; a deity upon whom hatred, fear and even con- 
tempt may be freely poured and who can convenientiy be 
made responsible for nien's ill deeds and evil thoughts^; the 

^ The Puritanical movement represented, in one of its most important 
aspects, an attempt to re-introduce the notion of the stem, relentless 
father. It is interesting to note that there seems to exist an association 
between the puritanical attitude in religion and a harsh, authoritative 
relationship between parents and children. 

'^ "Der Alptraum in seiner Beziehung zu gewissen Formen des mittel- 
alterlichen Aberglaubens." Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde. 

^ Particularly for undesirable thoughts of a sexual nature, the Devil 
being the recognised source of temptations and obsessions of this kind. 
The sexual aspects of the Father God are of course throughout chiefly 
noticeable in his relations to v^omen and in the attitude adopted towards 
him by women. Thus the long séries of amorous adventures on the part 
of Zeus are typical instances of father-daughter incest. In many places the 
cohabitation of a god with a mortal woman, who is regarded as his bride, 
has been an essential part of religious cérémonial; though the god himself 
is often, convenientiy enough, impersonated for this purpose by his priest. 
The very widespread practice of religious prostitution seems to be derived 
from the same source (C/. Frazer, "Adonis, Attis, Osiris," 1. 57 ff.). That girls 
should, before they marry, give themselves to the god, to his représentative, 
or to some other man under his auspices, may be regarded as a custom 
having some relation to the initiation phantasies and cérémonies which we 
hâve already considered; the girl's introduction to sex life being, through 



attitude towards the heavenly father being correspondingly 
purged of thèse undesirable features. The process of duplication^ 
which is frequently operative in other fields than that of religion, 
particularly in those of myth and legend^ arises of course as xhe 

a conséquence of the psychical antagonism and resulting dis- dissociation of 
sociation between the love and the hâte attitudes towards the huheoîogyand 
father, and can easily be made use of in religion owing to the in the individu- 
général correspondence that may appear to exist between the 
benevolent and malevolent aspects of the all-powerful parent 
and the equally inexplicable and uncontrollable aspects of the 
natural forces to which the adult human being is exposed. In 
this way both the love and the hâte éléments in the primitive 
levels of the mind hâve relatively free play without becoming 
involved in moral or emotional conflicts or in intellectual 
contradiction; the double (ambivalent) mental attitude being 
projected so as to form a dualistic principle of the Universe. 

Although of ail the members of the family, the father, as The mother- 
its head, most frequently and regularly undergoes apotheosis, regarding 
the other members of the family are not without considérable religion^ 
influence on the conceptions that are formed as to the nature 
and qualities of divine beings. Foremost as regards such 
influence, after the father, is of course the mother. In a strict 
monotheism the mother éléments would seem to be almost 
always, if not invariably, subordinate to those of the father; the 
former, so far as they are represented at ail, being submerged 
or incorporated into the latter^. But very few religions remain 

this custom, accompUshed by the father, or at least under his guidance and 
with his approval. A social parallel to this religions custom is to be found 
in the droit de seigneur^ in virtue of which the lord of the manor had the 
right to sexnal interconrse with a bride before she conld be claimed by 
her hnsband. 

In the Christian Church, owing, we may suppose, to the increasing 
repression of the more directly sexual aspects of the father-regarding 
feelings, the sexual éléments in the religions attitude of women is more 
frequently directed to Christ than to God the Father (corresponding to a 
brother-sister rather than to the older father-daughter type of affection). 
Nevertheless, the persistence of incestuous tendencies towards the father^ 
can often be observed in individual cases. 

1 Q>. Rank, "The Myth of the Birth of the Hero/' 83 ff. 

2 Though there are indications that the Christian God is sometimes re- 
garded as bisexual (cp. von Winterstein, "Psychoanalytische Anmerkungen zur 
Geschichte der Philosophie/' Imago, 1913, II» 195), comparing in this respect 



The mother- 

son relation- 

ship and its 


The struggle 

the mother 
élément in 

strictly and consisténdy monotheistic; and in most of those that 
show tendencies towards polytheism the mother éléments are 
represented in a separate person or a separate principle, Thus^ 
both in primitive and in more advanced forms of religion it is 
usual to find mother goddesses who bear the same relation to 
the earthly mother as does the father-god to the earthly 

Nevertheless, it would appear that the mother-goddess is, 
at a certain stage of culture at any rate, liable to meet with 
opposition from which the corresponding father-god is usually 
exempt. This opposition would seem to be due to the admixture 
of incestuous passion which is brought over into religion from 
the original attachment of the child (and especially of course 
the son) to his earthly mother. The relations between mother 
and son fairly often find expression in religions stories, as in the 
cases of Cybele and Attis, Ishtar and Tammuz, Mary and Christ 
and (in the displaced form of brother and sister love) Isis and 
Osiris. As a rule however the mother-son relationship is not 
permanent but is disturbed and broken by evil plottings and 
brutal actions on the part of some third person (usually a 
father or a brother substitute), as a resuit of which the young 
son-god often meets with his death. The relations of Attis and 
of Christ to their mothers are of spécial interest in this 
connection, inasmuch as they plainly indicate the existence of 
an inner inhibition on the son's part as well as a séparation 
brought about by interférence from without. Attis according 
at least to some versions of his story, unmans himself on 
discovering the incestuous nature of his affection (as Œdipus 
himself had done, in a symbolic form, by putting eut his eyes). 
In Christ the repression of the mother-regarding tendencies 
seems to hâve led to an attitude of aloofness towards his 
mother, and through her towards ail women {cp, his words 
**Woman, what hâve I to do with thee?," John 2, 4) — an 
attitude that has profoundly affected his followers throughout 
the âges: for in the history of the Christian religion there is 
évidence — even apart from its notorious aversion from and 
distrust of women in gênerai — of the existence of a constant 

with the original bisexual world parents found in some more primitive 
religions, e. g, Ymir, the giant out of whose body the world was made 
according to Scandinavian mythology. 



struggle centering round the idea of the divine mothen In the 
early days of the Church there are accounts and rumours of 
sects which endeavoured to establish the worship of Mary 
alongside that of the Father and the Son, and there is évidence 
to shov^ that the notion of the Holy Ghost corresponds in one 
of its aspects to that of a female deity who complètes the 
natural trinity of Father, Mother and SonK In the Roman 
Church Mary, as the mother of Christ, has received a widespread 
and often profound (though to some extent of course unofficial) 
adoration, being regarded perhaps especially as the helper in 
time of trouble, to whom men and women may go for comfort, 
protection, guidance or forgiveness in just the same way as 
they did to their earthly mother in their childhood: an adoration 
which has tended to call forth a feeling of disgust and horror 
in the Protestant Church, in which the more primite Christian 
tradition of the repression of the mother-regarding feehngs has 
in this respect been kept alive^. 

1 Cp. Frazer. "The Dying God," 5. Gibbon, " Décline and Fall of the 
Roman Empire,'^ 1858, Vol. Vï. Ch. L, 223. The notion of the Holy Ghost 
as a mother is also found to occur spontaneously in children. Cp. Sully, 
" Studies of Childhood," 132. 

2 The repression of the mother-regarding feelings has had its influence 
not only on the attitude towards the mother élément in religion and on 
the attitude towards women in gênerai, but also on everything that is 
(consciously or unconsciously) associated with women and especially with 
the mother. There is one curious instance of this influence which has been 
of very considérable importance in the history of philosophy, science and 
of man's attitude towards some of the most important problems of life and 
mind. There exists a very gênerai association, on the one hand between 
the notion of mind, spirit or soûl and the idea of the father or of mascuUnity; 
and on the other hand between the notion of the body or of matter 
{materia = that which belongs to the mother) and the idea of the mother 
or of the féminine principle. The repression of the émotions and feehngs 
relating to the mother has, in virtue of this association, produced a tendency 
to adopt an attitude of distrust, contempt, disgust or hostility towards the 
human body, the Earth, and the whole material Universe, with a corre- 
sponding tendency to exalt and over-emphasise the spiritual éléments, whether 
in man or in the gênerai scheme of things. It seems very probable that a 
good many of the more pronouncedly idealistic tendencies in philosophy 
may owe much of their attractiveness in many minds to a sublimation of 
this reaction against the mother, while the more dogmatic and narrow 
forms of materialism may perhaps in their tum represent a retum of the 
repressed feelings originally connected with the mother. {Cp. Von Winter- 
stein, op, cit.) 

145 10 



depiction of 
the parents 
and of the 


complex in 



The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which has 
played such a prominent part in Christian theology and 
theological discussion, is of course only one of the many 
similar instances of the notion of the supematural birth^ Like 
many of thèse other instances, it is due, not merely to the fact 
of its being a relie from a time when there was little certainty 
or knowledge as to the nature of paternity, but to the fact 
that it constitutes an active expression of a strong (though 
usually unconscious) wish — a wish that is compounded from 
a number of separate, though of course related, éléments, of 
which the chief are perhaps the foUowing: — (i) the désire for 
"purity" on the part of the mother, in order that she may 
belong to the revered rather than to the sexually attractive 
but despised group of women {cp, above p. iio) — a désire 
which at the same time purifies the mother-regarding love of 
its grosser éléments and renders it less liable to repression; 
(2) the désire to be independent of the father and to owe 
nothing to him (cp. above p. 109); (3) a désire to avoid sexual 
jealousy of the father together with the envy, hostility or 
contempt that would inevitably — especially in view of the 
gênerai Christian attitude towards sex — accompany the notion 
of the father as a sexually active being. Thèse factors combine 
to make the idea of sexual relations between the parents one 
that is peculiarly distasteful to their children, particularly when 
it is a question not of ordinary human parents with their 
admitted imperfections but of their heavenly and perfected 
counterparts, and the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception 
satisfactorily removes the necessity for this idea 2. 

In more primitive forms of religion the correspondence of 
the heavenly family to the earthly family and the projection 
on to the former of the feelings and tendencies aroused in 
connection with the latter (and particularly those which enter 
into the Œdipus complex) can as a rule be even more clearly 
and unmistakably observed. Thus in primitive cosmogonies^ 

1 See E. S. Hartland, '* Primitive Paternity," Vol. I. Ch. L 

2 It is suggestive to note that, in order to make sure that Mary had 
no connection with men whatsoever, it was decided (Papal Bull 1853) that 
she did not even hâve a father. 

3 Cp, Lorenz, '* Das Titanenmotiv in der allgemeinen Mythologie," 
ImagOj n. 



there are usually two world parents whose relations to each 
other are disturbed by their children, the son as a rule becoming 
hostile to the father, deposing him from his position of 
authority, killing or unmanning him or separating him from 
the mother, Of thèse world parents the father is very frequently 
regarded as a personification of the heavens, while the mother 
is indentified with the Earth^; Heaven and Earth being some- 
times considered as having been separated by their children 
from the close embrace in which they had previously been 
lying (as in the case of Atlas, who in this way keeps Heaven 
apart from Earth — a story which has many parallels, especially 
in Polynesian M3^hology). In the Greek version Ouranos and 
Gaia (of whom the latter seems to hâve been the mother of 
the former, their union being thus incestuous) are separated 
by their son Cronos, who, at the instigation of his mother, 
déposes and castrâtes his father and marries his sisters Cybele, 
the mother of the gods. In the next génération thèse barbarous 
relations between parents and children are repeated. Cronos, 
fearing that he in his tum will become a victim to the same 
treatment as that which he himself had accorded to his father, 
endeavours to escape the threatened danger by eating his children 
as soon as they are born. Zeus however, being saved by a 
stratagem of his mother, performs the very act which his father 
had sought to prevent, and himself becomes firmly seated on 
the throne of Heaven and is married to his sister Hera. 

In primitive myths of this kind we see the hostile relations indications of 
between successive générations displayed crudely and nakedly, ^^^r^^ ^ession 
without any attempt at disguise or concealment. In others, 
probably dating from a more cultured epoch, there are signs 
of a mental conflict, the hostile actions being no longer per- 
formed with the same singleness of purpose and freedom from 
inhibition, but being accompanied by indications of a sensé of 

1 The very gênerai identification of the Earth with the mother has 
probably played an important part in the history of human culture 
inasmuch as it has afforded a ready means of rendering psychic energy 
available for the practice of agriculture; the cultivation of the Earth 's surface 
being from the psychological point of view a displacement of the original 
incestuous desires directed to the mother. On the other hand the very 
closeness of the association between mother and Earth has in some places 
led to a reluctance to till the soiî, such an act being looked upon as 
impious (See Frazer, ^'Adonis, Attis, Osiris," I. 80 ff.). 

147 10* 


guilt, or of an ability to understand or sympathise with the 
opponent's point of view. In the battle of the Titans against 
Zeus, some of the former fought on the side of the gods (l e. 
RebelUon and defended their parents) and those who rebelled against the 
punishment patemal power were in the end defeated and punished (though 
the punishment itself may sometimes — by a pièce of over- 
determination — constitute a continuation of the rebellions deed, 
as in the above-mentioned case of Atlas); Adam and Eve, on 
transgressing the divine prohibition to eat of the tree of know- 
ledge {cp. the forbidden question motive, p. 104) are tumed out 
of Eden ; the builders of the Tower of Babel {cp, the attempt 
to storm Heaven by Otos and Ephialtes in Greek mythology) 
likewise meet with disaster; and in the noble story of 
Prometheus, who stole the fire^ from Heaven to benefit man- 
kind, the offender is brought into conflict with the father from 
the highest motives and bears his punishment with a résignation 
and fortitude that places him among the most splendid figures 
in Greek tragedy. 

Christ himself is only one of the last of the long line of 
filial insurgents, substituting as he does, to a considérable ex- 
tent, the milder rule of the Son for the harsher régime of the 
Judaic Father-God. In so doing he surrenders his life, thus 
suffering the penalty which, in one form or another, overtook 
his predecessors. In his case however, as in theirs, the penalty 
itself is over-determined. Christ dies : — in the first place, as a 
scapegoat, taking upon himself the guilt of his brothers and 
hence becoming the saviour of mankind, who are by his 
sacrifice freed from the conséquences of their equal guilt 2; 
secondly, as one who suffers the talion punishment for the 
original sin of the son towards the father, the guilt attaching 
to the death of the father being wiped out by the death of the 
son; thirdly, by this very sacrifice manifesting his divine nature 
and raising himself to a place alongside the father, thus 
ultimately pointing the way to a reconciliation between father 
and son (a reconciliation that is already hinted at in the story 
of Prometheus). 

1 Ultimately of course a sexual symbol. Cp. Abraham, "Traum und 
Mythus," 26 ff. 

''^ For a full treatment of the Scapegoat motive. See Frazer, "The 



Not only religious beliefs, but many religious rites, cere- Famiiy 

monies and practices may be shown to be connected with the ^^^^P^es in 
• 1 fT • i.t religious nies 

meas, leelmgs and tendencies which centre round the famiiy. and practices 

We hâve already seen how the rite of baptism (besides of 

course its significance as a purification or washing away of 

sin)^ is linked on to the ideas of rebirth and initiation, with Baptism and 

ail that thèse imply {cp. above Chs. VIII and IX). Still more Confirmation 

intimately connected with the idea of initiation, and corresponding 

to the initiation cérémonies that are performed at the time of 

adolescence in so many parts of the world, is the Christian 

sacrament of Confirmation; which can, appropriately enough, 

only be conducted by a senior member of the Church (father 


Of particular interest in this connection is the central rite The 

of the Christian Church — the sacrament of the Communion 2, Communion 
which has connections with the practices and beliefs of 
Totemism, with the widespread religious rite of sacrifice and 
with the relations between father and son to which we hâve 
just had occasion to refer. 

Although Totemism is by many authorities supposed to Totemic and 
hâve been foreign to the culture and religions of those peoples eie^ments^/nthe 
from whom western civilisation has chiefly sprung, Robertson Communion 
Smith has brought much évidence to show that many of the 
religious and social practices of the Semitic races bear traces 
of totemic origin^. Among thèse not the least important are Their psycho- 
those connected with sacrifice — animal and human. In animal ^^ff^fancF" 
sacrifice the slaughtered animal was originally regarded as a 
kinsman*; it was also at the same time related to or identified 
with the god who protected the animal and in whose honour 
the animal was slain^; it was also in many cases regarded 
with mingled feelings of révérence and horror very similar to 
those with which the totem animal is often looked upon^, the 
Semitic concept of Uncleanness corresponding closely to the 

1 The '* original sin" which it is intended to remove being again not 
unconnected with the famiiy complexes. 

2 Cp. throughout, with regard to this subject, Freud, "Totem and 
Taboo," 220 ff. 

3 '* Religion of the Sémites." 

4 Op. cit. 289. 

5 Op. cit. 294. 
^ Op. cit. i2g^. 



Polynesian notion of Taboo. In thèse respects we hâve a 
striking resemblance to Totemism as practised in more primi- 
tive commmiities. 

New we hâve seen that the totem animal is, in one of its 
most important aspects, a father surrogate. The slaying of the 
totem animal, therefore, ultimately represents the murder of 
the father; atthe same time the slaughtered animal represents 
a sacrifice in honour of the father and a gift to him. We hâve 
hère an example of the ambivalent attitude towards the totem- 
father; the father, as theGod to whom the sacrifice is offered, 
is honoured and regarded with affection; the father, as the 
animal, is cruelly killed. At the same time the victim wonld 
appear in another aspect to stand as a substitute for the son 
who, as we hâve seen, may be slain instead of the father, 
atoning by his own death for the intended or wished-for 
mnrder of the father. 

As regards the eating of the sacrifice, it may perhaps in 
one respect be regarded as the consmnmation of the hostile 
act, Cronos eats his children in order to be sure of getting 
rid of them ; and the swallowing of children or even of grown 
men by an ogre, giant, monster or witch is a not uncommon 
thème in folklore. The eating of the parents by the children 
in their turn is a natural and obvious form of revenge; and 
has actually been practised by some primitive people^. 

At the same time eating may be regarded as an honour 
or as a sign of affection; as is necessarily to some extent the 
case, since the totem animal represents the god and is itself 
as a rule sacred and inviolable except in certain circumstances. 
This aspect indeed obviously plays a part of great importance 
in the Christian sacrament in its présent form 2. 

The most important aspect of ail however is that in virtue 
of which the eater is supposed to acquire or to participate in 
the nature, qualities or properties of that which is eaten, the 
worshipper thus becoming one with the God whose flesh and 
blood he consumes; in this way at one and the same time: — 
(a) himsdf acquiring directly some of the qualities of the 

1 Frazer, "The Dying God," 14. 

2 For a most important and illuminating discussion of the psychology 
of eating and of the other activities of the mouth, see Abraham, "Ober die 
frûhesten prâgenitalen Entwicklungsstufen der Libido," Imago^ 1916, IV. 



divinity, (b) becoming assured of his kinship with God, the 
common meal being regarded as the especial symboI of this 
kinship (as indeed of kinship in gênerai) ^ (c) becoming like- 
wise assured of his kinship with his fellow worshippers, ail 
becoming brothers by participation in the divine meal and in 
the underlying ideas — including of course the original father 
hatred and the atonement for this — which this meal implies. 

Thus it appears that the food which is consumed in the 
Communion represents: — 

(i) the Father (a) as hated and killed, 
(b) as honoured. 

(2) the Son, as slain to atone for the father-murder and 
offered up in honour to the Father. 

The actual consumption of the food represents: — 

(i) the eating of the Father 

(a) as a sign of hostility, 

(b) as a sign of honour or affection, 

(c) as a means of partaking of the divine nature (i. e. 
acquiring the father attributes). 

(2) the eating of the Son, as a means of establishing 
identity with him and thus sharing in the atonement which he 
bas made by his sacrifice. 

(3) the establishment of a sensé of communion and of 
kinship between the fellow worshippers themselves and between 
them and the deity, through participation in the divine meal 
with ail that this implies. 

We thus see that, as regards both religions beliefs and The influence 
religious practices, the émotions, feelings and tendencies tendenck;s^ in 
originally aroused in connection with the family play a part of religion 
great importance. The gods in whose form man has personified 
the natural forces of the Universe, or whom he has himself 
called into being, are to a very large extent projections of the 
infantile conceptions of the parents — beings whom he has 
created in his phantasy to serve as objects on to whom might 
be transferred that part of what remains of his primitive atti- 
tude towards the parents which has found no adéquate subli- 
mation on to living human beings. Sometimes the phantasy is 
worked out entirely in the dramatic form, the desires and 
tendencies connected with the family finding their projected 

1 Robertson Smith, op. cit.y 270. 


Value of 
religion as a 

fonn of 


expression in the behaviour of the divine beings. It is for this 
reason that the conduct of the gods is, from the moral stand- 
point, often below rather than above the human standard; the 
crude and primitive wishes belonging to the infancy of the 
individual and the race, wishes that so far as adult and civilised 
life is concerned hâve been outgrown or at least repressed and 
held in check, finding a relatively unobstructed outlet in the 
(usually archaic) forms and ritual of religion. At other times 
it is only the figures of the gods themselves that are projected, 
the worshipper remaining himself in intimate contact with 
them through a relationship v^hich represents a sublimated 
form of that which existed between child and parent. 

In spite of its basis in primitive infantile fixations, there 
can of course be no doubt that religion has performed a v^ork 
of very great value in the history of human culture. Both in 
the case of the individual and in that of the race the displace- 
ment of the primitive tendencies directed tov^ards members of 
the family has been, as we hâve seen, a matter of the greatest 
importance, but at the same time of the greatest difficulty, in 
the history of mental and moral development. The provision 
of a suitable outlet for those parts and aspects of the tendencies 
in question which could find no adéquate object among living 
human beings was of itself no mean service. The establishment 
of a moral authority which should stand in the same relation 
to adult men as parents do to children, thus affording a higher 
sanction for morality than could otherwise be obtained under 
primitive conditions; the solidification of the social bond 
between neighbours and feUow tribesmen, through the con- 
sciousness of a common worship and a common parentage 
from the same divine ancestor; the utilisation of the 
exaggerated and idealised notions that had been formed con- 
ceming the parents in early childhood, to create the concept 
of a being of more than human virtue, a being who enjoined 
the nearest possible approach to his own divine perfection on the 
partofhis human followers, thus contributing in no small measure 
to the raising of the level of morality; the confirmation (through 
the idealised and sublimated love of the divine parents) of the stage 
of object-love as contrasted with the lower stage of Narcissisme; 

^ As Freud has pointed oui ("Totem and Taboo," 147), there exists a 
parallelism, on the one hand between the stage of Magic and Animism and 



the stimulation of interest in natural forces, objects and events 
by endowing them with the strong emotional tone originally 
connected with the parents; thèse are some (and only some) 
of the benefits which humanity has derived from the dis- 
placement of the primitive parent-regarding feelings that is 
involved in religion. 

It is easy of course to point to the numerous evils that 
religion has directly or indirectly brought about; conservatism, 

the Narcissistic level of individual development, and on the other hand 
between the stage of Religion and that of the first object-love as directed 
to the parents. In Magic man attributes omnipotence to himself, while in 
Religion omnipotence is transferred to the gods, or in so far as it is re- 
lained by the individual, can be exercised only through the gods; man no 
longer finds the satisfaction of his own needs in and through himself, but 
obtains his desires only through his relations with others whom he loves 
and vénérâtes. 

In rehgion too however there exist, beside the object-regarding 
éléments, certain éléments which are derived from, and give expression 
to, the Narcissistic impulses. God is to some extent a projection of the 
primitive mental egocentricity and self-sufficingness which the infant enjoys 
before it becomes clearly conscious of the distinction between its own 
organism and the external world — a distinction which necessarily brings 
with it a gradually increasing réalisation of the individual's limitations and 
dependence. Unwilling to give up the primitive sensé of power and 
importance which a growing insight into reality shows to be unfounded, Man 
displaces on to his God the desired quaUties which he can no longer 
attribute to himself and deludes himself into believing that he can still 
attain his wishes, through prayer and similar rites, by merely wishing them 
aloud to God. This mechanism is clearly seen al Avork in those persons 
who (like the late Kaiser Wilhelm II) treat their God as a being whose 
principal function it is to approve and carry to fulfilment their oAvn 
ambitions, schemes and undertakings. 

The conception of the Devil also is to a very considérable extent 
derived from the Narcissistic impulses — the individual projecîing on to 
**the author of evil" those aspects of himself of which he disapproves 
(more particularly perhaps the sexual aspects). In this way he, in a sensé, 
frees his own personality from tabooed wishes of whose opération in 
himself he would otherwise become unpleasantly aware, and in this way 
absolves himself from the responsibility for actions committed at the 
instigation of thèse wishes. 

These self-regarding aspects constitute without doubt a most important 
factor in the psychology of Religion and serve to remind us once again 
of the limitation of our psychological treatment. They fall outside our présent 
thème, inasmuch as they take their origin from a mental level phylogenetically 
and ontogenetically prior to that at which are developed the psychic relations 
of the individual to his family which constitute our subject in this volume. 



intolérance, persistent opposition to the progress of scientific 
or unprejudiced thought, the fostering of manifold delusions 
and absurdities, the rétention of vast masses of mankind in 
superstitions fear and ignorance when they shonld hâve been 
acquiring confidence and knowledge. In spite however of thèse 
and of the many other very serions charges that may be brought 
against it, religion can claim to hâve played a very necessary 
and bénéficiai rôle in the past history of culture. Sublimation 
is, as we hâve seen, a process that works slowly and by finely 
graduated steps, so that neither in the individual nor the race 
can we expect to see far-reaching moral transformations rapidly 
and easily achieved. The feehngs and tendencies of the child 
in relation to the family environment are in many of their 
aspects so primitive and crude and yet so powerful and 
persistent, that we must welcome gladly any means of displacement 
that has proved itself of value to the individual and to Society. 
It is for this service, above ail others, that we are indebted to 
rehgion in the past. 
The future of As regards the future, it is évident that the needs of 

religion humanity to which religion has ministered will, in some sensé 
at any rate, long continue to exist. The backward pull of the 
tendencies of infancy and childhood, forming, as they do, the 
foundation upon which ail subséquent desires and aspirations 
are built up; the closeness of the similarity between the 
situation of the adult confronted with the vast and overwhelming 
power of Nature and that of the child who helplessly dépends 
upon his parents both for happiness and life — thèse are influences 
which may well continue to make religion in some form a 
permanent necessit5^ 

Nevertheless it would appear that the future progress of 
human culture will demand a verj^ considérable modification 
and purification of most existing religions forms. The study of 
the psychology of religion is showing that thèse forms are, for 
the most part, based on crude unconscious motives which hâve 
to be outgrown and superseded if civilisation is to prosper and 
advance. In retaining and fostering thèse forms we are in many 
cases playing into the hands, not of the higher, but of the 
baser and more primitive aspects of our nature^ aspects which, 
at our présent level of development, it is necessary indeed to 
understandj but not to venerate or even to approve. Even in 



so far as the forms of religion give expression not so much to 
the direct promptings of thèse baser aspects as to the reactions 
we hâve formed against them, it must be remembered that true 
moral advance lies in sublimation rather than in repression 
and that so long as the humah mind confines itself to the 
purely négative task of opposing its own primitive tendencies, 
it will never achieve either true émancipation or true 

Further, the study of religion shows that the conceptions 
which religion has formed as to the nature and working of the 
Universe hâve arisen as products of the human émotions, having 
no necessary counterparts in the real world; much the same 
indeed in this respect as the inventions of the fairy stories and 
imaginative games of childhood or the day-dreams, romances 
and novels of a later âge. In adult life such phantasies must 
either be abandoned or, if indulged in, recognised for what 
they are — productions of the mind which, apart from objective 
évidence, hâve no valid claim upon reality. They may indeed 
guide us in our ideals and aspirations and so lead ultimately 
to the reconstruction of the outer world through our own 
efforts, but in themselves they must be held distinct from the 
order of reality belonging to this outer world. Onty so will 
Man achieve his fuU stature and be able to play that part in 
Naturels scheme of things to which, in virture of his intellectual 
powers and his moral aspirations, he appears to be entitled. 

1 Cp, J. C. Flùgel, " Freudian Mechanisms as Factors in Moral Deve- 
lopment/' British Journal of Psychology^ 1917, VHI, 477. 



The affective 

reactions of 

the parent 

towards the 


In dealing thus far with the psychic aspects of the filio- 
parental relations in their origin, nature and development, we 
hâve for the most part based our considérations on the stand- 
point of the child rather than on that of the parent. Such a 
course would seem to be justified from the genetic point of 
view by the fact that every individuàl has first to be a child 
before he can become a parent, and that consequently, though 
his attitude as a parent is very liable to be influenced by his 
expérience as a child, there can be no corresponding influence 
of a converse nature. As a matter of fact, however, we hâve, 
in the course of our considération of the psychic development 
of the child in relation to the influences emanating from the 
family, fairly often had occasion to concem ourselves at least 
indirectly with the mental attitude of the parents as a factor 
in this development. 

Thus we hâve seen that the direction of the child's 
affection to the parent of the opposite sex rather than to the 
one of his own sex is probably determined largely by the 
extent of the affection which the child in his tum receives from 
the two parents respectively ; the heterosexual inclinations of 
the parents causing them on the whole, and in the absence of 
any powerful factors tending to produce an opposite resuit, to 
give their love most freely towards those of their children who 
are of the opposite sex to their own. We hâve seen too that 
the nature and duration of the feelings of envy, jealousy and 
hâte which a child is liable to expérience towards one or other 
of its parents are to a very considérable extent dépendent on 
the behaviour of this parent towards the child, It is évident 



also from our previous considérations that there is likely to 
be a quantitative as well as a qualitative correspondence between 
the love and hâte which a child may feel towards its parents 
and the manifestation of corresponding émotions in the parents 
themselves. Ail that is left for us to do in this direction is to 
look a little more closely into some of the factors which 
détermine the nature and extent of the affective reactions of 
the parent towards the child. 

It is now pretty generally agreed among psychologists The instinctive 
that the love of parents to their children takes place in virtue ^^^^f chlMren^^ 
of the formation of a sentiment ^ or organisation of instinctive 
dispositions about an idea (in this case the idea of the child), 
and it is further usually supposed that in this sentiment a 
leading part is played by a particular instinctive disposition — 
a disposition which manifests itself in consciousness in an 
émotion of more or less spécifie quality, to which McDougall, 
following Ribot, has given the now familiar term "tender 
émotion." Now there are clear indications that the energy 
involved in this disposition (like that of ail other instinctive 
dispositions) can play a part — and normally does play a part 
— in many other sentiments besides that which is concemed in 
the love of a parent towards his (or her) child. For this reason The love of 
the emotional outflow along the lines of this latter sentiment cijjdren^stands 
varies to some extent in inverse proportion to the outflow in reciprocal 
along the hnes of other sentiments. Thus the amount of love ^fhe^°"rents*'° 
which a parent can bestow upon a child is limited by the other interests 
amount of the affection and interest which he bestows upon other ^^^ affections 
persons and other things. The parent who has no other occupation 
in life than the care of his or her children is usually bound 
to thèse children by emotional ties of a much doser, more 
intimate and more intensive nature than is one whose énergies 
are partially absorbed by outside interests and occupations. The 
parent of a single child will, as a rule, be more strongly attached 
to that child than the parent of many children will be to any 

1 Mr. Shand's term, adopted by McDougall, is perhaps (in England at 
any rate) the most generally used and understood in this connection. The 
term Constellation is, however, used in the same sensé by psycho-analytic 
wrilers. A Sentiment (or Constellation) differs from a complex only in 
that it manifests itself openly in consciousness, vi^hereas the complex is 



The consé- 
quent Jealousy 
parent and 


interests of 

parents and 


one of his. Again, the parent whose sexual émotions and ten- 
dencies hâve but little opportunity for discharge will be apt to 
lavish a greater amount of affection on his children than one 
who is leading a more active sexual life. Thus it is that wido- 
wers, widows and those who are unhappily married^ frequently 
display a more than normal degree of attachment to their 
children, the latter receiving, in addititon to the love that would 
ordinarily fall to their share, the displaced affection which 
would otherwise find its outlet in the love of v^fe or husband. 
For this reason the tie between such parents and their children 
is apt to be more than usually close ; and ail psychological 
characteristics which are produced by such a tie will occur 
more readily in thèse cases than in others. In order to avoid 
this emotional overloading of the filio-parental tie, it will 
usually be necessary for such parents to find compensation 
elsewhere for the energy which cannot be directed to its normal 
goal, and for the measures undertaken with a view to the pré- 
vention of undue fixation of the children's love upon their 
parents to be prosecuted with more than usual care and energy, 

The fact that the love available for offspring and for spouse 
respectively stand thus to some extent in reciprocal relation to 
one other, renders inévitable a certain amount of compétition 
for this love, whenever the demands from both sides are strong 
and persistent. We hâve already seen how from this source 
j'ealousy may arise in the cbild towards the parent of his or 
her own sex. A similarly conditioned jealousy will often arise 
also in the parent, though in this case the hostile feelings will 
frequently be confined to the Unconscious and will be dis- 
coverable only indirectly through their manifestations or through 
a process of analysis, This jealousy may nevertheless be 
productive of much harm in family life; and, when présent in 
high intensity, may lead to permanent estrangement and 
bitterness between parents and children just as surely as may 
corresponding feelings on the part of the child. 

Just as in the case of children the hostile émotions towards 
the parents that arise from jealousy are liable to be powerfuUy 

1 Often, too, unmarried mothers ; though in this case, owing to the fact 
that under existing social conditions children bom out of wediock cause more 
than the usual amount of anxiety and trouble, love is very liable to be 
complicated or even replaced by hâte. 



reinforced by those due to more gênerai interférence with the 

child's desires, so too in the case of the parents, any ill-feelings 

that they may bear towards their children as a resuit of 

jealousy are likely to be complicated by other causes of 

hostility. If it be to some extent inévitable that children should 

corne to regard their parents as obstacles to the full attainment 

of their own desires and as unwelcome causes of interférence 

with their most cherished activities, parents hâve at least equal 

reason to complain similarly of their children. The responsi- 

bility, the effort, the anxiety, involved in rearing children, xhe sacrifices 

diminish very considerably the time and energy available for involved in 

more directly personal occupations and enjoyments. To some P^^^"^*^*^^ 

extent the individual inevitably sacrifices himself in becoming 

a parent, in accordance with the gênerai biological law which 

Spencer has designated the antagonism between individuation 

and genesis; and this sacrifice of personal comforts, pleasures, 

satisfactions and ambitions does not as a rule take place without 

some degree of resentment being felt against those whose 

existence nécessitâtes the sacrifice. Even where — owing to 

robust health, abundant energy, ample means, state relief or 

other circumstances — children demand but little sacrifice of the 

major aims and occupations of life, the very considérable 

différence between the points of view of children and those 

of adults and the largely incompatible nature of the conditions 

and activities that appeal to their respective minds tend to 

make the constant présence of children, especially within the 

confines of a small home, inevitably to some extent a cause of 

annoyance to the parents. As Bernard Shaw ^ so well points 

out, children are indeed to some extent necessarily and un- 

avoidably a nuisance to grown-up persons; with their ill- 

regulated and impulsive energy and their disregard of the 

habits and conventions to which their seniors hâve become 

accustomed, they constitute an ever présent menace to the 

comfort and tranquillity of adult life — a menace from which 

even the most devoted parent must sometimes wish that he 

coiold free himself. 

The mother, owing to the greater demands which children Theirinfluence 
make upon her time and health and energy is perhaps that ^^ ^^ mother 
one of the parents to expérience most keenly such hostile 

1 "Parents and Children." 



feelings, though the existence of a strong counter-impulse 
towards maternai love wiil often insure repression of thèse feel- 
ings into the unconscious; so that it usually requires a process 
of analysis to reveal the often strong resentment that a mother 
may entertain towards the child who so seriously interfères 
wi her more directly individual needs and aspirations ^ 
On the father The interférence of children with the activities and desires 

of the father is usually less direct and the iU-will which fathers 
bear towards their children is therefore more apt to be aroused 
in conséquence of jealousy than is the corresponding feehng 
of the mother. Nevertheless, in the case of the father too, 
there almost always sooner or later anses some degree of 
interférence with his pleasure, his comfort, his work or his 
ambitions; so that he feels that his children constitute a burden 
which seriously hampers his individual progress or enjo5niient. 
Identification The hostile feelings of parents towards their children which 

with^its er^^^d^ ^^^ ^^^^^ origin f rom one or more of thèse sources are often 
parent powerfuUy stimulated and reinforced by an unconscious process 
in virtue of which the child is identified with the parent's own 
parent (the child's grandparent). This tendency to identify child 
with grandparent is one which would seem to be deeply 
implanted in the human mind^. Thus in several parts of the 

^ Thus the analysis of dreams occurring during pregnancy would 
seem to show that a surprisingly large number of thèse hâve as their 
principal motive the death of the child which the mother cames in her 
womb. Nor do such death wishes on the part of the mother fail to mani- 
fest themselves on occasion in the mother*s waking thoughts and actions. 
Abortion and attempts at abortion are of course extremely common 
(especially where, through ignorance, carelessness or législative inter- 
férence, the more humane method of préventive sexual intercourse is not 
practised), but, even after birth, attempts of one kind or another on the 
hves of children are by no means rare, even in civilised societies to-day. 
(The practice of infanticide in more primitive communities is of course 
notorious). I am assured by one who has good opportunities for obser- 
vation on this matter that "practical child murder (by slow and safe 
methods) is far commoner than the newspaper reading public imagines: 
and it is usually the mother who attempts the process"- 

As a milder method of disposing of an unwanted child, a mother will 
often attempt to leave it in some institution for the care of children. So 
much is this the case that almost the first question the authorities of such 
institutions hâve to ask themselves, when the mother brings a child, is 
whether she is trying to get rid of it. 

' See e. g. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," III, 298. 



world grandparents are supposed to become re-incarnated in 

their grandchildren — a belief which is probably responsible for 

the widespread practice (observed among others by the ancient 

Greeks) of naming a child after its grandparent, especially in 

the case of eldest sons who frequently receive the narae of 

their patemal grandfather^. 

For the grounds of this belief and the tendencies which Causes of this 

hâve given rise to it, it is probable that we must look to the ^^"^^1^^^^,^*! 
..,.., , , . , , ., , , , parent-child to 

similanties between the relations of parent to child and those previous 

which had existed a génération earlier between child and ^^l^donsbr 

parent. As we hâve just seen, the feelings that are liable to 

be evoked by thèse relationships are in certain respects not 

dissimilar, and it would appear as though the situation in which 

an individual is placed when he becomes a parent serves to 

call up in him some of the partially forgotten and partially 

outgrown émotions and tendencies which he had experienced 

in his own childhood and to direct them now upon his child 

in the same way as he had formerly directed them upon his 

parent. Thus the new position in which a father finds himself 

in compétition with his son for the affection of his wife revives 

in the Unconscious a memory of the former situation in which 

as a child he competed with his father for the love of his 


The identification of child with grandparent would seem 

to be helped also by the intimate connection with a curious 

but not infrequent product of imagination which has been 

called by Ernest Jones **the phantasy of the reversai of 

générations 2." According to this phantasy — to which attention The "phantasy 

had also been called by psychologists other than those of the ^^^of'^generl-^^ 

psycho-analytic school, notably by Sully^ — it is supposed that, tions" 

as children grow bigger and finally attain to adult stature, their 

parents, as they increase in âge, undergo a corresponding 

diminution; so that eventuaUy a complète reversai of size as 

regards the two générations is attained, those who were once 

parents being now reduced to a position very similar to that 

of children, while the original children, through their increase 

^ See e. g. Frazer, 'Totemism and Exogamy," H, 302. *'Taboo and the 
Périls of the SouI," 370. 

2 " Papers on Psycho-Analysis/' 658. 

3 " Studies of Childhood/' 105. 

161 11 


in size and power, are themselves able to behave in a quasi- 
parental manner to their parents. The ultimate psychological 
foundations of this quaint bdief are as yet not clearly under- 
stood, though it is fairly certain that the notions of personal 
immortality and of metempsychosis, together with the great 
emotional significance in the child's mind of the ideas connected 
with bodily size, play an important part in this connection. 
Whatever be the origin of this phantasy, the persistence of 
some remnants of it in the Unconscious is admirably adapted 
to serve as a means whereby an individual may identify his 
children with his parents and then direct upon the former 
the hostile émotions aroused in connection with the latter. The 
fact that such an individual is now possessed of superior 
strength and power, whereas formerly he had been relatively 
weak and helpless, makes it tempting for him to use this 
opportunity for taking revenge for the real or supposed injuries 
he had suffered in his childhood^ In this way children are 
liable to become somètimes the innocent victims of bulljring or 
nagging which, according to the principles of justice, are due 
to their grandparents rather than to themselves. When 
combined with a violent parent hatred, such identification of 
children with their grandparents may take on tragic proportions 
and lead to the direst conséquences ; and it is probable that 
in the majority if not in ail of those sad cases, where a parent 
conceives a permanent and unreasoning antipathy to one or 
more of his children, the foundations of the dishke are to be 
found in such a combination of unconscious or semi-conscious 

This process of identification is not however operative only 
with regard to hatred. It may exert also a powerful influence 
upon the direction of love and is often of spécial importance 

1 This is somètimes shown quiteopenly in poor families, where the 
parents "don't believe in their children having a better time than they 
did" and where the children will not infrequently console themselves for 
the sufferings they endure at the hands of their parents by the thought of 
what they in their tum when grown up^ will do to their children. 

Often however, the cruelty inflicted from this motive is rationalisée 
as a désire to avoid spoiling the child and to prépare him for the rough 
time that he will hâve in later life. {Cp. this with the motives underlying 
the infliction of punishment at initiation cérémonies among primitive 
peoples. p. 83.). 



where parents definitely sélect a favourite from among their 

children, this favourite child being then invested with the love 

that v^^as formerly directed to the favourite parent^. For this 

reason too parents may often be desirous that their children 

should adopt the profession, mode of life, beliefs or habits of 

their (the childrens') grandparents^. 

In ail cases where a parent resents the coming into being The effect of 

or the présence of children, and especially in those where the parent-child 

^^•1111 ^. , -^ , r love on the 

resentment is based largely upon jealousy, some degree of attitude of 

displeasure is apt to be directed upon the other parent, who parents to 

is regarded as responsible for the existence of the unwelcome 

intruder or as transferring to him an undue proportion of 

attention and affection. In this respect the situation recaUs in 

the parent's mind the earlier one in which, in his own child- 

hood, he resented the love of his parents for each other, and 

in conséquence of which the love which he himself bore to 

one of his parents became converted into, or was mixed with, 

hatred and contempt {cp. p. iio). Thus a father may expérience 

towards his wife something of those feelings of outraged 

jealousy which he had formerly harboured towards his mother 

— a resuscitation and transference of feelings of this kind being 

rendered ail the easier by the fact that his wife is very probably 

already to some extent unconsciously identified with his mother, 

so that the whole original situation is lived through again with 

the substitution of wife for mother and of child (especially of 

course in the case of a boy) for father. 

1 Cp. Brill, "Psychanalysis: ItsTheory and Practical Application/' z^/çiL 

2 The identification of the child with its grandparent is of course not 
without effect upon the mind of the child himseK, where it is reinforced 
by a variety of other naotives, such as: — the wish to become the parent 
of his own parent (/'. e. the corresponding notion to that in the mind of 
the child's parent which we hâve just been considering), the wish to dis- 
pense with his parent {cp. p. 109), the projection on to the grandparent of 
the grandiose ideas formerly entertained with regard to the parent (cp. 
p. 55), and finally the results of the happy relationship that often exists 
between child and grandparent (owing to the fact that the grandparents 
are as a rule less responsible for the child's upbringing and éducation and 
less stem and vigorous in the assertion of their authority). As a conséquence 
there may arise in the child a strong tendency to imitate the grandparents 
— a tendency that may constitute an important factor in moulding the 
child's beliefs, attitudes, desires, and occupations. Cp. Ernest Jones, "Papers 
on Psycho-Analysis," 652, ff. 

163 11* 


The Couvade It has recently been shown by Reik^ that this last mentioned 

factor of the resentment against the wife together with the 
previously discussed jealousy and hatred of the child are capable 
of throwing a very considérable amount of light upon certain 
customs practised amongst primitive peoples upon the occasion 
of the birth of a child — customs the origin and nature of which 
it appears at first sight very difficult to understand. To thèse 
customs we may well dévote a brief considération hère, since 
they seem peculiarly adapted to bring out some of the most 
important aspects of the unconscious feelings of parents toward 
their offspring and — incidentally — toward one another. The 
customs in question are generally comprehended under the 
single term Couvade and may be divided, following Frazer, 
into two main groups: — 

(i) the pre-natal or pseudo-matemal Couvade, which aims 
primarily and ostensibly at a magical transference of the mother's 
labour pains on to the person of the father, the father pretending 
to undergo what the mother expériences in reality; 

(2) the post-natal or dietetic Couvade, in which the father 
prétends to be weak or ailing for a certain time after the birth 
of his child, during which time he keeps to his bed and 
refrains from eating certain foods. 

The pre-natal As regards the pre-natal Couvade, it is obvious that the 

Spressfon^ ^ occasion of his wife's labour is one which is liable to arouse 
ambivalent strong, and to some extent conflicting, émotions in the father. 

towards^the ^^^ danger and distress to which the mother is exposed 
wife naturally tend to arouse in the father feelings of sympathy and 

anxiety together with a désire to help and to alleviate the 
suffering to the best of his ability — an attitude which finds 
expression in an attempt to transfer the pain according to the 
principles of homoeopathic magie. At the same time the position 
of the mother is such as to stimulate in the father any hostile 
and cruel wishes he may entertain towards her, and, though 
such wishes will generally be confined entirely or principaJJy 
to the Unconscious, they will usually be présent in a greater 
or a less degree; since, besides any gênerai cause of hostility 
and any tendency to Sadism (both of which are probably at 
work to some extent), there is liable to occur the more spécifie 

1 *' Die Couvade und die Psychogenese der Vergeltungsfurcht." 
Imago, 1914, in. 



resentment connected with the bringing into existence of a rival, 
who may usurp much of the mother's care and affection which 
the father had hitherto enjoyed alone. There is reason to sup- 
pose therefore that at certain levels of the father's mind there 
is often présent an actual enjoyment in the contemplation of 
the mother's sufferings and even a wish that she may die. In 
taking upon himself the mother*s pains, the father is therefore, 
at one and the same time, doing his best to help the mother, 
subjecting himself to a tahon punishment for desiring the 
mother to feel pain, and placing himself in a position more 
thoroughly to express and realise her suffering. 

A similar attitude is indicated by the beliefs and practices The belief in 
with regard to démons which are frequently found associated démons 
with the Couvade, Démons are, from the psychological point of 
view, merely projections of thoughts and tendencies of the un- 
conscious mind, and the démons who are supposed to be in- 
flicting pain upon the mother are therefore an expression of the 
unconscious désire to infhct such pain. This désire manifesta 
itself also in not a few of the measures which are taken to drive 
away the démons, measures which, though ostensibly undertaken 
for the benefit of the mother are in reality calculated to cause 
her fright, pain or discomfort, such as shooting, shouting, lighting 
fires in her proximity, playing with swords or even beating her. 

While the pre-natal Couvade is thus principally the mani- The post-natal 
festation of repressed hostility towards the mother, the post- suhsprkicip^^" 
natal Couvade would seem to arise chiefly as the resuit of a ly from hostile 
similar attitude towards the child. This is shown by the fact towards^the 
that the practices associated with this aspect of the Couvade child 

are held to be necessary for, or at least conducive to, the life 
and health of the newly born infant, who is regarded as pe- 
culiarly liable to be affected by injudicious behaviour on the 
part of the father; it is also shown by the fact that the father 
is often held responsible for any evil that may befall the child 
during the first days of its existence; thus indicating an appré- 
ciation of the real unconscious tendency of the father to do 
the child some harm. As regards the prohibition of certain 
foods, it would seem that this is ultimately traceable to a re- 
pression of the tendency to kill and eat the child (and through 
him the grandfather whom he represents) a tendency which we 
considered in the last chapter, and one to which most, if not 



ail, taboos on foods would appear in the last resort very largely 
to dépend, The father*s imaginary illness is also to some extent 
influenced by his hostile feelings against the mother: — negatively, 
in that by keeping to his bed he is prevented from doing her 
harm; positively, in that by compelling her to attend on him in 
his pretended helplessness, he forces her to work at a time wheri 
rest and freedom from trouble would hâve been more welcome. 
The Couvade Certain other students of the Couvade, such as Bachofen, 

^ A ^y tw^ ^^^ probably to some extent right too in maintaining that the 
rights practice represents an assertion by the father of his rights and 
privilèges, being connected thus with the transition from mother- 
descent to father-descent. Certain it is that through the practice 
the father emphasises his share of the parenthood and thus 
effectually prevents any tendency to regard the mother as the 
sole, or even as the chief, producer and guardian of the child. 
In so doing, he also, we may suspect, endeavours to produce 
a compensation for the lack of attention from which he might 
otherwise suffer at this time, owing to the fact that the mother s 
share of parenthood is at the moment of birth by nature so 
much more prominent than that of the father. 
The This feeling of inferiority is frequently shared by fathers 

*^°"j?^P?^^^S in modem civilised societies, who at the birth of their children 
modem Ufe are often unpleasantly impressed by their own uselessness and 
unimportance, and are easily led to complain of neglect or 
inattention, sometimes even going so far as unconsciously to 
produce in themselves some more or less psycho-genetic ma- 
lady, in order to claim care and sympathy from those about 
them and to prevent a too exclusive préoccupation with the 
mother. In other ways too it is évident that many of the mental 
tendencies which underlie the practices connected with the 
Couvade are still rife in modem hfe. By his exaggerated ex- 
citement and anxiety, a father will often betray the conflicting 
nature of the émotions that beset him at the time of the birth 
of his child; while the manifold crude superstitions and prac- 
tices and the numerous unreasonable beliefs and attitudes that 
are connected with pregnancy and birth serve further to de- 
monstrate the archaic, and therefore fundamental, nature of the 
ideas and feelings that centre round thèse events^. 

^ As an example of an attitude obviously akin to one of the main 
tendencies underlying the Couvade — a désire to inflict pain upon the 



The hostility which a parent may harbour towards his 
child or children from the causes we hâve been considering 
wiU, under happy conditions of individual and family develop- 
ment, tend naturally to diminish as time passes and permits of 
adjustment to the new circumstances occasioned by the exis- 
tence of the children. More especially of course, the feelings of 
hatred and jealousy, which may originally hâve been aroused, 
will usually be overcome, or at least adequately held in check, 
by the feelings of parental love which are brought into play 
by contact with the child and by the process of providing for 
its needs. Even in the most devoted parents there usually 
remains however some remuant of jealousy or resentment that 
lurks in the Unconscious and can be detected by the process 
of Psycho-Analysis. This is especially the case as regards the 
relations of parents to the children of their own sex, where the 
motive of jealousy is liable to be added to the other motives 
that arise as a resuit of the sacrifices that hâve to be incurred 
by the parent. In gênerai however it may be safely asserted 
that in no case does the very real antagonism that exists be- 
tween the activities and enjo3anents of the father and mother as 
individuals and as parents respectively fail to manifest itself in 
some degree of mental conflict, and that in no case are the 
hostile feelings against the children that resuit from this anta- 
gonism entirely abolished from the mind. 

As time proceeds and children grow up, two new factors 
of great importance are liable to be added to those that 
détermine the attitude of parents towards their children, 
although in many cases one or both of thèse factors may hâve 
been présent in germinal form from the beginning. Both factors 
are connected with the biological truth that in the histoiy 
of the race the child is the natural successor and substitute 
of the parent; but while having this much in common, they 
differ markedly in their psychological and social nature 
and effects, one factor tending to produce envy and hatred 
towards the children, the other love, pride and joy in their 

mother— we may mention the strong objection that was originally taken to 
the use of anaesthetics in midwifery, on the ground that the suffering of 
pain in childbirth was a just punishment for sin and that it was therefore 
ethically undesirable to seek to do away with or abate this pain. 


hostility in 

later Ufe 

New factors 
the attitude 
of parents 
to children 
in later life 



Envy The first of thèse two factors consîsts in the unwelcome 

of childrens' réalisation that the child will shortly be, or perhaps already is, 
supenony ^^^ equal or even the superior of the parent in certain of the 
more important of life's aspects. Thus the father may become 
painfully aware of the fact that he is being gradually but 
certainly outmatched by his son in strength or skill or leaming; 
while the mother may similarly find herself becoming outrivalled 
by her daughter in beauty, charm, accomplishments or intellec- 
tual power. This awareness on the parent's part of the 
increasing failure of their own powers relatively to those of 
their children is naturally hable to increase the bitterness that 
they may already feel towards their children for other reasons. 
Just as the seiï-interests of the parents formerly caused them 
to grudge the care, attention and effort which the existence of 
the children demanded, so now their pride and seiï-love may 
cause them to grudge their children that superiority which 
nature in the course of time bestows upon them. 

Parents' It might well seem indeed as though some degree of 

of^^hem^^^" ill-feeling on thèse grounds would be inévitable in ail parents 

with their in whom the self-regarding sentiments were strongly or even 

children normally developed. Fortunately however it would appear that 
there exists a way by which the hatred and unhappiness 
arising from this source can to a very large extent be converted 
into feelings of an opposite and socially more satisfactory 
character. It is hère that there cornes into play the second of 
the two factors mentioned above. This factor consists of the 
process whereby the parent identifies himself with his child, 
as it were incorporâtes the child into his larger self and is 
thus able to take pleasure in the increasing powers of the 
child as if they were his own. We hâve already had occasion 
to study the corresponding process of identification in the mind 
of the child; the child tends naturally to identify himself with 
his parents or their substitutes, seeking thereby an increase of 
his own power and satisfaction. For precisely similar reasons 
the parent, as old âge approaches (and even before then), will 
tend to identify himself with his child, endeavouring thus to 
find compensation for the diminution of his own personal 
capacity. Thus a father may regard the successes and failures 
of his son in his scholastic and professional career with the 
same personal interest, the same intimate emotional response 



as if they were his own, while the mother often foUows her 

daughters' erotic ambitions and adventures, her matrimonial 

and parental life with a similar intensity of feeling. 

This identification plays moreover a further and perhaps Thisidentifica- 

still more important part inasmuch as it affords a means of tionasameans 
, f. ,. r . 1. . 1 , 1 t 1 . t ot obtaming 

overcommg the fmality of mdividual death, and msures the immortality 
parent, through his children and ultimately through their des- 
cendants, the nearest approach to material immortality that can 
be hoped for hère on earth. The love of children and interest in 
their weKare which springs from the altruistic and object- 
loving tendencies involved in the parental instincts may thus 
become fused with the strongly egoistic tendencies grouped 
together under the self-preserving and self-regarding instincts 
and sentiments; that dearest and most powerful wish of the 
individual, qua individuai — the désire for immortality — thus 
obtaining satisfaction in the same way and at the same tinie 
as the strongest and most distinctive of ail altruistic impulses — 
those which minister to the needs of the race through the love 
and care which is bestowed upon children by their parents. 
A reconciliation of the egoistic and the altruistic, of the 
Personal and the racial trends, is thus brought about — a recon- 
ciliation which may be of the greatest value to the individual, 
to the family and to the larger social organism of which they 
both form a part. 

Not only is a parent capable of obtaining through his 
children the satisfaction attendant upon a prolongation of his 
own existence; he may also through them enjoy vicariously 
benefits, privilèges, successes and pleasures of which he him- 
seK has been deprived or has failed to reap advantage. What 
the pessimist von Hartmann has styled the third stage of Vicarious en- 
humanity's illusion with regard to the possibility of happiness ^""l^xàrixÂ^ 
— the idea that the pleasures which we hâve ourselves failed pleasures and 
to find may nevertheless be enjoyed by those that come after successes 
us — is nowhere more strongly rooted than in the minds of 
parents when they think of the future of their offspring. 
Whether the underlying hope be illusory or not, there can be 
no doubt that many parents (and thèse on the whole of the 
nobler minded sort) are willing to labour that their children 
may enjoy the resuit of their efforts, to amass riches that their 
children may hâve the power that wealth confers, or even to 



acquiesce in personal failure, if only their children may thereby 
be brought nearer to success. 
Its sociological This aspect of the process of identification is one which, 

significance ^e may very reasonably expect, will tend to play an increasing 
rôle as mental development proceeds and men corne to work 
more and more with distant ends in view. If this expectation 
is correct, the aspect in question is probably one of very great 
biological and sociological importance, for even under présent 
conditions it is clearly of much value in stimulating effort and 
in fostering thoroughness, far-sightedness and care. If a man 
realises that on his labours are dépendent not only his own 
happiness and well being but those of his children and his 
chUdrens' children, he possesses one of the highest but at the 
same time one of the most efficient incentives to truly moral 
conduct to which the developed human mind is open^ 

1 For thèse reasons it would seem very undesirable to tamper 
to any appréciable extent with the motives that may impel a man 
to work for the advantage of his immédiate posterity; as would be done 
for instance, by any prohibition to transmit property to heirs, or by any 
measure that too greatly diminished the value of such property, such as 
an excessive death duty. 

What seems to be to some extent the American idéal of each 
génération "making good" in their own persons, is of course based mainly 
on perfectly sound ethical and psychological considérations. There is nothing 
in thèse considérations however which is incompatible with the hereditary 
transmission of wealth or rank. On the contrary, it would seem to be an 
ennobling and inspiring idéal for each génération to start life at a some- 
what higher ail-round level — material and moral — than the one before 
it, each one adding a little to the well-being of the family in body and 
mind and handing on the improvement to its successor. 

In spite of the great advantages that may thus follow from the 
identification of the parent with his children, it behoves us not to over- 
look one possible danger that may ensue from it, if carried to excess. An 
individual's actions affect posterity, not only in the persons of his own 
offspring, but also by their influence on the history of humanity at large; 
and it would be highly undesirable if, while contemplating the benefit of 
his own family, an individual ceased to bear in mind his duties to the 
wider circles of his social environment. The deeds of great men obviously 
détermine Xo a considérable extent the future of the race. It is however 
the privilège of ail of us to contribute to this history to some degree; 
hence an enlightened moraUty must needs emphasise the responsibility 
that is incurred in this respect even by the humblest, since, by his actions 
during life, he has to some extent made himself immortal, and influenced 
the world through ail time for good or ill. 



In order that the benefits and compensations attendant The develop- 

upon an identification of this sort may be achieved, it is ^^ï^} °^ ^^^ 

necessary that there should take place a graduai change of corresponding 

attitude towards the child on the part of the parent— a readjustment 
i_ 1 • , • , , ^ , ^ of the parents' 

Change which is very necessary also upon other grounds. In attitude 

the fourth and fifth chapters of this bock we studied the 
manner in which the successful development of the child requires 
an ever increasing degree of émancipation from the ties of 
affection and dependence which bind him to the parent. The 
proper carrying out of this émancipation requires a correspon- 
ding loosening of the ties that bind the parent to the child, 
involving a readjustment in the direction of the parenfs 
interests and affections. If the parent continues to lavish 
on the child, as he grows up, the same amount of 
attention and affection that he required in infancy, the 
normal development of the child's love impulses is liable 
to be very seriously impeded; and should the child, in spite 
of this difficulty, attain the stage of directing his love outside 
the family, the parent is bound to suffer disappointment at 
what appears to him (or at least to his unconscious mind) to 
be the thanklessness and faithlessness of his child, and to feel 
jealousy and hatred towards the person who has supplanted 
him in the child^s affection. Similarly, should the parent too This is as 
long or too extensively afford protection to the child, exercise rjecessary for 
authority over him or take over responsibility from him, the child for the child 
will inevitably find it difficult to acquire the necessary degree 
of émancipation from the parenfs care and jurisdiction; and 
should he after ail succeed in acquiring such émancipation, the 
parent will certainly suffer as the resuit of being deprived ail 
too suddenly and unwillingly of the directive power over the 
child which he had hitherto enjoyed, and of the outlet for his 
interests and emotional tendencies, which the care of a child 
had hitherto afforded. The extrême demands on the énergies 
and affections of the parents (particularly on those of the 
mother) caused by the utter helplessness of the human infant 
grow progressively less as the child develops, The natural 
course of events demands therefore on the part of the parents 
a graduai modification, redistribution and redirection of the 
émotions and interests that centred round the child in its early 
life; an undue prolongation of the tendencies natural to the 



of this re- 

early days of parenthood must necessarîly in the long run be 
detrimental to the true interest both of child and parent. 

Obvions as thèse considérations may well seem to be, the 
logical carrying out of the conclusions to which they point is 
often far from easy. In practice it is often as hard for parents 
to wean themselves from their primitive attitude towards their 
children, as it is for the children themselves to acquire the 
necessary mental and moral independence of their parents, The 
intense and profound émotions stirred up in the parent by his 
relation to the child are not readily displaced into any other 
channel, and fixation at a level only suited to the early stages 
of the filio-parental relation may easily resuit, The conséquent 
struggle of the parent to keep possession of the child gives 
rise to some of the most serions and tragic problems of family 
life. It is one of the chief causes of the friction that so often 
exists between the older and younger générations of the same 
family; it tends, as we hâve seen, to hamper the mental and 
moral development of children and to foster in them psychical 
conflicts which may produce permanently evil effects upon their 
character: in the parents themselves it often favours selfishness 
and real disregard for the children's welfare, under the guise 
of altruistic tenderness and care; and finally it causes much un- 
happiness to the parents when, as inevitably happens to some 
extent, they observe that, in spite of ail their efforts, their children 
are in one manner or another drifting from them, as by coming 
under the influence of friends who are outside the circle of the 
parents* acqaintance, by the adoption of habits, interests or careers 
that are opposed to family tradition, or by marriage to persons 
who to the parents* eyes appear to be unsuitable^ 

^ It may be well to bear in mind in this connection Mr. Bernard 
Shaw's striking words from his brilliant essay on Parents and Children 
(the whole of which deserves most careful reading). On the subject of 
marriage from the point of view of the parents, he writes with his usual 
pénétration and with a gênerons understanding of the real difficulties of 
the situation: — "Take a very common instance of this agonizing incompati- 
bility" (between the point of view of parents and that of the children). 
"A widow brings up her son to manhood. He meets a strange woman, 
goes off with and marries her, leaving his mother desolate. It does not 
occur to him that this is at ail hard on her; he does it as a matter of 
course, and actually expects his mother to receive on terms of spécial 
affection, the woman for whom she has been abandoned. If he shewed 



The question of marriage is, under existing conditions The attitude of 
one of spécial importance in this connection, since nothing else Parents to the 
(with the exception perhaps of permanent séparation in space) theijTcfridren 
tends to eut off individuals to an equal extent from the direct 
influence and contact of their parents. Parents who ardently 
désire to retain a strong influence over their children are 
therefore as a rule opposed to the marriage of the latter, and 
usually display marked antagonism to their sons or daughters- 
in-law: an antagonism which is the source of very fréquent 
domestic unhappiness. Since the marriage of their children is how- 
ever in many cases difficult or impossible to avert, such parents 
will often seek to minimise the disturbing effect of marriage by 
arranging that their children shall live near them after marriage 
or that they shall marry a partner whom they regard as 
suitable. In estimating suitability for this purpose, they are 
usually guided by the extent to which the partner in question 
is likely to constitute a serious obstacle to the opération of 
their own (the parents') influence. Hence it often cornes about 
that the persons selected are sexually unattractive, of weak 
character or déficient in inteUectual power^ 

any sensé of what he was doing, any remorse; if he mingled his tears 
with hers» and asked her not to think too hardly of him because he 
had obeyed the inévitable destiny of a man to leave his father and 
mother and cleave to his wife, she could give him her blessing and 
accept her bereavement with dignity and without reproach. But the man 
never dreams of such considérations. To him his mother's feeling in the 
matter, when she betrays it, is unreasonable, ridiculous and even odious, 
as shewing a préjudice against his adorable bride. 

ï hâve taken the widow as an extrême and obvious case; but there 
are many husbands and wives who are tired of their consorts, or dis- 
appointed in them, or estranged from them by infidehties; and thèse 
parents, in losing a son or a daughter through marriage^ may be losing 
everything they care for. No parent's love is as innocent as the love of a 
child; the exclusion of ail conscious sexual feeling from it does not exclude 
the bittemess, jealousy, and despair at loss which characterize sexual 
passion; in fact, what is called a pure love may easily be more selfish 
and jealous than a carnal one. Anyhow, it is plain matter of fact that 
naively selfish people sometimes try with fierce jealousy to prevent their 
children marrying." p. XXXVIII. 

1 Cp. Jung, *'Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology," 156 ff. On 
the other hand in cases where^ as in those we considered above, the 
parent identifies himself with his children, he is very hkely to expérience 
a strong attachment to the marital partners of his children. 



Meansofavoid- The avoidance of the evils conséquent upon the insuffi- 

ingmsufficient ^j^jj^ readjustment of the parents attitude towards their children 
re-adjustment is one of the most pressing tasks of an enlightened hygiène 
of family life. In the accomplishment of this task it would seem 
that there are two factors which are of great importance: in 
the first place, the happiness of the relationship between the 
two parents themselves (for, as we hâve seen, it is especially 
in cases when marriage is unsuccessful that there is likely to 
be an excessive outflow of émotion in the direction of the 
children) ; in the second place, the maintenance of outside 
interests, hobbies or occupations throughout the period of 
parenthood and the graduai reinforcement of such interests as 
the growth of the children renders the demand upon the 
parentes energy less extensive and continuons. Where the 
circumstances in thèse two respects are satisfactory, they 
usually permit of the necessary readjustment of parental 
énergies with the minimum of friction and suffering. 




The descriptive portion of our task is now completed. We Recapitulation 
hâve traced, with such degree of détail as the scope of this 
book has permitted, the growth within the individual mind of 
some of the more important of those feelings and tendencies 
which owe their origin and development to the relations of 
the individual to the other members of his family. We hâve 
seen how thèse feelings and tendencies are of fondamental 
importance in the formation of individual character and how 
they hâve also exercised a vast influence on social life and 
social institutions. We hâve seen also that, throughout their 
multitudinous transformations and ramifications, the tendencies 
originally connected with the family préserve some likeness 
to their primitive character, being ultimately reducible upon 
analysis to a séries of displacements of a very few original 
trends and impulses. Thèse original impulses fall naturally into 
two main groups: — those which bind the individual to the 
family (or to one or more of its members) through a relationship 
of love, esteem or dependence; and those which are based on 
a relationship of hâte or fear; the trends falling ,within each of 
thèse groups being manifested either in a direct and positive, 
or in a reactionary and négative form; the latter being assumed 
as the resuit of a conflict between one of the trends in question 
and some other trend of an opposite, or at any rate a diffé- 
rent, character (very often one of the family trends belonging 
to the opposite group). 

Since thèse groups of impulses hâve shown themselves to 
play a part of such importance in human mind and human con- 



The theoret- duct, it is not unnatural that, having completed our review of 
ical treatment ^-jj^jj. manifestations, we shovJd feel some curiosity as to the 
^and^ks**^^ manner in which they hâve corne to play this part in the 
difficulties course of the past history of the human race and as to the 
nature of the influence which they hâve exerted on this history. 
Unfortunately in the présent state of our knowledge it would 
not seem possible to gratify this curiosity except in a very 
partial, unsatisfactory and uncertain manner. The psychological 
mechanisms with which we hâve been dealing hâve themselves, 
for the most part, been too recently discovered to hâve as 
yet been adequately correlated, or brought into connection, 
with the relevant facts of anthropological, ethnographical or 
biological science. The data from thèse latter sources are more- 
over, in spite of much diligent research in récent years, 
still in many important respects too incomplète to afford a 
satisfactory basis for such corrélation. As a conséquence of 
thèse conditions, it is to be feared that any attempt that we 
may make to exhibit the psychical tendencies with which we 
hâve been concerned, in their bearings upon early human 
history, or to explain their origin in the hght of this history 
or of the gênerai conditions of human life and mind, wiU resuit 
in little more than a restatement of our psychological principles 
from a slightly différent point of view. Nevertheless the attempt 
may be worth making. A summary of some of the main im- 
plications of our psychological knowledge in this field may 
perhaps not seem amiss — especially in view of the astonishing 
and unlooked-for character of much of this knowledge — and 
if we succeed in establishing a few connections between our 
psychological data and the related facts of anthropology or 
biology, thèse may perhaps serve as starting points — to be 
either proved or else corrected — for subséquent enquiries 
based on a more sound foundation. The reader wiU understand 
therefore that, in so far as in the présent and the two succeed- 
ing chapters there is anything that is not — explicitly or im- 
plicitiy — contained in what we hâve already said, -we shall 
hâve left the région of comparative certainty afforded by the 
results of observation and induction, and shall be travelling 
for the most part on the unsure ground of spéculation — spé- 
culation that can be justified only on the plea of natural curio- 
sity, and by the hope of opening up a few vistas which may 



be more fully surveyed by better equipped workers in the 

Of the two main groups of tendencies to which we hâve 
above referred — which we may briefly call the love and hâte 
groups — the former opens up a number of problems in this 
connection which would seem to be in some significant respects 
deeper, more important and more complex than those raised 
by the latter. The hâte tendencies are, indeed, as regards the 
cause and nature of their origin and development, in the main 
not so very difficult to understand. Psychologists are pretty 
well agreed as to the circumstances which give rise to anger 
and fear — the émotions which chiefly underlie the attitude of 
hâte. Anger arises when the activities, tendencies or wishes of 
the individual are interfered v^th or when the individual is 
unwillingly forced to undergo some disagreeable or undesirable 
expérience, and it is directed to the object from which such 
interférence or such infliction of undesired expérience is forth- 
coming. Fear arises when harm is threatened to the individual 
or to that which he possesses or holds dear, and is directed 
to the threatening object^. 

Now, as we hâve seen, the normal conditions of family 
Ufe necessarily give rise to some extent to the situations which 
arouse thèse émotions. Through the mère exercise of ordinary 
parental authority and care, and more especially through the 
process of elementary moral training and éducation, the parent 
invariably interfères in some ways v^âth the primitive desires 
and tendencies of the child, and threatens the child with 
punishment in the event of his transgressing the parental 
prohibitions; the conditions are therefore présent for the arousal 
in the child's mind of anger and fear towards the parent, 
should the child be at ail susceptible to thèse émotions. 

1 Though we ought possibly to make an exception hère in the case 
of that fear which seems to anse as the resuit of a transformation of 
sexual impulses. On the other hand, it is possible that this too may be 
brought under the more gênerai formula, if we recognise that the fear is 
in this case directed not to some outer object but to some threatening 
élément within the mind. For a discussion of this matter see Freud, "Vor- 
lesungen 2ur Einfûhning in die Psychoanalyse," 466 ff. For a most important 
discussion of the fundamental nature and conditions of love and hâte and 
of the différent causes from which they originate, see Freud, " Sammlung 
kleiner Schriften 2ur Neurosenlehre," IV, 270 ff. 

The hâte 
tendencies to 
some extent 




Jealousy as 
a necessary 
of marriage 

and especially 
of monogamy 


We hâve seen that the hâte attitude îs sometimes and 
to some extent brought about indirectly as a conséquence of 
jealousy aroused in connection with the love attitude (jealousy 
being caused by interférence with the successful function of 
the love impulses), sometimes more directly by a more gênerai 
hostiUty between parent and child. In so far as the first case 
is concerned, the hâte attitude is obviously dépendent upon 
the existence of sexual rivalry between the child and one of 
the parents, Granted the existence of the love impulse of the 
child towards the parent of the opposite sex, the conditions 
of this rivalry are to be found whenever the two parents hve 
together — in fact wherever there is marriage, and more 
especially wherever there is monogamy. Now marriage of some 
sort would seem to exist in practically every human community 
— both primitive and cultured — that bas as yet been subjected to 
any degree of careful study or investigation; in fact there is 
every reason to regard it as an institution fundamentally 
characteristic of the human race and of immémorial antiquity. 
It is therefore not surprising that we find évidence of sexual 
jealousy between parents and children in many early myths 
and customs and in the legends and beliefs of many peoples, 
both cultivated and uncivilised. There is good ground for 
supposing that parent hatred based on jealousy bas been 
called into existence in innumerable successive générations 
and bas thus had ample opportunity to impress itself on the 
forms, traditions and institution^ of human society, 

In those societies which bave developed or maintained a 
relatively strict monogamy we should expect that this kind of 
parent hatred would be more easily and extensively developed 
than in those in which the marriage tie is looser, wider or more 
elastic, since in the former case the hatred bred of jealousy 
would necessarily be^^directed on to a single individual, whereas 
in the latter it might lose in intensity through diffusion over 
a number of différent persons, Now it is a feature of that 
relatively early stage of culture which with Wundt^ we may 
perhaps call the Totemic âge that the family ties are as a 
rule relaxed in favour of those wider bonds that unité together 
the différent members of the tribe or clan. In this âge we 

i W.Wundt, "Eléments of Folk Psychology," trans. by E.L. Schaub^ 
1916. 116 ff. 



often îind that some form of group marriage exists or shows 

évident traces of having existed; in distinction to the more or 

less strictly monogamous unions that are characteristic both of 

those races of mankind which are at a more primitive level of 

development and of those that hâve reached a more advanced 

stage of culture. We might imagine therefore that this Totemic 

âge was distinguished by a lessening of the parent jealousy Parent-child 

v^^hich must probably hâve existed both in the earlier and in jealousy 

the later societies of a more strictly monogamie kind. We hâve p?onounced in 

seen indeed that a reconcihation between fathers and sons is ^^e Totemic 

one of the motives which finds expression in the initiation ^^ 

cérémonies — cérémonies that arise and flourish principally at 

the Totemic stage of culture. The men's clubs — one of the 

institutions most typical of this âge — would again seem to 

point to the existence of a tendency to do away with the 

hostility between man and man by establishing a community 

of interest and affection between the members of the clubs, who 

are brought into more intimate contact with one another than 

would be the case if they remained each more stricdy with- 

in the confines of their own families. A similar resuit is no doubt 

to some extent achieved by the corresponding throwing together 

of the women, who are freed from the more intimate' dependence 

on the maie that is fostered in a more closely knit family 

System. At the same time the relative sexual freedom that is 

frequently permitted, especially before marriage, affords an 

unfavourable environment for the development of jealousy; as 

is shown by the absence of this passion so frequently exhibited 

both within and without the marriage bond. Indeed there 

would seem to be almost necessarily some degree of correspon- 

dence between the strictness of the marriage relationship and 

the development of jealousy. So long as men and women 

regard themselves as possessing certain exclusive rights and 

privilèges over one or more members of the opposite sex, they 

are bound to resent any conduct which might appear to con- 

stitute an infringement or challenge of thèse rights; freedom 

from jealousy can only be obtained under thèse circumstances 

by perfect confidence that no such attempt will be made, or, 

if made, will be unsuccessful— a condition of mind which 

requires a more complète adaptation to the married state on 

the part of ail concerned than can usually be secured. On the 

179 12* 


other hand, if no such exclusive privilèges as are implied in 
the strict observance of the marriage bond are demanded or 
expected, there is no ground or occasion for the development 
of any high degree of jealousy. Monogamy, the strictest and 
most exclusive form of marriage, is thus most especially liable 
to bring jealousy in its train, since hère ail sexual tendencies and 
privilèges are centred round one person, who has to be guarded 
at whatever cost against the advances of ail other suitors^ 

The Totemic âge, characterised as it is by a recession in 
importance of the family ties as compared with those of a wider 
social unit, would appear then in one of its aspects to hâve 
been marked by a strong tendency to get rid of jealousy, 
which differs together with certain other of the passions which are aroused 
'"both from^* ^^ connection with, or centre round, the family. It differs thus 
preceding and from the more strictly monogamie condition, which, according 
succeedmg ^^ ^^j. ^q^^ récent knowledge, would seem to exist among the 
really primitive races of mankind ^- It differs also, perhaps even 
more markedly, from the conditions of the patriarchal family — 
that form of family which seems on the whole to be characteristic 
of the post -Totemic stage of culturel At this latter stage the 
family — now however often in an enlarged form comprising 
several smaller family groups and several générations — once 
more becomes the prédominant social unit; societies based on 
the tribal or clan System having apparently proved themselves 
more unstable or less capable of expansion and development 
than those based upon the more fundamental unit of the family. 
The décline of jealousy and of the hatreds based thereon was 
therefore, we may suppose, at the close of the Totemic âge 
replaced by a recrudescence of that more vigorous hostility 
between father and son, mother and daughter, between brothers 

' It is of course tnie that with a System of group marriage the 
opportunities for sexual relations among young people may sometimes be 
no greater than under monogamy, since ail the available women may be 
regarded as belonging exclusively to a certain class of men — usually 
those who hâve attained a certain âge. The hatred and jealousy aroused 
in the young men towards their elders may in such cases be equal in 
intensity to those felt under monogamie conditions, but the fact remains 
that this hatred is no longer intimately connected with the family (at any 
rate as we understand that institution at the présent day). 

2 Wundt. Op. cit. 34 ff . 

3 Wundt. Oj>. cit 311 ff. 



and between sisters, which is to some extent inévitable in a 
closely united monogamie family — a hostility which has continued 
to exist uninterruptedly until the présent day, 

Much the same is also true, no doubt, as regards those 
aspects of intra-family hostilities which are not based on 
jealousy. In the monogamie families of primitive man thèse Similar 
latter aspects of hostility had no doubt free scope within certain <^ifferences 
limita. In the looser family conditions of the Totemic âge it other aspects 
seems probable that passions based on mutual interférence of ^^ intra-family 
différent members of the family with each other's interests and 
desires would be a good deal less developed. In the patriarchal 
family of the later epoch conditions would seem however to 
become favourable once again to the development of hostility 
of this kind, particularly to that between father and son. The 
close and permanent organisation of the family under the 
patriarchal system brings it about that the interests of father 
and son continue to be to some extent antagonistic long after 
the son has reached maturity, whereas in the state more nearly 
resembling that of nature the son would usually be free from 
paternal tutelage as soon as he had attained to full growth. 

The family life of most modem civilised nations is less xhe hate-pro- 
closely organised than that of the patriarchal family at its full ducing causes 
development; children as a rule becoming relatively or completely in modem 
free from parental jurisdiction, if not before, at least as soon civilisation 
as, they hâve married and founded a home of their own. 
Nevertheless the Jessening of antagonism that is brought about 
by this relaxation of the family organisation is often to some 
extent counterbalanced by the increasing social and économie 
dependence of children on their parents that is apt to arise in 
advanced and complex societies, specially among the higher 
and wealthier classes {cp. above p. 58). The irksomeness of 
parental restrictions is apt to be increased too, as civilisation 
advances, by the fact that the rules of conduct and of morals 
inculcated by the parents tend to become in many respects 
increasingly remote from the behaviour to which the young 
child^s primitive tendencies naturally impel him ; so that a more 
violent friction is likely to arise between the authority of the 
parents and the will of the children in their early years ^- 

1 This is of course specially the case where the moral code upheld 
by the parents is one of unnecessary or extrême severity, in which almost 



For thèse reasons the antagonism between parents and 
children remains, as we know, strong even in présent day 
civilisation, though there are grounds for thinking that it may 
perhaps hâve been stronger in those earlier stages of society 
in which a more complex patriarchal System flourished. 

Négative As regards the négative or reactionary aspects of the hâte 

aspects of the attitude, it is pretty clear that the influences which tend to 
produce repression or inhibition of the hâte are in the main 
of two kinds: — (i) ^^moral" influences, such as the acceptance 
of a code of ethics, or of a tradition, with which parent hatred 
is incompatible; (2) the co-existence with the hâte of a genuine 
love, admiration or respect towards the parent who is hated. 

"Moral" As regards the ultimate psychological nature of the first 

influences ^j thèse factors, we are face to face with a problem concerning 
which there is at présent no very great degree of certainty or 
unanimity, i. e. the problem of the gênerai nature of the forces 
of repression which inhibit the immoral or anti-social tendencies 
of the mind. Freud ^ is inclined to lay stress upon the impulses 
centering round the self (though more especially in connection 
with the repression of the sexual trends) ; others, like McCurdy ^ 
Trotter^ and Hart*, emphasize the importance of the gregarious 
tendencies in this connection. Whatever may be their ultimate 
basis in the mind, there can be little doubt however that thèse 
moral forces on the whole increase with advancing culture, 
thus tending always to substitute an indirect or négative for 
the more primitive direct or positive expression of the hâte 
attitude towards the parents. 

Love that As regards the second factor, the arousal of love in oppo- 

confhcts with gition to hâte is evidently dépendent partly (a) upon the child's 
and represses j r tr ^ \ / tr 


every natural manifestation of youthful joy, or vitality is condemned; as is 
sometimes the case, for instance, with parents of an ultra-puritanical way 
of thinking, whose own mental life, however admirable in other respects, 
has been warped by excessive inhibitions. Although marked perhaps by 
less bittemess than is usual in such cases, Edmund Gosse's remarkable 
work *' Father and Son" affords much interesting ground for thought in this 

^ €. g. *'Zur Einfûhrung des NarziÔmus." Jahrbuch der Psychoanaîyse, 
1914, VI, 5 ff. 

^Psychiatrie Bulletin, I, No. i; *The Psychology of War," 49. 

3 *' Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War," 79 ff. 

^ "The Psychology of Insanity," 167 ff. 



own innate capacities for affection, tenderness and gratitude; 
partly (b) upon the extent to which thèse capacities are 
awakened and called into play by a kind and loving attitude 
on the part of the parent towards the child. As regards thèse 
factors it seems very difficult to say in the présent state of our 
knowledge whether there has been any considérable or lasting 
change during the later period of human development. The 
extent to which tender feelings hâve been aroused between 
parents and children of the same sex (for it is of course with 
the relations between thèse that we are chiefly concemed hère) 
has naturally varied from âge to âge and from one family 
System to another; the intensity and frequency of thèse feelings 
being as a ruie in inverse proportion to the intensity of the hâte 
attitude. Thus it is that those times and places which hâve produced 
the minimum of hatred between parents and children hâve also 
probably on the whole tended to bring about the greatest degree 
of repression of such hatred as did still exist — the repression 
being due to the influence of love tendencies which were opposed 
to those of hâte. Nevertheless it is not easy to bring forward 
any évidence to show a gênerai tendency towards increase of 
the tender feelings with which we are hère concerned. Savage 
parents in many cases appear to exhibit a very considérable 
degree of affection towards their children, while the children are 
in their turn often not backward in their manifestations of love 
and. respect. Parents in civilised communities, on the other 
hand, hâve often shown themselves (under a veneer of kindness 
or considération) singularly brutal and selfish in the treatment 
of their children; the latter not infrequently manifesting a 
corresponding lack of genuine affection for their parents. Under 
thèse circumstances it would seem that we are perhaps justified 
in attributing the undoubted increase in the repression of the 
hâte attitude to the more efficient opération of the **morar' 
factors, rather than to any growth of tenderness between parent 
and child which might hâve served more effectually to counter- 
act the hostile tendencies. 




The love 

The positive 
and négative 
aspects that 
hâve to be 

The problems connectée! with the origin, development and 
influence upon human history of the love attitude in relation 
to the family are, as we hâve said, in some respects both more 
important and more difficult than those connected with the 
hâte attitude — more important because, as we hâve seen 
throughout, the hâte attitude is to a considérable extent merely 
a conséquence of, or at any rate dépendent on, the love 
attitude; more difficult, because the psychic tendencies which 
enter into the love attitude are in gênerai more tmconscious 
in character, further removed from our everyday standard 
of conscious thought and feeling and, on the whole, subject 
also to more violent and more permanent conflicts and re- 

We hâve seen that, in its positive form, this love attitude 
manifests itself in an incestuous affection — in the first place, 
perhaps always of the child for its mother ; in what is perhaps 
a slightly more developed, but certainly a more easily recogni- 
sable form, of the child for its parent of the opposite sex; 
in a still more developed form, of brothers for sisters, or of 
more remote relatives for one another. In its négative form 
this attitude is manifested as a violent antipathy to any such 
incestuous attachment, at any rate in so far as this attachment 
assumes the sexual form or anything resembling such a form. 
We hâve hère to consider, first, what can be the influences 
which bring about this incestuous attachment in the human 
mind — an attachment of such durability that, as we hâve seen, 
it détermines to a large extent the nature and course of the 



whole of the subséquent love life of the individual, as well as 
of many of the activities which lie apparently far removed 
from the sphère of love or sex; secondly, given the existence 
of this attachment, what are the further influences which hâve 
brought about its repression — a repression that corresponds 
in strength and influence to the importance of the positive 
impulse to v^hich it is opposed. 

Let us consider first the positive side of the love attitude. 
The influences M^hich, we may suggest, play an important part 
in bringing about a strong tendency to the formation of 
incestuous affections in the human mind may be most con- 
veniently grouped under a number of separate heads. 

(i) First in time and perhaps also in importance would 
seem to be a group of factors connected with the long period 
of infancy, childhood and youth, which characterises, to a 
greater or a less extent, ail branches of the human race. During 
this long period, the child is, as we hâve more than once 
emphasised, wholly or partially dépendent on its parents for 
the satisfaction of its needs. Now it is a fundamental tendency 
of the mind to expérience pleasure in connection with, and 
generally to appreciate, those objects which administer to, or 
are associated wâth, the basic needs and requirements of the 
organism ; i, e, the mind tends naturally to react towards thèse 
objects in a manner which, at a higher level of development, 
we should designate as love^. It is not altogether surprising 
then that, the parents being for many years associated with 
the fulfilment of the great majority of conscious needs, the 
nascent love of the child should be directed to them in a 
greater measure than to any other object. 

(2) It is a pretty generally recognised fact that — in virtue 
of a process which McDougalI^ has conveniently designated 
primitive sympathy — among the stimuli which are most effective 
in producing any given feeling or émotion are the manifestations 
of that feeling or émotion in some other person or persons. 
Now it is generally admitted by psychologists that the présence 

1 Cp, in this connection Abraham, *'Untersuchungen ûber die frûheste 
prâgenitale Entwicklungstufe der Libido", Zeitschrift fur àrztlicke Psycho- 
analyse, 1916, IV. Also Freud, "Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosen- 
lehre*', IV, 274. 

2 **Social Psychology", 91. 



the positive 


The long 
duration of 


Primitive sym- 
pathy reacting 

on the 

expressions of 






Love and 

respect as 

éléments of 

imitation and 


of children tends to evoke an instinctive affection and 
tenderness on the part of the parents; the biological justi- 
fication, and indeed necessity, for such an instinct, as well as 
for the fact of its existence being indeed sufficiently manifest — 
especially no doubt in women but to a considérable extent in 
men also. In virtue of this instinctive tenderness parents 
naturally give expression to their affection in the présence of 
the children, whereupon the latter, reacting through primitive 
sjnnpathy, tend to expérience affection in their tum and to 
direct it upon the nearest and most appropriate object — L e. the 
parent whose manifestations of tenderness hâve aroused the 
émotion, This séquence of events being frequendy repeated, the 
child's affections come in time to be firmly attached to the parent, 
reciprocating the affection he receives from this direction. 

(3) Again, it is évident that, especially in primitive 
communities, the child is dépendent on its parent, not only for 
the fulfilment of its elementary needs and desires, but also for 
the opportunity of leaming how to fulfil thèse needs and 
desires in its own person. This process of leaming implies — 
especially perhaps in immature minds — a tendency to imitate 
the teacher and to be suggestible towards him. New sugges- 
tibility, as we hâve already seen, probably dépends to a 
considérable extent upon love ; it certainly dépends largely upon 
an attitude of respect or admiration on the part of the one 
who is suggestible. Much the same is true of imitation ; we 
notoriously tend to imitate those whom we love, whom we 
admire, and to whom we look up with confidence and vénération. 
This being the case, the adoption of an attitude of love and respect 
towards his parents, would be of considérable advantage to the 
child, as enabling him to acquire more readily those capacities, 
habits and ideas which he most naturally leams from his parents 
(and later on from those on to whom the parent-regarding 
feelings are displaced) through imitation and suggestion. In 
view of the comparatively unformed and plastic condition of 
many of the instinctive tendencies in human infants, the ability 
to learn easily and quickly from their elders is of great 
importance to children in their early years. We hâve hère 
then very possibly a factor which contributes to the survival- 
value of a strong parent attachment, though it may not actually 
call any such attachment into being. 



(4) Modem psychology is showing more and more that 
the growth of man^s principal instinctive tendencies is continuons 
from early youth upward to maturity, there being few or no 
sudden changes, transitions or fresh departures as development Early arousal 
proceeds. The work of Freud and his followers has, above ail, ,°^ ^?^ . 
clearly shown that the sexual tendencies are not narrowly the family is 
confined to processes intimately connected with the reproduction necessary for 
of the species, but pervade the whole life of the individual, displacements 
manifesting themselves in a great variety of ways, many of 
which are very far removed from the reproductive sphère but 
are of the greatest importance in the increase and maintenance 
of culture. More especially it has been shown (in a way which 
we hâve to some extent already studied) that thèse tendencies 
undergo a continuons process of development from childhood 
upwards, and that on their growth and histoi-y dépends to a 
considérable extent the character and social value of the 

Such being the nature and conditions of development of 
this important aspect of the mind, it is évident that something 
akin to the later affections characteristic of maturity should be 
found even in the earliest attachments of the child. It is only 
on the mistaken assumption that the sexual impulse émerges, 
as it were, fuUy grown at the time of puberty, that the 
existence of sexual éléments in the loves of an earlier âge 
appears surprising. In reality it is necessary, if the sexual 
tendencies are to play their important rôle in the displacements 
involved in the civilised adult life, that they should ripen 
early, even though they may not be required for purposes of 
reproduction for many years to come; and if they are to ripen 
early, it is only natural that they should be called into play 
in the child's relations to his parents, who are as a rule by 
far the most prominent persons of his environment during the 
first years of his existence. It would seem probable, the human 
mind being constituted as it is, that unless the large source of 
energy which is contained in, and habitually manifested through, 
the sexual tendencies (in the wide sensé assigned to them by 
Freud) were made available in infancy or early childhood, the 
child would hâve too little motive at its disposai to make the 
vast efforts necessary to enable it to pass from the helplessness 
and ignorance of infancy to the relatively enormous skill and 



knowledge of adult life, and to acquire the manifold and 
complex characteristics of an age-long culture. The early 
awakening of the sexual tendencies in connection with the life 
of the family thus reveals itself as a natural — and indeed 
perhaps to some extent an inévitable — condition of any high 
degree of human civiUsation or cultural achievement. 

Necessity for (5) Another factor of great importance in mental and 

the early moral development, as regards which the early direction of 

Autoerotism love on to the parents plays an important part, is one to 

to object-love vv'hich we hâve already often had occasion to refer — the 
development of object love as distinct from the more primitive 
levels of sexuality manifested in Autoerotism and Narcissism. 
The full social and ethical implications of this change are not 
yet completely understood — the whole subject of the Narcissistic 
trends and their manifestations, normal and abnormal, having 
only recently been studied by the psycho-analytic method — but 
it is abundantly clear that thèse are of very considérable 
significance. Failure to carry out the change successfuUy v^ould 
seem to bring with it almost inevitably certain grave defects 
of character, involving an exaggerated egoism and a corre- 
spondingly déficient altruism ; defects which must seriously 
detract from the social value of the individual, and which when 
présent in large numbers of the poptalation, must imperil the 
success or even the existence of the social organism. 
It is essential therefore that the stage of object-love 
should become firmly established in at least a majority of 
individuals if society is to prosper, and, as we hâve seen, the 
transition from Autoerotism to object-love is under normal 
human conditions brought about in connection with the child's 
relations to its parents. How indeed could this transition be 
more easily and surely achieved than through this relationship 
— at once the earliest, the most necessary and, in many ways, 
the most intimate which the individual ever knows? Through 
the affection which the child feels towards those who supply 
its elementary needs, it learns the meaning of attachment to 
an object outside itself — an attachment which, in its further 
development, leads to the tendency to seek the goal of effort 
and désire in the outer world rather than in intimate 
connection with the self, the tendency upon which ail altruism 
is ultimately based. Just as the early awakening of the sexual 



impiilses ensures that thèse impulses shall hâve time and 
opportunity to dévote the great motive power at their disposai 
to the work involved in mental growth and éducation, so the 
early arousal of object-love in connection with the parents 
ensures that thèse impulses shall take that direction which 
alone will enable the child to become a useful and a pleasant 
member of society. 

(6) If the incestuous direction of affection thus assists the The Narciss- 
development of object-love, we must not forget that at the ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ 
same time it is calculated to give a considérable degree of also satisfied 
satisfaction to the Narcissistic éléments of love. In their most ^y incestuous 
characteristic and pronounced form, thèse Narcissistic éléments 
will usually manifest themselves in a homosexual direction and 
therefore not in the typical form of incestuous heterosexual 
affection with which we are hère chiefly concerned. There can 
be little doubt however that, in a less violent and overwhelming 
form and as a factor in a total complex situation, the 
Narcissistic éléments do enter very frequently into normal love 
between members of the opposite sexes. The similarities — 
physical, mental and circumstantial — that usually exist between 
those who are of common descent bring it about that a partial 
identification of the self with the loved object is often easier 
in the case of a blood relative than with any other person. 
Hence the influence of this factor will frequently add itself to 
the other forces which tend to produce an incestuous direction 
of affection. 

The partial identification upon which the opération of this 
Narcissistic factor in object-love dépends, may of course take 
place at many différent psychic levels, from one at which the 
perception of the resemblance between the loved object and 
the self may to some extent enter into consciousness, to one 
at which the identification seems to rest upon some mysterious 
deep-seated and archaic bond of union, depending possibly 
upon organic factors or upon the expériences of pre-natal life 
— such a bond for instance as that which arises perhaps as a 
resuit of the close vital connection between mother and child 
during the period of gestation and lactation i. 

1 Cp. T. Burrow, "The Genesis and Meaning of Homosexuality and its 
relation to the problem of introverted mental states." Psychoanaîytic 
Review, IV. 272. 



Thus two In this way the love of a child to those who are related 

opposing |-Q it -[yy ties of blood — and particularly to the parents — is such 

^k)v"*find^" as to afford a convenient compromise between two sets of 

simultaneous conflicting impulses — the impulses that tend to the development 

gra ication ^^ ob]ect-love and those more primitive ones that manifest 

themselves most clearly at the autoerotic and Narcissistic levais. 

Such a compromise formation is, as we know, peculiarly 

characteristic of the process of displacement. It is a gênerai 

law of mental progress in conation that in the new direction 

of activity that results from a conflict of impulses, there are 

to be found certain éléments that are connected with the 

satisfaction of both conflicting aims. As a ready means of 

providing such common éléments, the love of parents and of 

other relatives may'therefore in very many cases be supported 

by the energy derived both from the Narcissistic and the 

object-seeking components of affection, Hence another potent 

reason for the widespread occurrence of this form of love. 

The dépend- (7) Another set of factors working towards the production 

ence aspects ^md maintenance of the tendencies to incest are those connected 

directly^Lster with the dependence of the youthful individiual on the family, 

incestuous ^^^ ail that this implies. We hâve already, in Chapters IV 
tendencies •/ ± 

and V studied the manner in which the inertia of habit, the 

difficulties involved in the growth of individuality, the efforts 

required for self-governance, self-maintenance and independence 

and the tendency to regress to an earher stage of development 

in the face of obstacles, ail combine to produce the rétention 

of, or the return to, a relatively infantile attitude towards the 

family. We were there chiefly concerned with the aspects of 

self-preservation and self-expression rather than with the aspects 

of love or reproduction, but it is évident that the infantile and 

childish stages of both aspects must be associated with one 

another, so that a fixation at an early stage of development 

with regard to one aspect will be likely to bring with it a 

corresponding fixation as regards the other. Thus, for instance, 

an undue reluctance to abandon the conception of the mother 

as the protector and provider of childhood may easily entail a 

similar failure of growth on the erotic side. In gênerai it would 

appear that the inertia of the human mind, which so often 

involves a failure to emancipate the self from the trammels of 

the early family life, will tend inevitably to produce a corre- 



sponding want of adjustment in the love life. This factor of 
itself would not suffice to bring about the tendency to incest, 
but, given the existence of this tendency, it might constitute an 
influence of very considérable power in maintaining the tendency 
in question, both in the individual and in the race, and might 
even be a means of producing a reversion to this tendency in 
cases v^here it seemed to hâve been superseded or outgrown. 

(8) The sentiment of parent love having been called into 
existence by the aid of the factors we hâve already enumérated — 
directly in the case of i and 2, more indirectly in the case of 
4, 5 and 6 and still more indirectly perhaps in the case of 
3 and 7 — ail conditions are particularly favourable for its 
continuance and growth. In the first place, it is almost certainly The sentiment 
one of the earliest important sentiments to be formed, the only ^^ powerf'u^^ 
other one which can compare with it in this respect being the virtue of its 
self-regarding sentiment. It thus enjoys as compared with most ^^rlyformation 
others sentiments ail the advantage afforded by priority. What 
the exact nature of any such advantage may be, it would be 
hazardous to suggest in détail: we know however that it is a 
gênerai characteristic of the function and development of mind 
that dispositions which are formed early in the life of the 
individual enjoy a greater stability and permanence than those 
subsequendy acquired. Even where, as so often happens, the 
function of the earlier dispositions is modified or obscured by 
the results of later expérience, the phenomena of "régression" 
to earlier levels, as manifested in pathology, show clearly 
enough that the earlier dispositions remain intact throughout 
life and in many cases seem to be (in themselves and apart 
from the influence of extraneous factors) paths that offer less 
résistance to the passage of emotional energy than do those 
formed at a later period, It may well be then that its priority 
of formation gives to the sentiment of parent-love a more 
stable and deep-rooted foundation than that enjoyed by any 
sentiment subsequently formed. 

Further, psycho-analytic study appears to indicate very 
strongly that it is in the nature of the mind for ah the earliest 
channels of conative energy not only to remain capable of 
functioning in later Hfe, but actually to continue to function, 
though often in such a degree or in such a way as to hâve but 
little if any direct influence on consciousness or action. Thus 






favour its 


it would appear that when a sublimation is formed and 
emotional energy is directed into a fresh channel, not ail the 
energy passing through the original channel is deflected ; some, 
on the contrary, continues to pass along the original channel. 
At each fresh sublimation this process is repeated, so that, 
to use a simile of Freud's, we may compare the development 
of the Libido to the history of a wandering tribe, which at 
each fresh migration leaves some of its members behind in the 
home it is just leaving (the larger the proportion of the population 
that is left behind — i. e, the greater the fixations — the greater 
being of course the tendency to regress along the former Une 
of advance when an obstacle is encountered). In such a system 
of function and development, it is clear that the oldest channels 
are necessarily, in a sensé, the most stable and permanent, the 
least easy to modify or to destroy. 

In this respect then the channels comprising the sentiment 
of parent-love are comparable to ail other early channels of 
the Libido. Just as the autoerotic trends connected with the 
oral, anal and urethral régions of the body and the primitive 
tendencies to sadism, masochism and exhibitionism hâve been 
shown to underlie many of the activities of adult life, so (on. 
a higher and more complex level of development) parent-love 
has been revealed as the foundation upon which rests the 
greater part of the affection of childhood, adolescence and 
maturity, From this point of view it would appear that 
parent-love, in its persistence and influence on later life, exhibits 
characteristics which are, in greater or less degree; common to 
ail the earliest manifestations of the Libido, 

In one important respect however the history of parent 
love differs from the history of many other of thèse early 
manifestations. Parent-love not only comes into being at a very 
early âge, but, as regards many of its attributes, it normally 
persists with but little altération throughout the whole of the 
impressionable period from infancy to adolescence. The sensual 
éléments of this love are, it is true, for the most part repressed 
soon after they appear, but the éléments of tendemess and 
vénération usually remain and build up a sentiment which 
opérâtes vigorously and continuously for many years, whereas 
the other sentiments formed during this period (with the 
exception again of the self-regarding sentiment) are apt to be 



of a far more temporary and evanescent character. It is true, 
as we hâve seen, that as development proceeds the affection 
felt towards the parents is to some extent displaced on to 
other persons, but nevertheless, in the normal course of events, 
a large portion of this affection remains throughout early Ufe 
fixated on its original object, Moreover as regards this fixation 
of affection on the parents (provided only no sensual élément 
be too apparent), the individual meets as a rule with every 
encouragement and sign of approval from those about him, not 
with the disapprobation or ridicule which he often encounters 
when his affections are directed elsewhere. The sentiment of 
parent love has therefore the support of moral sanction in a 
way enjoyed by few, if any, other sentiments of love that may 
be formed in early Ufe. 

We see therefore that both as regards priori ty of formation 
and as regards duration, Angour and continuity of function 
throughout the ail important period of development, parent 
love normally occupies an almost unique place among the 
sentiments — a place which renders to some extent intelligible 
the importance of the rôle it plays in human life, 

(9) Finally, the tendency to incestuous direction of affection, The tendency 
having once been brought into existence, has no doubt been b^roug^fabo^^ 
strengthened and Consolidated by the actual practice of incest isstrengthened 
that has pretty certainly occurred on a wide scale among certain ^^ tradiUwi 
races and at certain levels of development ^. 

1 We hâve already (p. 90) given certain examples of that most common 
form of incest, the connection of brother and sister. We may hère refer 
briefly to a few further instances, more especially to those in which there 
occurs the more intimate connection between parents and children. Such 
instances would seem to hâve been observed with especial frequency 
among the Indians of North America. Thus Samuel Hearne, writing in 1795, 
tells ns of the Chippewayans that ** it is notoriously known that many of 
them cohabit occasionally with their own mothers and frequently espouse 
their sisters and daughters. I hâve known several of them who, after having 
lived in that state with their danghters, hâve given them to their sons and 
ail parties hâve been perfectly reconciled to it." ('*jbumey to the Northern 
Océan," 1795, 130). Eighty years later Bancroft tells us much the same of 
the Kadiaks ("The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America," 
1875, I, 81). An observer of about the same period writes conceming the 
eastem tribes of the Tinnehs that "instances of men united to their mothers, 
their sisters or their daughters are far from rare. I hâve heard among them 
of two sons keeping their mother as a common wife, of another wedded 




to his daughter, while in cases of polygamy having two sisters to wife is 
very usual." ("Annual Report of Régents of the Smithsonian Institution," 
1867, 310). 

In South America too the practice of incest of this kmd would appear 
to hâve been fairly freqiiently observed. Thus in Brazil the Indians of the 
Isanna river *'marry one, two or three wives and prefer relations, marrying 
with cousins, uncles with nièces, nephews with aunts, so that in a village 
ail are connected" (A. R. Wallace, "Travels in the Amazon and Rio Negro," 
1889, 352). Commenting on this report, Frazer adds that "in this préférence 
for marriage with blood relations the Indians of the Isanna agrée with other 
Indian tribes of South America, especially of Brazil" ("Totemism and 
Exogamy," III, 575). Conceming this same part of the world, another traveller 
says that "in gênerai it may be asserted that incest in ail degrees is of 
fréquent occurrence among the numerous tribes and hordes on the Amazon 
and the Rio Negro" (See Martius, *' Zur Ethnographie Amerikas, zumal 
Brasiliens," 1867, 116). Of the Peruvian aborigines we are told by an earlier 
authority that they " follow their own desires without excepting sister, 
daughter or mother. Others excepted their mother but none else" 
(Garcilasso de la Vega, First part of the " Royal Commentaries of the 
Yncas," trans. by C. R. Markham, 1869-71, I, 58). 

Similar observations hâve been made by travellers among primitive 
peoples in many other parts of the world. Thus with the Karens of 
Tenasserim "matrimonial alliances between brother and sister or father and 
daughter are not uncommon" {Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of 
Befîgalf Vn, 856). In Africa "the kings of Gonzalves and Gaboon are 
accustomed to marry their grown-up daughters and the queens marry their 
eldest sons" (A. Bastian, " Der Mensch in der Geschichte," 1860, III, 293). In 
a district of Celebes " father and daughter, mother and son, brother and 
sister frequently lived together in bonds of matrimony" (S. J. Hickson, 
" A Naturalist in North Celebes " 1889,277). With the Kalangs (probably the 
aborigines of Java) "mother and son often live together as man and wife, 
and it is a belief that prosperity and riches flow from such a union" 
(E. Ketjen, De Kalangers, Tijdschrift vo7t Indische Taal-Land en Volkenkunde, 
1877, XXIV, 427). Very similar practices hâve been reported from New 
Guinea (Rev. J. Chalmers, " Notes on the Natives of Kiwai," Journal of the 
Royal Anthropological Institute, XXXI, II, 1903, 124), the Indian Archipelago 
(Wilken, Over de Verwantschap en het huwelijks en enfrechts bij de volken 
van het maleische ras, 1883, 277), and Melanesia (Frazer, "Totemism and 
Exogamy," H, 118). 

But it must not be supposed that the fréquent practice of incest is 
confined to primitive races. Although in civihsed communities regarded 
with almost universal condemnation, incest has probably always existed to 
some extent among certain sections of the population and the practice of 
incest among modem white races is undoubtedly much more prévalent 
than is commonly supposed. A well known British psycho-analyst assures 
me that in the exercise of their profession he and his colleagues hear with 
astonishing frequency of cases of incest, the report of which is otherwise 
suppressed. Particularly is this so as regards children. At the présent day 



Apart from the actual observation of incestuous practices The 

at the présent day, the previous occurrence of incest on a wide occurrence of 
scale may (as we hâve already to some extent indicated in '"brinTeTred^ 
earlier chapters) frequently be inferred with some degree of ^^^^, certain 
certainty from the nature of practices, customs, observances ^"instUuLnT 
and institutions which seem to be remnants or vestiges of a 
one-time gênerai prevalence of incest. We hâve already referred 
to the practice of brother-sister marriage among certain hnes 
of monarchs (p. 91), to the customs of the levirate and sororate 
(p. 93) and of group marriage (p. 90), the droit de seigneur 
(p. 143) and the licence frequendy permitted at certain festivals 
such as initiation (p. 89). 

Evidence for the previous existence of incest is also forth- 
coming from the measures and prohibitions erected to prevent 
it. The "avoidances'' practised by a large number of savage 
peoples are very numerous and bave référence to ail the 
principal relationships, both those of blood and those acquired 
by marriage. Thèse "avoidances" are unhesitatingly regarded by 
most authorities as customs adopted as a précaution against Especially 

incest . from Exogamy 

The most striking institution of this kind is however un- 
doubtedly that of Exogamy. There is as yet no complète con- 
sensus of opinion as to the causes that bave led to the origin 
and development of exogamy, but the majority of the eminent 
investigators who bave devoted themselves to the subject agrée 
that the avoidance of incest is the principal factor that has led 
to the création of the system. The varions stages of exogamic 
development, as seen in Australia, appear to constitute so many 

however, incest undoubtedly occurs most frequently among the poorer 
classes, where want of adéquate housing accommodation renders the 
temptation greater. It is startling to note in this connection that, according 
to the Chicago Vice Commission, out of a group of 103 girls examined, no 
less than 51 reported that they had received their first sexual expérience 
at the hands of their father ("The Social Evil in Chicago," 1911, quoted by 
W. A.White, *' Me^'chanisms of Character Formation," 1916, 163). Even if We 
allow a libéral margin for incorrect or exaggerated statements (in this case 
of course^ instances of wish-fulfilment), thèse figures would seem to afford 
astonishing évidence as to the prevalence of incest of the father-daughter 
type in the towns of America. In this country there is reason to believe 
that similar occurrences are far from being uncommon (cp, " Downward 
Paths", 20). 

195 13* 


fresh encroachments upon the liberty of inceste the later and 
more complex four class system prohibiting certain unions 
between relatives that the earlier and simpler two class system 
bas permitted, while tbe eight class System in tum prevents 
those that are not excluded under the four class system, 
though the actual relationships prohibited differ somewhat 
according to whether descent is traced in the maie or 
female line. 
Exogamywas There is a considérable amount of évidence to show that 

Pi'^^^bly exogamy, where now in force, was preceded by a period in 
Endogamy which the unions prohibited under its rule were freely indulged 
in, though the marriage tie was at the same time broader and 
less binding. Thus of the Central Australians Spencer and 
Gillen^ say that tradition **seems to point back to a time when 
a man always married a woman of his own totem. The 
référence to men and woman of one totem always living 
together in groups would appear to be too fréquent to admit 
of any other satisfactory explanation. We never meet in 
tradition with an instance of a man living with a woman who 
was not of his own totem." The same conclusion as to the 
former universal prevalence of endogamy émerges from a 
study of the actually observed condition of the Australian 
natives^ the rude and uncultivated tribes of the interior being 
still to some extent endogamic, while there is a graduai 
increase in the frequency and strictness of exogamy, as we 
proceed from thèse to the more advanced communities of the 
north ^. Among the Kacharis of Assam we hâve an example of 
what is probably the still more primitive process of a 
compulsory endogamy giving place to freedom to marry outside 
the totem group, endogamy being hère thus not only permitted 
but enjoined*. Other indications of the co-existence of endogamy 
with a totemic system are found in Madagascar^ and in 
N.W. America®. 

Frazer supposes that exogamy in its beginning arose 

1 Cp. Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy," IV, 112 ff. 

2 *' Native Tribes of Central Australia," 419. 

3 Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy/' I, 242 ff. 

^ Idem, op, cit., IV, 297, quoting Rev. S. Endle. 

5 Idem, op, cit.y H, 636. 

6 Idem, op. cit., HT, 340. 

'• 196 


originally as a restriction upon complète promiscuity, though 
he admits that such promiscuity need not hâve been charac- 
teristic of absolutely primitive man^. As a matter of fact the 
most primitive races that we know seem to be usually 
monogamous and endogamous. This is for instance to a greater Really 
or less extent the case with the Veddahs^, the Andamanese^, prinùtive races 
the lowest forest tribes of Brazil*, the inhabitants of the ^amous"^and' 
interior of Bornéo^, the Semangs and Senoi of the Malay endogamous 
Peninsula®, and the Negritos of the Philippines'' and Central 

In thèse primitive peoples and in those who, as we must The family is 
suppose, formerly resembled them, the family would appear to therefore their 
be a more closely knit and socially a more important unit than social unit 
in the later âge of totemism and exogamy; there being in this 
respect a resemblance between the primitive condition and that 
of the post-totemic patriarchal period. There is reason to 
beheve however that in the case of really primitive man (in 
distinction from the later patriarchal period) the family is often 
the only permanent and stable imit; such approximation to 
tribal organisation as exists being mostly of a temporary or 
fluctuating character. With such peoples the low state of culture ïncestanatural 
will often necessitate a relatively scattered population, and in conséquence 
thèse circumstances endogamy and incest may be a natural — conditions 
indeed possibly sometimes an inévitable — conséquence ; for where 
families live in relative isolation for long periods together, 
opportunities for marriage outside the family may be few, and 
abstention from sexual activities during thèse periods would 
imply a greater power of continence than would seem as a 
rule to be possessed by primitive peoples. Incest would 
naturally follow too under thèse conditions from the early 
ripening of the sexual instinct which is generally found in 

1 Op. cit., IV, 138. 

2 "Among whom death alone séparâtes husband and wife". John 
Bailey, "An Account of the Wild Tribes of the Veddahs of Ceylon." Trans. 
of the Ethnological Society, N. S. II, 1863, 293. 

3 Westermarck, "History of Human Marriage", 507. 

4 Idem, loc. ciL 
^ Idem, loc. cit. 

6 Wundt, "Eléments of Folk Psychology", 48, 50. 

7 Idem, îoc. cit. 

8 Idem, îoc. cit. 



primitive man K The yery early cohabitation of the sexes which 

results therefrom would, in relatively isolated families, almost 

necessarily occur in an incestuous form. 

How do past If thèse influences hâve made incest a common practice 

incestuous ^^ ^^ç. period of man^s history, in what ways has this practice 

oractices t)ro~ •/ * 

duce présent contributed to the tendency to incest found at a later date and 
tendencies to ^^ ^j^^ présent day? In view of the widespread (we are probably 
justified in saying universal) occurrence of this tendency, of the 
relative uniformity of its ultimate nature in spite of manifold 
différences of culture, training, and environment, of the great 
strength which it possesses even after âges of repression, there 
is not unnaturally a temptation to regard it as an innate factor 
in man's mental constitution, i. e.y to assert that there is in 
man an hereditary tendency to direct his love and sexual 
The influence inclination to those who are of his own blood or at any rate 
ofiiereditYand ^q those with whom he has been brought up and has been 
familiar since his infancy^. Possibly in the long âges in which 
man or his pre-human ancestors lived in relatively isolated 
families, this tendency was of advantage in the struggle for 
existence, in so much as it may hâve contributed both to more 
rapid multiplication and to the greater consolidation, and 
therefore greater safety and stabihty, of the family, as the 
most important social unit. The tendency to incest may thus 
be due ultimately to the action of natural sélection; the long 
period during which incest was regularly practised may hâve 
established and ingrained it as a normal feature of the 
race and its persistence to-day may be due to the con- 
tinuance of the hereditary disposition thus formed and thus 

1 Cp, E. S. Hartland, "Primitive Patemity", H, 254, ff. 

2 It is not perhaps quite easy to see what can be the psychic 
mechanism in virtue of which men should be attracted to blood relations 
strictly as such, though to the présent writer it would seem to be a 
possibiUty which should not be entirely lost sight of. Such a tendency 
may perhaps hâve arisen : (i) as the resuit of some vague and imconscious 
sensé of affinity, similarity or harmony, based perhaps on an unconscious 
memory impression of pre-natal life (in the case of child and mother or 
of twins), or upon some other condition of a psychical, physiological or 
Chemical order; (2) at a higher level through the action of perceived 
physical or psychical resemblance, thèse in tum playing on the Narcissistic 
components of the love impulse. 



Apart from the direct influence of this hereditary factor 
however, a long period during which incest was habituai 
may hâve affected the tendency to incest at a later time through 
custora, law and tradition. Thèse change but slowly in a 
primitive society, and, through their inertia, would tend to 
reinforce or maintain the hereditary factor, even when, owing 
to the action of other causes, incest may hâve been abandoned 
in the main in favour of exogamy. Thèse influences may hâve 
kept alive the remembrance of, and désire for, incest, which 
would otherwise possibly hâve succumbed to the forces working 
to bring about its suppression. 




Causes of 



of primitive 


Supposing the tendency to incest to hâve been called into 
being and. maintained by some such causes, or combination of 
causes, as we bave considered in the last chapter, what are the 
influences that hâve brought about the inhibition and repression 
of this tendency — influences which, as we hâve akeady 
remarked, must be strong in proportion to the strength of the 
tendency itself? We find hère, as was not the case with 
our discussion of the positive aspects of the tendency, that 
certain explanations hâve aiready been advanced, though thèse 
are for the most part obviously unsatisfactory, or at best 

(i) The reasons which are given by primitive peoples for 
their obédience to the rule of exogamy are various ; sometimes 
it is considered that harm would come to the pair who are 
guilty of the forbidden union, this perhaps being usually of 
the nature of some disease, or else very frequently, impotence 
or barrenness ; sometimes it is the offspring of the guilty pair 
who will incur the penalty; quite often, however, the evil 
results of such a union are supposed to affect the whole 
community to which they belong and consist not uncommonly 
in gênerai infertility of women, animais and plants. Thèse 
reasons, though they no doubt exercise a powerful influence 
among those who hold them, are for the most part too 
obviously of the nature of superstitions, inventions or rationali- 
sations to be taken at their face value ; though the study of 
them on psycho-analytic principles would no doubt bring 
interesting and suggestive results. 


Hardly much more satisfactory, if regarded as attempts 
at affording complète and ultimate explanations, are some of 
hypothèses that hâve been put forward by modem students 
of exogamy. 

(2) Thus, Durkheim^ suggests that exogamy arose as a Durkheim's 
resuit of the religious respect for blood, particularly menstruous Theorv of the 
blood; the divine totemic being is supposed to be résident in blood 
blood, hence blood is sacred, especially to those of the totem 
clan, and no man of this clan may trespass on the very spot 
where the sacred blood periodically manifests itself. Even if 
this theory should afford a satisfactory proximate explanation 
of exogamy, it is obviously very far from revealing the true 
ultimate biological and psychological factors that hâve led to 
the practice. Even apart from this, however, it gives rise to 
certain difficulties and objections (more especially connected 
with the lack of the close correspondence between exogamous 
classes and totemic clans which we should expect upon this 
theory) and has abnost certainly at best but a very limited 
field of application 2. 

(3) Westermarck ^ would explain exogamy and the avoidance Wester- 
of incest generally as due to the fact that there is an innate ^f^^'^i^^ate^ 
aversion to sexual intercourse between persons living together aversion to 
from early youth, and that, as such persons are in most cases 
related by blood, this feeling would naturally display itseiï in 
custom and law as a horror of intercourse between near kin*. 

1 *'La Prohibition de Tinceste et ses origines," U Année Sociologique, 
I, 1890, 55 ff. 

2 Cp, Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy", IV, 100 ff. 

3 " History of Human Marriage/* 320 ff. 

4 A difficulty in connection with Westermarck's theory is concemed 
with the question as to how an aversion to sexual intercourse between 
those who hâve hved from infancy together changed to a similar aversion 
between blood relatives. How is it, if the original aversion was of the 
former kind, that it has left but Httle trace of its existence, while the 
aversion to marriage between blood relatives, which is supposed to hâve 
been derived from it, is grown so strong? It would seem as if the theory 
would perhaps hâve to be modified so as to postulate the existence of an 
original aversion to the marriage of blood relatives, as such ; though of 
course this only opens up the fresh difficulty of accounting for the manner 
in which such an aversion could anse. We are hère faced with the same 
problem that we hâve already encountered in the case of the positive 
aspects of the love impulse between relatives (p. 198 footnote). 




As to the gênerai existence of this horror there can be no 
doubt, and to assign to it an important part in framing human 
opinions and institutions with regard to incest is perfectly 
justifiable so long as we do not lose sight of the f act that this 
horror is only one side of the total human attitude towards 
the matter and that alongside of the horror there exists an 
attraction towards incest which corresponds in intensity to that of 
the horror itself i. An explanation in terms of this incest horror is 
not, however, that which we are seéking; it is, on the contrary, 
the very existence of this horror for which we are trying to 
account. We hâve to ask, what are the conditions in human 
life and mind that hâve brought about the widespread aversion 
resulting from to incest that is so generally manifested. According to Wester- 
*^eff "cts^of^^ marck, thèse conditions are to be found in the process of 
inbreeding natural sélection ; marriages between near kin are, he maintains, 
on the whole injurions to the species and, therefore, throùgh 
survival of the fittest, the existing races of men show a marked 
aversion to such marriages. 
Thèse effects In estimating the correctness of this theory, it is well to 

^^ certain ^"^ remember that the supposed ill effects of inbreeding in men 
and animais are by no means as yet universally admitted by 
those who hâve studied the subject, and that, even so far as 
their existence is admitted, they are not yet fuUy understood 
or accurately measured. It is indeed often a matter of 
considérable difficulty to discover any ill effects that may be 
due to this cause, especially in the case of slow breeding 
animais, such as Man, and the conclusions that hâve been 
arrived at with regard to the human race hâve to a great 
extent been derived by analogy from observations made upon 
lower animais. It would seem to be fairly generally agreed 
that such ill effects as may exist arise for the most part from 
the reinforcement or accentuation of hereditary weaknesses and 
defects that is liable to occur in inbreeding and that members 
of a perfectly healthy family might continue to mate with one 
another for several (perhaps for many) générations without 
evil conséquences, though possibly a loss of vigour, strength or 
fertihty might ultimately occur. In the case of the Ptolemies of 

1 If this were not the case^ we might well ask with other critics why 
a natural instinct to avoid incestuous relations should need the reinforcement 
of légal penalties and prohibitions. 


Egypt and the Incas of Peru inbreeding of this kind has (as 
we hâve already observed in another connection) actually been 
practised and does not seem to hâve produced any conspicuously 
bad results. There is some évidence, too, that seems to point 
to the fact that the supposed ill effects of inbreeding are 
due to the results of continuously similar environment and 
conditions of life rather than to the physiological resemblance 
of the parents, or at any rate that any evil effects of the latter 
cause may be counterbalanced by a change of abode or of 
the mode of hving^ 

East and Jones in their récent valuable survey of our 
présent knowledge on the subject^ conclude quite défini tely 
that inbreeding is not in itseK productive of ill effects, the 
results of inbreeding in any particular case depending entirely 
upon the hereditary qualities transmitted; so that, although in 
bad stock the intensification of undesirable qualities through 
inbreeding might soon bring about détérioration, in good stock 
inbreeding is the surest method of making the désirable 
qualities a stable and permanent characteristic of the race. 
Nevertheless there are, in the opinion of thèse writers, certain 
advantages of a gênerai nature to be derived from outbreeding 
connected principally : (i) with the occurrence of heterosis 
or hybrid vigour as a resuit of outbreeding, (2) with the fact 
that outbreeding leads to greater variability betvveen individuals 
than does inbreeding, thus giving greater scope for the action 
of sélective agencies and therefore endowing the race with 
greater power of adaptation to a changing environment — a 
factor which is probably of very considérable importance and 
which indeed seems to hâve been overlooked in a number of 
previous discussions of the subject, especially by non- 
biological writers. 

It thus appears that stress shoiold be laid upon the 
advantages of outbreeding rather than upon the supposed ill 
effects of inbreeding. Nevertheless we must admit that there 
exist biological factors of such a kind as to be capable of 
influencing the psychological attitude towards incest in the way 

1 For a discussion of the question of inbreeding in the présent con- 
nection , see Frazer, "Totemism and Exogamy", IV. 160 ff. 

2 ''Inbreeding and Outbreeding", Monographs on Expérimental 
Biology, 1919. 



and can 
scarcely ac- 
intensity of 
the incest 

Influence of 



that Westermarck's theory requires. But although the theory 
that incest prohibition is due to natural sélection working on 
the relative disadvantages of inbreeding may be correct so far 
as it goes, this does not absolve us from the duty of looking 
elsewhere for other factors which may hâve worked in the 
same direction. For it appears veiy doubtful whether the 
factors we hâve just been considering can be regarded as an 
adéquate explanation of incest prohibition as we know it. If it 
is the advantages of outbreeding rather than the disadvantages 
of inbreeding that are potent; if the evil effects of 
inbreeding are so relatively slight as to leave room for doubt 
as to their nature and even the fact of their existence; if they 
are of such kind as to leave healthy stocks but little if at ail 
affected and to become serions only after long continuance 
without admixture of fresh blood from outside (a state of affairs 
that can but rarely hâve occurred); and if they are liable to 
be counteracted by a change of locality or of life*s conditions 
(which must sometimes hâve occurred, especially among 
nomadic peoples): then it is not easy to imderstand how such 
a widespread and powerful human characteristic as the aversion 
to incest can hâve arisen solely as the resuit of natural sélection, 
working through the bad effects of incest or the superior 
advantages of outbreeding. The largeness of the resuit would 
be manifestly out of proportion to the cause, and it would seem 
that although we may allow some considérable influence to this 
factor, we hâve to admit that it must be supplemented by 
some other cause or causes of appréciable magnitude^. 

^ Supposing that natural sélection does exercise some influence of the kind 
indicated, such influence does not of course, hère any more than elsewhere, 
necessarily imjply any appréciation of the nature of the causes at work. On 
the contrary, as some authorities hâve pointed out, it is scarcely possible 
to ascribe to primitive man any conscious réalisation of the ill effects of 
inbreeding (if thèse exist). Thèse ill effects manifest themselves much too 
slowly to be observed by the savage with his relatively short memory 
and his lack of interest in remote events, especially when, as has often 
been the case, there has been uncertainty as to the nature of patemity. 
Even if the savage were able to realise the nature of this hereditary 
influence, it is pretty clear that his actions and feelings would be but 
little affected thereby, for it is one of the most gênerai characteristics of 
the primitive mind that it takes but small account of distant conséquences, 
whereas Eugenics involves the appréciation of such conséquences in a 
high degree. 



(4) According to one type of explanation {e. g. that 
held by Wundt* the horror of incest is not the cause of 
exogamy, but the conséquence of it — the origin of exogamy 
itself being due to some other influences only indirectly 
connected with the sex life. Of such théories of the origin of 
exogamy a number hâve been put forward by eminent 

Thus McLennan 2, the discoverer of both Totemism and 
Exogamy, held the view that exogamy was a conséquence of 
the wide prevalence of marriage by capture; this latter being 
itself a resuit of the prépondérance of the maie sex over the 
female in primitive communities and of the gênerai condition 
of hostility existing between neighbouring tribes. Herbert 
Spencer^ similarly thought that exogamy arose from marriage 
by capture, men belonging to successful tribes nearly always 
acquiring their brides in this w^ay, so that it eventuaUy became 
a disgrâce to marry within the tribe. Lord Avebury^, believing 
that group marriage or promiscuity w^as the rule in primitive 
Society, suggests that women taken in war belonged to their 
individual capter, marriage in a narrow sensé being thus 
exogamous from the start. Kohler^ beheves on the contrary, 
that exogamy arose as a means of bringing about inter-tribal 
friendships or alliances. Andrew Lang^ has suggested that 
exogamy is due to the fact that the younger brothers of a 
family were frequently driven out by the stronger and older 
ones in order to ward off any w^ant that might arise from the 
living together of a large number of brothers and sisters — 
the younger brothers being then obliged to marry outside the 
family group. 

Now ail thèse factors— and others too perhaps— may very 
well hâve had their influence in bringing about the practice of 
exogamy: in particular, it would seem that the difficulty of 
supporting a large family living together under reaUy primitive 

Such factors 

cannot fully 



1 "Eléments of Folk Psychology", 151. 

2 "Studies in Ancient History" (snd. éd.) 160. 

3 "Principles of Sociology", I, 619. 

4 "The Origin of Civilisation'*, 135 f^- 

5 "Indisches Ehe- und Familienrecht", Zeitschrift fur vergîeichende 
Rechtswissenschaft, m, 1882, 361. 

6 Atkinson and Andrew Lang, "The Primai Law." 



conditions would be very likely to hâve had the effect of 
driving the younger members of the family away from the 
immédiate circle of their parents. Nevertheless there appears 
to be a pretty gênerai agreement that none of thèse théories 
affords a complète and sufficient account of the origin of 
exogamy. The conditions postulated by McLennan's theory 
(shortage of women and fréquent wars between neighbouring 
groups) are by no means universally found among primitive 
peoples, and even if there exists the required prépondérance 
of men over women, it is by no means obvious why the men 
should refuse to avail themselves of such fellow-tribeswomen 
as they could find. On Spencer*s view, it is difficult or 
impossible to account for the existence of exogamy among ail 
the tribes of a given area, since in constant warfare there 
must be some which are vanquished, and among thèse endogamy 
rather than exogamy should be the rule. Lord Avebury's 
theory rests on the assumption that communal marriage was 
the original condition of mankind — an assumption that is now 
abandoned by many of the best authorities. Kohler*s view can 
scarcely explain how the objection to sexual unions within the 
tribe should hâve corne to apply not only to marriage but 
(equally strongly) to less regular or purely temporary 
connections. Andrew Lang's theory similarly fails to explain 
why the rule of exogamy is made to apply to the elder 
members of the family with the same force as to the younger \ 
Moreover, even supposing that the existence of such an 
institution as exogamy could be in itself satisfactorily accounted 
for on some such grounds as those advanced by théories of 
this kind, it is at once évident that we hâve hère no adéquate 
explanation of the strictness with which the system is enforced, 
The psycho- the severe penalties that are exacted for infringement of its 
ÎTf^^i ^nc^est ^^^^^ (which is very often punishable by death), the intense 
prohibition nature of the incest horror generally, and the fact that this 
insXcie^cy ^orror persists even where, as in civilised countries, there is 
of thèse no organised System of exogamy in the technical sensé. The 
psychological researches of Freud and his followers would seem 
to hâve shown conclusively that this intense aversion to incest 
(like ail répugnances and taboos of a similar kind) is the 

1 A full discussion of thèse théories will be found in Westermarck's 
" History of Human Marriage" and Frazer^s "Totemism and Exogamy"- 




négative expression of a correspondingly intense désire for 
the forbidden thing, and therefore no explanation which 
neglects to take into considération this désire can be regarded 
as even approximately satisfactory. If the aversion to incest 
had arisen merely as a conséquence of the age-long practice 
of exogamy — which itself is due to other causes— there would 
be no reason why this aversion should be intimately connected 
v^ith the positive tendency to incest or of sufficient strength 
to overcome this tendency, with the pov^erfulness of v^hich 
we are now well acquainted. In view of the existence of this 
strong tendency to incest (which was not appreciated before 
the work of Freud), it seems no longer possible to maintain, 
either that exogamy can hâve arisen independently of the counter- 
impulse to repress this tendency, or that this counter-impulse, 
which finds its psychic expression in that incest horror so 
generally observable both in primitive and cultured man, can 
be satisfactorily explained as the resuit of any institution or 
custom itself unconnected with the tendency to incest. 

(5) Turning to factors that hâve in gênerai received less The biological 
explicit récognition at the hands of the authorities who hâve ^ ^^^^^f^^h'id 
written on the subject, we may note first that as regards the incest 
most fundamental type of incest as revealed by psycho-analytic 
study — that of parent and child — there is involved a sort of 
biological absurdity, which may well hâve been to some extent 
instrumental, through the agency of natural sélection, of bringing 
about that inhibition of the incestuous tendencies for which we 
hâve to account. Parents and children necessarily differ consid- 
erably in âge, though less so in most primitive communities 
than in the civilised societies of to-day, where marriage is so 
often postponed till relatively late in life. Even among primitive 
peoples however the différence is veiy appréciable, especially 
in view of the fact (which must be borne in mind in this 
connection) that with such peoples, owing to the harder 
conditions of existence, life is often shorter than in civilised 
communities, while the enfeeblement that accompanies advancing 
âge comes on proportionately sooner. If men were to follow 
blindly the impulses manifested in the primitive and fundamental 
forms of incest tendency, sons would cohabit with their 
mothers, daughters with their fathers. In such unions one of 
the partners would be relatively aged, and the offspring would 



in conséquence very probably be lacking in that degree of 
vitality or health normally possessed by the children of parents 
of more equal âge; they would moreover fail, in the majority 
of cases, to enjoy that degree of provision and protection 
which could be afforded where both parents are still youthfuL 
Even if such unions were to occur, they could not (in the case 
of one sex at any rate) be continued in the foUowing génération; 
for if a son were to cohabit with his mother and if a maie 
child resulted from their union, this child could not in tum 
fruitfuUy unité with his mother (who would also be his grand- 
mother), as she would be now definitely past the reproductive 
âge. Further, such unions would come into opposition with 
the almost universal tendency to find sexual attractiveness in 
youthful rather than in aged persons — a tendency which, like 
the appréciation of beauty in the opposite sex in gênerai, we 
may suppose has been shaped largely, if not wholly, by the 
opération of natural sélection, which has ensured that men and 
women should in the main be attracted to those who are most 
likely to produce strong and healthy children. 

Thus it can easily be understood that any races which 
tended to indulge to any large extent the impulses which 
prompt to incestuous unions between parents and children 
would be at a disadvantage as compared with those races ia 
which thèse unions did not occur or occurred less frequently; 
the latter races tending therefore to supplant the former. Given 
then the existence of â strong impulse towards parent-children 
unions, we can see how biological factors may very well hâve 
favoured the growth of strong counteracting factors, such as 
manif est themselves in the repression of the tendencies towards 
this form of incest. 

Thèse considérations would of course apply not only to 
relations between parents and children but to ail other unions 
in which the âge différence between the partners is consid- 
érable. They would not however apply to unions between 
brother and sister or between cousins who are of approximately 
equal âge. The influences which lead to the aversions to thèse 
latter unions must be sought elsewhere^ 

1 Whatever real tnith there may be in this argument, we must not. 
fail to bear in mind that it is admirably adapted for use as a *'rationali- 
sation", /. e, the fear of evil conséquences (dysgenic or other) from; 



(6) A potent set of influences calculated to inhibit tendencies Fear of the 
to incest are those connected with sexual jealousy. A boy*s conséquents 
love towards his mother, as we hâve seen, almost necessarily jealousy 
brings him to some extent into conflict with his father, while 
a girl's affection to her father is similarly calculated to bring 
about the jealou&y of her mother. This arousal of jealousy on 
the part of the parents may produce repression of the incest 
tendency in the child in a variety of ways; of which perhaps 
the most fréquent and important are: — 

a. fear of punishment at the hands of the jealous 
parent, and 

b. unwiUingness to cause injury or sorrow to this parent 
because of genuine affection being felt tov^ards him (or her) — 
affection which of course may quite well co-exist with very 
considérable jealousy and rivalry. Both thèse motives appear 
prominently in psycho-analytic investigations of the conditions 
underlying the repression of the Œdipus complex in normal 
and neurotic persons of the présent day, and both hâve been 
operative for long âges in the past wherever the family has 
existed in a monogamous form in which the parents lived 
together for a considérable period after the birth of their 
children. Very similar motives may also co-operate in the 
repression of incest tendencies as between brothers and sisters, 
the jealousies in this case being for the most part those 
between brothers or between sisters respectively. 

(7) There can be little doubt that there exists a certain Strong family 
degree of antagonism between the development of strong and ^f^h^g^af 
permanent ties within the family and the development of those development 
sentiments and feelings which bind the individual to the larger 
social groups, such as the tribe or nation, or those which make 
him a prominent, useful and agreeable member of society — in 
that family affections conflict in some degree with gregariousness. 
This antagonism can be observed in society to-day in such 
cases as those in which dependence on, and attachment to, the 
family will prevent an individual from easily adapting himself 

marriages between young and old may well be a conscious (and, in a 
sensé, artificial) substitute for the unconscious aversion to such marriages 
on the ground of their being an indirect expression of incestuous desires. 
We must therefore be on our guard against the tendency to overemphasise 
this argument in the absence of adéquate objective évidence. 

209 14 


to the wider environment of school, collège or club life, or from 
becoming **at home'' in the circle of his business, sporting or 
professional acquaintances. Similarly, undue concentration of 
interest or affection on the family will very frequently prevent 
the formation of those wider sublimations, some of which we 
studied in Chapter XIII, sublimations upon which the successful 
working of a large community may often dépend. The indivi- 
dual who finds the satisfaction of ail his émotions and desires 
within the circle of his family is unlikely to develop to the fuU 
those wider interests in his feUow men and in the social 
conditions of his âge and place, without which ail higher 
political progress and development become impossible. 

At an earher stage of human society the conflict was very 
possibly much more acute. Man, as we hâve seen, was probably 
in origin a family, rather than a social, animal; nevertheless 
it is the gregariousness of man which is responsible for the 
most characteristic features of the progress in culture which 
has led to civilisation. Gregariousness has therefore proved 
itself a very precious biological possession and natural sélection 
would be likely to ensure its rétention and development in the 
human mind, thus affording a strong influence in favour of the 
repression of those family affections which might threaten it. 
It is to some extent in this way perhaps that there came about 
that great révulsion against the monogamie family which is mani- 
fested in the totemic âge — an âge in which the ties Connecting 
the individual with other members of a larger social group 
were developed at the expense of those which attached him 
to his family, and an âge which elaborated the most complex, 
far-reaching and intense barriers against the incest tendencies 
which are shown in the varions Systems of exogamy. 

At a later stage of human development, when the found- 
ations of society were more securely settled, circumstances seem 
to hâve permitted something in the nature of a relaxation of 
the restrictions on family ties and family affections, the exogamic 
rules becoming less strict or less far-reaching and the family 
becoming more firmlyknit together; this change being perhaps 
made possible by the fact that the larger and more complex 
social groups of a more developed society no longer came into 
such direct conflict with the family as an alternative social 
unit — the larger group being now of sufficient size and strength 



to tolerate the co-existence of the smaller (or, more strictly 
speaking, to include the smaller within itself) without fear of 
compétition or disruption. 

Thus, though the urgency of the pressure may very well 
hâve varied in différent times and places, it would seem 
probable that the claims of social life hâve constantly exercised 
some influence in restricting the interests and affections v\rhich 
centre round the family and hâve therefore probably constituted 
one of the forces which hâve helped to bring about that inhibition 
of the incest tendencies for w^hich we are hère tr3âng to account. 

(8) There exists a very similar antagonism betw^een a high xhey conflict 
degree of family attachment and the claims of individual ?ls? y^* 
development. We hâve seen in the earlier chapters the way development 
in which the fuU unfolding of the individual's capacities — his 
ability to maintain himself by his ow^n efforts, his power of 
self reliance, of initiative and of independent thought and 
action — demand a relaxation of the ties that bind him to his 
iamily. It is true that the relations of an individual to his 
family v\rhich are hère in question are not primarily the erotic 
ones; stiU they are everyvi^here in contact with thèse erotic 
aspects of the family relationship and v\rould seem to be highly 
correlated with them — so much so that it is often a matter of 
great difficulty to décide where the erotic éléments end and 
the purely dependence relationships begin^. In virtue of this 
corrélation it would seem that the incest tendencies, when 
developed or retained in a high degree, must be inimical to 
the free growth of individual capacity; in other words, that 
those communities in which the incest tendencies hâve flourished 
would, other things equal, consist of less energetic, self-reliant, 
and efficient individuals than those in which thèse tendencies 
had been kept within more moderate bounds. Natural sélection 
would therefore, we might expect, ensure the continuation of 
those communities in which the incest tendencies were more 
repressed. Similarly, as regards the individuals themselves, it 
would seem hkely that, in virtue of their greater efficiency, 
those would survive and prosper who were able to control 
and to sublimate their incest tendencies rather than those in 
whom thèse tendencies had free and unrestricted play. 

1 It is round this point of course, as we hâve above shown, that the 
<iifferences of opinion between Freud and Jung hâve largely centred. 



Both greater 
and greater 
of Society is 
thus secured 

Among those 

who live 
together sex- 
ual reactions 
are inhibited 

Under the last heading (7) we saw that the repression 
of incest would on the whole lead to the greater intégration 
of human society through a more developed gregariousness 
and the establishment of firmer ties of interest and affection 
between the individual and the community* Under the présent 
heading we hâve seen that the repression of the incest 
tendencies would also lead to greater differentiation through 
a more thorough development of individual characters, abilities 
and différences. If, with Herbert Spencer, we agrée that the 
progress of society (like évolution generally) involves both 
intégration and differentiation, it is easy to see how the 
inhibition of the tendencies to incest may hâve thus contributed 
in two distinct but complementary ways to the advance of 
human civilisation. 

(9) Westermarck, as we saw .above (3), in endeavouring to 
account for the origin of incest horror, drew attention to the 
aversion to sexual intercourse between those who had lived 
together from early youth (a class of persons which usually, of 
course, includes the doser blood relatives). While we must disagree 
with Westermarck in his implicit déniai of the underlying 
attraction between thèse persons — an attraction which makes 
the aversion in question to a large extent nothing more than 
a reaction against the désire for intercourse between them — it 
is nevertheless possible that the study of this wider aversion 
may throw a few rays of fresh light upon the narrower incest 
aversion with which we are concemed. 

Westermarck would regard the objection to intercourse 
between those living together from youth as due to the 
biological causes discussed above (3). Without denying the 
truth of this view, we may venture to suggest that there 
perhaps exist psychological causes, which tend to bring about 
the same resuit. Those who live much together must necessarily 
react in and to each other's présence in a great variety of 
ways, involving a very considérable number of instinctive and 
habituai mechanisms, the majority of which are not — or at most 
are only quite indirectly — sexual in nature, being concemed 
for the most part with life preserving activities {e, g, obtaining 
and preparing food, eating, washing, dressing, acquiring or 
practising various branches of skill or knowledge, the carrying 
on of professional activities, etc), During the greater part of 



their time together, the sexual instincts of the persons concerned 
are therefore held in check in order that the other mental 
trends involved in thèse varions necessary functions may enjoy 
full play; in fact the reaction to each other*s présence along 
the Unes of thèse other trends becomes much more habituai 
than does reaction along the Unes of sexual feeling. The very 
constant inhibition of this latter feeUng occasioned by the 
almost continuai préoccupation with everyday affairs, in which 
those who live together are equally concerned, is apt to make 
it difficult for the inhibition to be entirely removed and for 
the sexual trends to hâve free play, even when opportunity 
offers; and is therefore calculated to make a union between 
those whose hves hâve long been intimately connected appear 
imsuitable or unattractive, quite apart from the opération of 
any definite taboo or prohibition; whereas with strangers inhi- 
bitions of the kind just described are far less operative and 
the sexual impulses can therefore work without impediment. 

A further factor which may reinforce the foregoing is and especially 
connected with the actual hostility (conscious or repressed) that tenden^des 
so frequently exists between those whose lives and interests 
are connected. As we hâve already had occasion to see, the 
compétition that exists between members of the same family 
is almost bound to engender some degree of hostility; and this 
hostility (even if in later life it be quite indiscemible to con- 
sciousness) will add its weight to any force which tends to 
inhibit love of the person towards whom hostihty is felt. 

Hère then we hâve two factors, which, though not peculiar 
to incestuous relationships, nevertheless very probably contribute 
a certain share of influence to the sum total of the forces 
productive of the aversion to incest^. 

1 That some such factors as thèse are probably really operative in 
addition to the more spécifie sexual inhibitions that compose the incest 
barrier proper, is shown by a considération of cases in which no such 
spécifie inhibition exists, e. g, that of husband and wife. In spite of the fact 
that sexual relations between husband and wife are not only permitted but 
enjoined and that mutual sexual attractiveness has usually played some 
considérable part in bringing about the union, there can be little doubt that 
in very many cases a husband and wife, after a certain period of married 
life, tend to find— superficially at any rate— greater sexual attractiveness in 
strangers than in one another, The reasons for this (in the absence of any 
other adéquate cause) are often fairly clearly of the kind described— first, 



The incest (lo) The incestuous tendencies with which we are hère 

tendencies are concemed are, as we hâve amply seen, among the earliest 
by^die gênerai manifestations of sexuality (in the wide sensé of this tenu 
sexual commonly employed by psycho-analysts) and, like most other 
1 ibitions jnanifestations of this aspect of human nature, suffer from the 
gênerai repression to which sexuality in ail its more direct 
expressions is habitually subject. It is no doubt true that the 
incestuous direction bf the youthful sexual impulse itself 
contributes in very appréciable measure to the conditions which 
bring about this gênerai repression, and that this repression is 
therefore to some extent an effect rather than a cause of the 
incest inhibition. Nevertheless it would seem at least equally 
certain that incest inhibition is far from being responsible for 
the whole of sexual repression and that the latter does react 
powerfully in certain respects upon the former, so that the 
existence of a gênerai tendency to the repression of ail mani- 
festations of the sexual instinct may be regarded as consti- 
tuting an additional factor in the inhibition of incestuous 
affection for which we hâve been trying to account^. 

the fact that their associations with one another are largely connectée! with 
the "humdrum" activities of everyday life in which non-sexual instincts are 
principally concemed (whereas with strangers the sexual feelings may 
constitute the prédominant, or perhaps the only, bond); secondly the fact 
that through the very intimacy of their connection there are (as in the case 
of blood relatives) a number of matters as regards which the husband and 
wife are competitors or hâve conflicting interests, thus leading to a certain 
degree of (usually more or less repressed) hostility on either side. 

1 The reasons for the existence of a gênerai sexual repression, over 
and above the incest inhibition, and the psychological mechanisms by which 
this repression is brought about, form a vast and highly important thème 
on which there exists at présent but little gênerai agreement and which^ 
being only indirectly connected with our subject, need fortunately not be 
entered into hère. It is perhaps worth while to point out however in 
passing, that some of the factors which are responsible for the more gênerai 
sexual repression are, in ail probability, similar to those which we hâve 
considered in connection with the production of incest inhibition. Thus 
there would seem to exist an antagonism between a highly developed and 
intensive sexuality and those wider social bonds in virtue of which alone 
the larger human communities are possible. It is on the basis of the mani- 
festations of this antagonism that some writers — as already mentioned — hold 
that the chief motive forces which are active in sexual repression are to 
be found in the instincts of the herd. Still more marked perhaps is the 
antagonism between sex and individuation. It has long been recognised^ 



We hâve now studied some of the principal factors which, 
it seems, may hâve had some influence in producing the 
txemendous conflicts in the human mihd which centre round 
the family. In so far as we hâve been correct in our analysis 
of thèse factors» it would appear that there are strong influences, 
both in the individual and in the race, which work both 
positively and negatively in regard to those aspects of love 
and hâte which constitute the Œdipus complex. The existence 
of the mental struggles which this complex inevitably brings in 
its train may therefore, on a wider view, appear less startling 
than on a first approach, Both the hûman individual and the 
human race are subject to conditions, some of which favour 
one mode of response, some of which are best reacted to by 
a contrary or at least an antagonistic type of behaviour. Owing 
to the inhérent limitations of the human mind at the uncon- 
scious and primitive levels — its difficulty in overcoming habits 
that hâve once been formed, its tendency to give expression 
simultaneously to incompatible impulses, its relatively small 
power of creating distinctions and differentiations — itis inévitable 
that the différent tendencies which are thus created and aroused 
should frequently corne into conflict. It would seem to be more 

and modem psychological researches hâve pretty definitely proved, that 
many of the more complex desires and activities of the individual — desires 
and activities upon which human culture ultimately dépends — are built up 
upon sublimations of the sexual tendencies. Ail thèse subUmatlons involve 
a deflection of sexual energy from its original and primitive direction — a 
deflection which occurs for the most part or entirely as the resuit of conflict 
with the sexual tendencies when thus primitively directed. 

As regards the motive forces engaged in this conflict, there is again 
at présent much uncertainty, but they probably to some extent differ from 
one case to another. The conflict would seem to be waged, sometimes 
between two aspects of the sexual impulse, e. g. between Narcissism and 
object-love or between physical désire and tender affection (when thèse 
éléments hâve been dissociated in the ways we hâve already studied). In 
other cases the gregarious instincts are probably engaged in the manner 
suggested by Trotter and others; while, in still other instances, there may 
be an antagonism between the sexual impulses and the tendencies of self- 
assertion, self-respect or self-preservation, as emphasised especially by 
Freud. For a more gênerai discussion of the factors concemed in sexual 
inhibition, see E. Bleuler, " Der Sexualwiderstand ", Jahrbuch fur psycho- 
anaîytische und psychopathoîogische Forschungen, 1913, V, 442, and J. C. Flûgel, 
**On the Biological Basis of Sexual Repression and its Sociological Signi- 
ficance", British Journal of Psychoîogy (Médical Section), 1921, I, 225. 

Thus the 
of human life 
are respon- 
sible for the 
mental con- 
flicts that 
centre round 
the incest 



especially the function of consciousness however to produce 
a clear distinction between différent situations and thus to 
facilitate nicer adaptations of conduct than would otherwise be 
possible. By understanding his own impulses and the true 
nature of the situations which hâve called them forth and to 
which they are adapted, man becomes to some extent master 
of his own fate and can rise above the blind level of instinctive 
behaviour, inasmuch as his own motives become co-ordinated 
and integrated and subject to the best that is in him; while 
his conduct becomes more deUcately adapted to his environment 
and more nearly productive of the ends that he desires. It is 
as contributions, be they ever so slight, towards this wider 
understanding and control of man's nature^ that, from the 
practical and ethical point of view, studies like the présent 
acquire such value as they may possess. 





Having now complétée! our theoretical survey, it may be Practical 
well to undertake, as a final instalment of our task, some brief conclusions 
considération of the main practical conclusions that émerge 
from our psychological study of the family relationships. The 
gênerai nature of thèse practical conclusions has indeed already 
emerged with some degree cA clearness at various points in 
our review; but a recapitulation or reconsideration of the 
chief points as regards which the psychological processes and 
principles with which we hâve been concemed would seem to 
admit of, and to demand, practical apphcation, may perhaps 
prove of some value^ now that we hâve reached the end of 
the descriptive and theoretical portions of our task. 

It is probable that the chief practical gain that may resuit They hâve to 
from the study of the psychology of the family will ensue more ^ ^^^p extent 
or less directly from the mère increase in understanding of emerged 
the nature of, and interactions between, the mental processes 
that are involved in the family relationships. As in most 
matters in which the Unconscious plays a leading part, 
knowledge is hère perhaps more than usually akin to virtue. 
A fuller grasp of the essential character of the unconscious 
tendencies that are aroused within the family circle makes 
possible, and naturally leads up to, an important and far- 
reaching readjustment of our views and our behaviour, and a 
readjustment of such a kind as could scarcely be brought 
about by any other means. When we hâve brought to con- 
sciousness the hidden motives that lurk in the buried strata of 
our mind, our practical judgment and our reason hâve a grasp 



of the psychic situation of such a kind as was before 
impossible; and very often the true course to be steered 
appears with unmistakable clearaess before our vision as the 
resuit of our increased self-knowledge. This is only an instance 
of what so frequently — one might say generally — occurs as the 
as usual in result of psycho-analysis; not only in the case of psycho- 
P^y^?" analytic research into the processes of the individual mind, 

investigations but also to some extent in the case of the gênerai treatment 
of a problem or a situation upon psycho-analytic lines. That 
too is the reason why, in the présent case, the practical 
conclusions to be drawn from our considérations hâve to a 
very large extent emerged of themselves in the course of thèse 
considérations and hâve in the main become évident to us 
without any further procédure being necessary to ehcit them. 

The two chief Thus it will by now hâve become amply clear, what, in 

(Temaru^rf ^^^ main, are the pitfalls to avoid in the course of family life, 

ethical and what are the chief ends which it is désirable to seek. The 

considération ^eaning of the child from the incestuous love which binds it 
to the family (together with the secondary hatred which this 
love may entail) and the graduai loosening of the psycho- 
logical, moral and économie dependence of the individual on 
the family hâve revealed themselves as the two chief aspects 
of the task with which the ethical treatment of our subject 
has to deal. The considérations brought forward in the last 
three chapters hâve shown that human beings are subject to two 
opposing tendencies in thèse respects — one of thèse tendencies 
uniting the individual closely to the family, the other separating 
him sharply from it; both tendencies being conditioned by 
psychological and biological factors of fundamental significance. 
It is the duty of a sane and reasonable ethics of the family 
to indicate the most satisfactory solution of the conflict which 
thèse opposing tendencies engender, giving such scope to 
either tendency as may be necessary for it to fulfil its 
essential function in the life of the individual and the race. 

The tendencies Our treatment of the subject during the greater part of 

Œy'^mïe *^^ ^^^^» foUowing as it does the actual findings of those 

primitive than who hâve been brought face to face vdth thèse tendencies in the 

frw^the^frrmly ^ourse of their endeavours to understand and cure the disorders 

, of mental growth and personality, has no doubt conveyed to 

some extent the impression that it is the first mentioned 



tendency — that which draws the individual towards the family 

— which is most often found in excess, and has therefore most 

frequently to be restrained, while it is the tendency away from • 

the family which is most often déficient in strength or in 

development, and which therefore most frequently requires 

artificial stimulation and encouragement. This impression is Thelattermore 

indeed one that is inevitably conveyed by a careful study of ^^*^^. ^^|l^i^^ 

the khowledge that we at présent possess upon the subject. 

In whichever direction we look, Man's chief handicap, as regards 

those aspects of his mind which hère concem us, would appear 

to consist in an undue strength, or at any rate" an undue 

persistence, of an infantile attitude towards the family. This 

would seem to indicate that the tendency towards the family 

is probably both ontogénetically and phylogenetically the older 

and more fundamerital of the two, and that the tendency away 

from .the family is not yet sufficiently deeply rooted or 

assimilated in the human mental constitution to be able to 

assert itseK with sufficient force in the manner and direction 

that successful biological adjustment would require. 

Nevertheless, if this is so, the mère fact that the tendency But the former 

towards the family is thus in some respects prior to, and more arebiologically 

•^ 1 r* T deeper and 

fundamental than, its antagonist, would mdicate that it is based more essential 

upon biological and psychological conditions and requirements 

that are correspondingly more primitive and therefore more 

essential. We hâve seen in effect that the causes which hâve 

led to the strong attachment of the individual to the family are 

probably connected with certain necessary conditions of human 

growth and development — the long period of helplessness and 

immaturity, the dependence upon others (and especially the 

parents) for the very necessaries of life, the need to learn 

from others, the need for an early arousal and outward direction 

of the love impulse, etc. The causes which underlie the tendency 

away from the family — such as the need of casting off the 

dependence on the family in order to attain a full measure of 

individuality, the antagonism between the family attachments 

and the wider social bonds, the value of sexual sublimation for 

the advance of culture, the possible dysgenic effects of 

inbreeding — thèse are in the main connected with less pressing 

and immédiate conditions of existence; conditions which are no 

doubt of great importance for the ultimate fate of the individual 



and the race, but which are pot essential for the immédiate 
préservation and growth of the individual in his early life, and 
which frequendy involve a diminution rather than an increase 
in immédiate benefit or pleasure; representing, as they do, 
biological values of a higher and more complex order, v\rhich 
come into opération only when those of a more primitive kind 
hâve been attained. 
The family K this is so, it would seem fairly clear that our practical 

attachments efforts must on the whole be directed to aid the process of 
grown rather weaning the individual from his family attachments rather than 
than destroyed ^^ ^^y attempt at preventing or destroying thèse attachments 
themselves. The tendencies that bind the individual to the 
family are probably too deeply rooted in Man's nature to yield 
to any such direct attack; and in any case, in spite of a 
character in some respects archaic, it is almost certain that 
they still perforai a necessary and bénéficiai part in the process 
of psychical development — a part for which no adéquate 
substitute could easily be found ; so that it would be undesirable 
to eliminate the opération of thèse tendencies, even if such 
élimination were within the bounds of possibility. Thus it 
would seem that aU schemes and attempts that hâve been 
made, from Plato onwards (and probably long before him), 
with a view to preventing the development of the feelings that 
centre in and are aroused through connection with the family, 
are doomed to failure : — practical failure, because thèse feelings 
are too strong, too intimate and essential a part of human 
nature to be successfuUy and permanendy inhibited by any 
altération of environment^; moral failure, because the development 
of certain of the most important aspects of human character 
are, in their origin and first appearance, bound up with thèse 
feelings and would probably fail to ripen if thèse feelings were 

It would then be a hasty and disastrous conclusion if we 

^ It would seem that children who hâve never known their parents 
or any normal parent substitutes, such as those who are brought up 
entirely in orphanages and other institutions, nevertheless do actually find 
corresponding objects on to whom their parent-regarding tendencies can 
be directed ; if not in reality, at least in imagination — imagination that tends 
to find a real équivalent as soon as a suitable object présents itself. This 
is amusingly and instructively illustrated in Jean Webster's recently 
successful book and play "Daddy Long Legs"- 



were to infer from the widespread occurrence of insufficient 

émancipation from the family ties that it is our duty to 

endeavour to prevent the formation of thèse ties or to deal Family love in 

harshly and destructively with them as soon as they make necess^^^^^for 

their appearance. It would be as useless, as it would individual 

be cruel and unwise, were we to attempt to abolish the ^nd^ha^^hiess 

relationship of love and dependence that binds together parents 

and children, brothers and sisters: such a course, if it ever 

attained a reasonable measure of success, would almost certaînly 

create evils greater than those which it was intended to avert. 

The love of the parents towards the child is assuredly one of 

the most essential and désirable features of a child's environ- 

ment, if the child's moral and emotional development is to 

proceed harmoniously, spontaneously and easily. The lack of 

such love during the early years may give rise to a lasting 

sensé of injury, a permanent feeling of a void or loss in some 

essential aspect of the emotional life, leading in its tum to an 

insatiable craving for the affection that was not forthcoming 

during that period of growth in which it was so urgently 

required; or again, it may cause a lifelong bitterness or 

hostility towards the parents (and through them towards 

mankind in gênerai) for having withheld the love, appréciation 

and encouragement which the young child so much desires 

and needs; or once again, it may lead to a tuming inward of 

the child's affections, when thèse meet with no response, so 

that the individual becomes self-centred and narcissistic, 

bestowing solely on himself the interest and affection which 

under happier circumstances would hâve been available for the 

pleasure and profit of those with whom he comes in contact; 

or finally it may lead to serious delinquency or be responsible 

for a whole career of crime. 

Far therefore from attempting to inhibit or destroy the 
love of parent and child, it becomes necessaiy on the contrary 
to emphasise the need, and indeed the moral right, of every 
child to develop its affections in this manner, and to urge again 
the plea now being put forward by the more thoughtful class 
of social reformers, that every child should be born in such 
conditions as to make it possible and likely that he will receive 
such measure of care and affection as he stands in need of . The 
unwanted child— tiie child who for social, psychological or 



économie reasons, is not welcomed by his parents, — starts life 
under a disadvantage in this respect, a disadvantage that may 
sometimes lead to the most serious conséquences both to himself 
and to Society ^ 

The same considérations make it évident that especial care 
shpuld be paid to those children who, for one reason or another, 
are unable to enjoy the advantages of normal family life — care 
to ensure that they should hâve available suitable substitutes 
for the parents of whom they are deprived and that they should 
receive the due quantity of love which their moral and psycho- 
logical development demands. 

Although it is necessary thus to urge both the inevitability 

and the desirabïlity of the love relationship between parent 

Family hatreds and child, our attitude towards the hâte relationship, which so 

however are frequently accompanies the child's early love, need not in ail 

when intense respects be similar. The early ^arousal of love in connection 

and prolonged ^^|^ ^^ parents or their substitutes is, we hâve maintained, 

essential for the proper imfolding of the emotional and moral 

characteristics, and is therefore to be desired, even apart from 

the immediately pleasurable and bénéficiai aspects of this love 

both to parent and to child. The corresponding hatreds are 

certainly not in themselves either pleasurable or bénéficiai, and 

their undesirable conséquences are often, as we hâve seen, aU 

too clearly obvions. 

Nevertheless, there can be litde doubt that certain 
thoughtosome tendencies and affects (useful and necessary under certain 
%l^^^ d^^^^*' conditions — such as anger or those feelings that are aroused 

c ssary ^ j^ -^ g^arcely necessary to point out the Neo-Malthusian bearings 

of thèse considérations. They add one more argument to the many that 
already exist in favour of the practice of birth-control, which is now 
adopted by the more cultured classes of nearly ail civilised communities — 
a practice the ethical justifications of which are becoming constantly more 

On the other hand, the desirability of a limitation of the size of the 
family must not of course blind us to the fact that a very small family, 
especially one where there is an only child, will often hâve certain 
difficulties of its own, from which larger families may be relatively free. 
There can be very little doubt that, in the case of the only child, the 
émancipation of the individual from the family influences may frequently 
présent more than the usual amount of difficulty: where this is so, the 
tendencies towards émancipation will need a correspondingly greater 
amount of assistance and encouragement. 


family, and particularly between the two parents, is also an 
advantage, since under thèse conditions the child is less likely to 
look upon the parent of his own sex as a tyrant or an intruder, to 
whom the other parent unwilKngly submits. For this reason the 
divorce or séparation of parents, whose marriage is unhappy, may 
often be of very considérable benefit to the child and is by no 
meaiis, as is sometimes urged, an unmitigated evil. 

Apart from thèse gênerai measures any conduct which 
needlessly stimulâtes the jealousy or envy of the child should 
be avoided. Thus, parents should not unnecessarily and 
excessively demonstrate their affection for one another in the 
I présence of their children, particularly in such a way as to 
' make the latter appear neglected or left out in the cold. The 
more direcdy sexual relationships between the parents are 
almost inevitably painful or embarrassing to the children; and 
should not be too openly manifested in their présence or within 
their hearing^. 

On the other hand the maintenance of strict and unnecessary 
enlightenment gecrecy as regards thèse relationships, or as regards sexual 
matters in gênerai, is also very undesirable. The child's 
curiosity and envy are, by any such procédure, artificially 
stimulated, and a child will sometimes bear a lasting grudge 
against the parent who has refused information on this subject 
or who has resorted to déception. On the contrary, the 
advantages of perfect frankness and openness on sex matters 
(especially as regards enquiries made by the child) are often 
abundantly apparent, and are increasingly recognised by ail 
those who hâve devoted their attention to the subject^. 

A matter of no less importance is that parents should 
beware lest any feelings of jealousy which they themselves 
may harbour with regard to the children, should be allowed 
to exercise an undue influence over their own conduct. There 
is less excuse for the existence of such feelings in the parent 




1 Hence the desirability, which has repeatedly been urged by psycho- 
analytic wiiters, of the sleeping room of the child being separate from 
that of the parents, even at a very early âge. 

2 Cp. from the psycho-analytic point of view: Freud, "Zursexuellen 
Aufklârung der Kinder" and "Uber infantile Sexualtheorien", Sammlung 
kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, II, 151, 159. Jung, "Collected Papers 
on Psycho-Analysis", 132, ff. 



than there is in the child, inasmuch as the former possesses, 

or should possess, greater intégration and maturity of mind 

and a more thorough understanding of the nature of his acts 

and of their conséquences; and in addition there is less real 

cause for jealousy, since the parent is himself responsible for 

the child's existence, and since, with the superior capacities of 

the adult, he has less need — at any rate within a happy 

marriage — to fear the child as a serious rival for the ^fections 

of his partner. 

In spite of ail such précautions however, it is probable By suitable 

that it will always prove an impossibility to prevent altogether ^^^^0^^^^^ 

the arousal of some degree of hostility on the part of the child tween parents 

towards the parent of his own sex. The nature of the and children 
, ^ , .,..,,. . . can be greatly 

antagonism between the two mdividuals m question is too reduced, 

deeply rooted in human motives and humàn institutions to be though never 

without some conséquences even under the most favourable abolished 

circumstances. AU that can reasonably be hoped for is that 

such degree of jealousy as may be unavoidable may throughout 

be held in check by feelings of affection, and that it may 

eventually pass away, with the graduai weaning of the child 

from the exclusive direction of its love towards the other 


Still less perhaps can parents expect to avoid altogether 

the arousal of hatred due to causes other than jealousy, The 

only method of doing so wovdd be to refrain from ail 

appréciable interférence with the child's tendencies and impulses, 

while fulfilling ail its wants. This, however, is an obvions 

psychological, social and ethical impossibility. The desires of 

the child conflict too much with the comfort of the parents 

and with the established usages of society to be allowed free 

play, and even if the granting of free play were possible, it 

would not be in ail respects désirable, since the proper éducation 

of the child undoubtedly requires some degree of extraneous 

interférence. Nevertheless we are beginning to réalise tiiat such 

interférence need often be less irksome than was previously 

supposed, The old idea that éducation, to be profitable, must be 

unpleasant, is nowprobablyabandoned by ail thoughtful students 

of éducation, even in its application to early childhood — a period 

in which the extrême immaturity of the mind and the 

remoteness of its aspirations from those of the culture the 

225 16 


rudiments of which it is starting to acquire would seem to make 
the process of training almpst necessarily difficult and disagree- 
able, Dr. Montessori and others are showing how the éducation 
of the young child can be brought about both more effectually 
and more pleasantly by the substitution of guidance for 
restriction, and by linking on the activities which hâve to be 
learnt to those in which the child naturally and spontaneously 
indulges; while the possibilities of éducation on sirailar principles 
in the case of older children hâve been very successfully 
demonstrated in the case of the George Junior Republic and 
the Lfttie Commonwealth. In so far as the more gênerai control 
and instruction exercised by parents can be conducted on the 
sarae lines, the friction between parents and children that 
anses as a conséquence of this necessary control will tend to 
dirainish, though the total avoidance of such friction will 
scarcely ever be attained. 

The ties be- AU that we hâve hère been saying as regards the désirable 

^and^'cSldre^ relationship between parents and children has primarily 

must be référence only to the early years of childhood. As the child 

loosened as g^ows up, considérable modifications of attitude and conduct 
will of course be necessary. Particularly is this the case as 
regards the nature of the love between parents and children, 
It would seem necessary indeed, as we hâve just pointed out, 
that the stage of incestuous object-love should be passed through 
by the child; it is both useless and undesirable to throw 
unnecessary obstacles in its way. But, as we hâve also seen, 
when this necessary stage has been successfully attained, there 
remains the far more difficult task of proceeding to the further 
stages of object-Iove which involve a weaning of the child from 
the origfinal incestuous object and a corresponding readjustment 
of emotional attitude on the part of the parent. A Avise parent 
will thus do ail that is possible to avoid a too enduring con- 
centration and fixation of the child's affections on himself (the 
parent). He will see that suitable opportunities occur for the 
due arousal of love and interest in other directions and will 
not himself encourage the fixation of his child's love at the 
incestuous stage by a too ardent reciprocation of tenderness or 

It is hère perhaps more than at any other point that our 
standards of conduct require revision in the light of psycho- 

the children 
grow up 



analytic expérience. Elsewhere the lassons of psycho-analysis The neccssity 
for the most part merely reinforce educational aims and aspira- ^9^" ^^ ^^ 
tions of which we had aiready and independently become instSfidenîy 
aware; but as regards the necessity for the graduai weaning recognised 
of affection between child and parent, our responsibilities had 
been anything but clear, and there can be little doubt that 
many well raeaning parents hâve in the past ail unwittingly 
jeopardised their children's future by an unwiUingness to loosen 
the close ties of affection and dependence which were 
appropriate in infancy, but which are prejudiciaj to the full 
development of personality in later life. 

It may indeed from certain points of view appear touching 
or even admirable, when, for instance, a mother and a son or 
a father and a daughter hâve remained strongly and intimately 
attached to one another long after the son or daughter has 
reached adolescence or maturity. In what direction, it might be 
asked, could the child be more appropriately drawn by ties of 
deep and permanent affection than to one to whom it owes 
its very existence, to whom it is indebted for the care> 
nourishment, and protection that were necessary to it in its 
early years and who is responsible for the first awakening and 
the first reciprocation of its love? We now know, however, that 
the maintenance of such a tie when the biological causes that 
bind child to parent hâve ceased to act, is liable to be achieved 
at the cost of some grave failure of development The "good" 
son or daughter frequently becomes a bad husband or wife, an 
inferibr individual and an unsatisfactory member of society. 
The conduct of the child who thus sacrifices the unfolding of 
his own personality to a primitive affection which should hâve 
been outgrown, should indeed arouse pity or contempt rather 
than admiration, while the corresponding conduct of the parent, 
who thus hinders the development of the child he loves, can 
be regarded scarcely otherwise than as ignorantly and 
pathetically selfish. 

In order to avoid such conduct it will be necessary for The loosening 
parents to keep a close watch, not only on the development pî^rentaUie 
of their children's emotîonal life, but on the course and requires a 
direction of their own affections. Only by the graduai replacement o^S'Jlrenrs 
in the parentes mind of that love and interest which centred life 

round the child by a corresponding absorption in some other 

227 16» 



of tîie parent- 





from incest 

tendencies is 



direction (whether in other children, in the sexual partner or 
in some totally différent matter) can thei necessary readjustment 
of the filio-parental relations be successfully and. painlessly 
accomplished. This is a duty which, difficult as it may some- 
times appear, the requirements of the true mental development 
of their children would seem inevitably to impose on parents. 
For this reason it is obviously unwise for parents ever to 
immerse themselves - to such an extent in their children and 
their children's affairs, that thèse absorb the whole of their 
emotional and intellectual capacities. If they should do so, it 
will be additionally difficult for them to pick up the threads 
of their previous interests and activities when tiie growth of 
the children renders such a readjustment necessary ^ 

Siipposing that fixation of the love impulse upon the 
actual person of the parent has been successfully avoided, 
there remains the possibility of fixation upon the numerous 
parent substitutes that we considered in Chapter X. Thèse 
fixations really . imply, as we hâve seen, an incomplète 
detachment of the erotic impulses from the parental images as 
they exist in the Unconscious, and should not occur in cases 
where real freedom from the secret domination of thèse images 
has been achieved. Nevertheless we must remember that such 
freedom is at best only relative; the associative connections 
that bind the earliest to ail subséquent objects of love (either 
directiy or through a séries of intermédiare links) would seem 
never to be really broken; in ail probability they continue 
throughout life to exercise a certain measure of influence upon 
the direction of. the affections. Ail that we can reasonably 
demand under thèse circumstances is that thèse unconscious 
forces shall not so blind the individual as to cause him to 
bestow his love upon an object which is intrinsically unsuitable. 
So long as this is avoided there is littie to complain of, and 
it would seem very probable that a deeper psychological and 
ethical insight into the nature of the processes concerned will, 
on the whole, produce a relaxation rather than a further 

^ The dangers and difficulties which we hâve hère in view are, it is 
almost neediess to say, in most cases more liable to beset the mother 
(with her more intensive préoccupation with the children in their early 
years) than the father (who is usually less intimately and continuously in 
contact >Adth them). 



restriction of the liberty that is now permitted in thèse matters. 

This at any rate would appear to be the direction in which 

moral sentiment is moving as culture increases; the maximum 

of restriction is reached in those communities where, as in 

parts of Australia, a highly complex System of exogamy allows 

only a very limited range of choice for the sélection of husband 

or wife; from this point upwards in the scale of development 

there is a marked tendency for the number of forbidden 

relationships to become smaUer as culture advances, and there 

is every reason to suppose that in the main this tendency is Thèse tenden- 

still at work. Indeed we hâve only recently witnessed an cies become 

example of its action in this country in the removal of the and more 

ban upon the marriage with a deceased wife*s sister. influenced by 

«4 1 .f . , , reason, as 

Ihe same resuit émerges ii we consider the matter, not development 

from the point of viêw of sociology, but from that of an proceeds 
enlightened System of nlorality. The évidence available shows, 
for instance, that little if any harm is likely to ensue from the 
marriage of first cousins, so long as ^the stock is a healthy 
one; much the same is probably true as regards the marriage 
of half brother and half sister or even full brother and sisten 
Our condemnation of such unions is due to influences emanating 
from the repression of the incést tendencies, and not to any 
soùnd appréciation or expérience of thëir ill effectis; and in so 
far as the taboos conséquent upon repression gîve way to 
more balanced moral judgments based on a real understanding 
of the issues involved (and this is the gênerai tendency of 
ethical development), the disapproval of thèse unions between 
rîèar kin will be continued only in so far as real dangers are 
to be apprehended from them. Among such real dangers there 
may be found the biological one of the possibihty of inferior 
offspring, especiaDy in the case of families with marked 
hereditary defects, and the psychological one of too Ûttle 
émancipation from the family influences, with aU thé consé- 
quences that this may involve. As regards this lattef, however, 
it will hâve to be recognised that complète émancipation may 
ôften be beyond the boimds of possibility and that it is often 
advisable to permit some degree of indulgence to overstrong 
unconscious tendencies, so long as this indulgence is not too 
persistent or too definitely pathological. 




Our con- AU that we hâve said with regard to the weaning of the 

clusions with ^^^ fj-Q^ ^^ i^y^ relationship that binds him to the family 
rcc&TQ to tne i i j i • 

love and hâte applies with but little altération to the dependence relation- 

^d^or^^thc ships. During his earliest years the child is necessarily 
dependence dépendent on his parents (or their substitutes) both for the 
aspects actual means of his subsistence and for guidance and protection. 
As he grows up however (as we hâve seen specially in 
Chapters III and IV) the dependence on his family should 
gradually diminish, so that at maturity he should be able in 
most respects to face the world as an independent individual. 
The duty of The duty of the parents, or failing them of the community, 

parents to j^^ regard to the provision of material necessities for offspring 
ofispring now is now sufficiendy recognised, so that there is litde need to 
^^] . insist upon it hère. We may perhaps pnly suggest in passing 
that the profound and complex nature of the satisfactions 
which parents hâve in their children, and which we had 
occasion to refer to in Chapter XIV, would very possibly 
make the communistic rearing of children on à large 
scale as unsatisfying and inadéquate from the point of view of 
the parents as it would probably be from that of the children 
The necessity The duty of the parents or their substitutes in the direc- 

^Yosei^^of ^^^ ^^ gradually weaning the child from his initial condition 
the dépend- of dependence has however received less adéquate récognition 
however not ^^^ ^^ ^^ difficult and délicate nature of this duty been 
f\illy realised sufficiently appreciated. On the économie and social sides 
indeed it is admitted that it is incumbent upon parents to 



provide their children with the means of eaming their living 

and of taking their place generally among their social equals; 

though with regard to girls the views as to what was 

necessary as regards éducation for thèse purposes has, up till 

comparatively recently, often been lamentably narrow. In this 

country there is even now in many quarters a failure to realise 

the full nature of parental responsibilities with regard to 

daughters; much less financial provision being frequently made 

in their case, both for higher and professional éducation and 

for the expenses incidental to marriage, than in the case of 

sons; lack of adéquate provision in thèse respects inevitably 

tending of course to produce an undue degree of dependence 

— economical and moral — on the parents. 

If, on the économie side, the duty of weaning children especially as 

from their primitive dependence on the family is thus not yet regards the 

always fully recognised, the récognition of the corresponding aspect of this 

duties on the psychological side is still less complète. Parents *^^ 

are often unwilling to abandon the jurisdiction and control 

which they hâve been accustomed to exercise over their 

children and which may hâve becorae very pleasant to them, 

both as providing an agreeable source of interest and as 

ministering to their sensé of powèr. Often too in the beginning 

it may be easier for them to help their children than to let 

thç latter leàm to help themselves. Not infrequently also they 

are directly or indirectly encouraged in this course by the 

children themselves, who, out of laziness or failure in initiative, 

prefer that their lives should be regulated by their parents 

rather than that they should make the effort and take on the 

responsibility of regulating it themselves. Sometimes, moreover, 

parents are unwilling to relinquish the management of their 

childrens' lives for fear of the disasters that may overtake 

thèse latter through ignorance and inexpérience; or again because 

of an exaggerated tendemess which makes them loth to 

abandon those manifestations of affection which parental 

assistance may imply. It must be understood however that 

none of thèse motives — powerful though some of them may 

be — provide an adéquate excuse for the omission to carry out 

the weaning process, which, as we hâve seen, is of such vast 

importance for the development of the full capacities of the 

individual. It can scarcely be too frequently emphasised that 


parents who bring their children up without regard to the 
necessity of this emaneipation are guilty of a very serions 
neglect of their childrens' welfareK 

1 As regards the actual steps which should be laken to secure this 
graduai émancipation of the growing individual from the influence and 
control of his family and parents, it is perhaps superfluous (and in any 
case inappropriate in a book of this scope) to enter fuUy into détails here.^It 
will be sufficient to indicate a few very obvious directions in which die 
gênerai principles hère refèrred to may find application. Thus, it is clear 
that children should from early years hâve opportunity of acquiring 
expérience in the use of money, having at first small sums at their 
disposai, with larger amounts as they advance in âge. They should also hâve 
expérience— at first perhaps occasionally and then regularly— in purchasing 
their own clothes, books, writing materials and other personal requirements. 
The abiiity to travel alone, to find one's way in strange places and to mix with 
unknown people is also one that should be acquired early, leading, as it 
tends to do, to the development of resourcefulness in dealing with new 
situations and with varieties of human character. In vie^y of modem 
educational movements, it is perhaps hardly necessary to point out in this 
connection the desîrability of considérable (and eventually of complète) 
freedom in the choicë of studies, of occupations and of career. The need 
for toleration in religions and political matters is also nowadays one that 
is becoming recognised. .\ 

On the other hand, it is perhaps necessary to emphasise the 
advantages to be derived from the formation, by each individual member 
of the family, of his owii friendships and companionships as distinct 
from those which are, so to speak, found for him by his family. Thus, it 
is far from désirable that members of the same family should always 
accompany one another to social gatherings, places of entertainment or 
instruction, or on visits to friends. On the contrary, they will often benefit 
by being freed from each other's society on thèse occasions, and no 
restraints should, as a rule, be placed upon habits of independent 
occupation or enjoyment or upon choice of associâtes. Nor should the 
individual members of the family be expected on every occasion to render 
a detailed account of ail their activities outside the family circle, nor to 
confine thèse activities rigorously to certain days or hours. Much family 
friction can often be avoided by the simple process of bestowing a 
latchkey! As regards extrême cases, moreover, it should be realised that 
wherever there is unusual difficulty in the relations between an individual 
and the other members of his family, a removal from the family 
environment is the surest, perhaps the only, method of avoiding disaster. 

Above ail it is necessary, throughout the process of development 
and éducation, to aim at the attainment of a due measure of self-respect 
and self-reliarice, avoiding the pitfalls of too great self-satisfaction on the 
one hand and an imreasonâble sensé of inferiority on the other. It is hère, 
more than elsewhere, that considérable differentiation in the treatment of 



The danger is perhaps greatest in the case of strong The danger is 
willed, self-assertive and energetic parents, who in any f ^^^^f ^ arents 
case, as we hâve seen, are lîkely to exert a powerful influencé of strong 
over their children, and who, by an undue insistencé on personality 
the- authority which they possess, may easily cripple ail 
initiative on the part of thèse latter. In parents who them- 
selvès are weak and averse from serions effort there is 
naturally less likelihood of this occurring: in such cases the though. there 
danger lies more frequently in the direction of their devoting ^^ie^\i*^^^" 
too little time, trouble or guidance to their children : or else the case of 
in their adoption of a changeable and inconsistent attitude — ^^^^ parents 
petting, indulging, spoiUng and bribing one minute, bullying, 
nagging and punishing the next; being now overstrict, now 

Hère, as in the case 6f the love-weaning, it is difficult or Necessity of 
impossible for parents to carry eut satisfactorily the steps reacyTstoent 
necessary for the graduai émancipation of their children, except 
in so far as they are able to make a corresponding read- 
justment of their own émotions and tendencies. New interests 
and occupations must gradually take the place of those thiat 
formerly centred round the children; otherwise there is likely 
to arise a blank in the affective life, which may lead to much 
unhappiness and even to neurôsis. 

In considering the question of the émancipation of children Too prolongée! 
from the authority and influence of their parents, it is weU to P^[^^^^ ^^^l' 
bear in mind also that it is the exercise of this authority and cause of filio- 
influence which affords the principal occasion for the develop- P^^iiaS^i^e"^ 
ment or continuance of the hatred of children towards their 
parents in adolescent or adult life. The arousal of some hatred 
in the early years of childhood may indeed be inévitable. Its 
continuance into later life, with ail the misery that this is apt 
to entail, may probably in nearly every case be avoided, 
provided that the stage of infantile jealousy has been success- 
individuals is required. Those who are inclined to be too well pleased 
with themselves wUl usually benefit by a somewhat rougher treatment, 
and will need to hâve their deficiencies brought home to them. Those who 
lâck self-confidence, or who hâve an unduly low estimate of their 
attainments or capacities, will need encouragement and reassurance. In 
the former case some very appréciable degree of parental authority may 
be called for, in the latter any treatmerit savouring of harshness is for the 
môst part tragically out of place. 



fully surmounted and that the child is endowed with something 

approaching the usual degree of amenability and sympathy with 

the point of view and susceptibilities of others; the rest is very 

largely a matter of the careful relaxation of parental authority 

and of the granting of reasonable and ever increasing amounts 

of Uberty and of opportunity for self-guidance and self-controL 

The dépend- What we hâve hère said as regards the necessity for the 

ence of CTadual relaxation of parental control applies of course not 
children upon ^ , , . , t . . t • j- 

parent- only to the parents themselves but to their subsbtutes — guardians, 

substitutes nurses, teachers and others who are placed in similar positions 
must aiso be ' '- '^ 

gradually of trust and authority. There is indeed reason to believe that in 

reduced thèse quarters the necessity of émancipation is often more in 
need of emphasis than among actual parents. Particularly is 
this the case with regard to certain institutions, where children 
would seem to be brought up with but little freedom or 
opportunity to learn the nature and conditions of autonomy 
or to adapt themselves to the varied circumstances of the outer 
world. In many of our schools also there is to some extent 
a lack of proper understanding or application of the principles 
which demand the graduai relaxation of parental and quasi- 
parental authority. Though hère, as a rule, the evil is in 
practice less serious than it would at first appear to be; the 
granting of autonomy and the cultivation of responsibility^ and 
self-control in some directions usually compensating in large 
measure for the petty and foolish restrictions to which 
adolescent boys and girls, or even fully grown yoimg men and 
women, are subjected in some of our larger and better known 
educational estabUshments. 
The ethics of Thèse last considérations point the way to certain wider 

mS!t ho^iver ^^^^^^ *^^ ^^^ connected with the ethics of the family— issues 
be brought into with which we hâve already been brought face to face in 
^S'mïî- Chapters XIH and XIV, and which we need therefore only 
social refer to hère by way of recapitulation, We hâve seen in thèse 
questions chaptçrs that there exists a corrélation between certain aspects 
or stages of development of the family on the one hand and 
certain forms of social or ethical institutions or organizations — 
particularly in the sphère bf éducation, politics and rdigion— 
upon the other. Inasmuch as the attitude of the individual 
towards his teacher, his social or political superior, or his God, 
is to a very considérable extent derived from, and dépendent 



on, that of the child towards his parent (the former attitude 
being a displacement of the latter), it is obvions that moral 
considérations and décisions with regard to the relationship of 
parent and child cannot altogether be divorced from the wider 
questions involved in the relations of the individual to his 
religious, social, and educational environment 

Thus it would be, in the main, a foolish and useless 
proceeding to urge, as we hâve done, the desirability of a Our ethical 
graduai émancipation of the grov^âng child from the controlling conclusions in 
and protecting influences of the parents, unless we are at the ^mJtTa^o^-^ 
same time vrilling to permit a corresponding growth of autonomy ^^^e with one 
in school and collège. Again, if we were right in assuming ^^^^^ 
a connection, on the one hand between a highly developed 
patria potestas and a relatively stable and unprogressive 
political condition, and on the other between the relaxation of 
parental authority and a state of rapid political . development 
and loosening of govemmental authority, then it would (in 
the absence of any counteracting influence) be absurd to 
demand the complète émancipation of the individual from his 
family, if at the same time we desired to uphold autocracy 
in govemment or to increase the stability of pohtical and 
social forms. Nor, once more, would the encouragement of 
children to become independent of their fathers be logically 
compatible with the maintenance of a rehgion of the Judaic 
type, in which the severe and all-powerful Father-God is but 
a displacement of an earthly father whose stem authority is 
unquestioned within the boxmds of his own family. It must be 
realised that our attitude in the one case must be brought into 
harmony with our vîews in die other. Our ultimate conclusions 
as to what is désirable within the family must be arrived at 
only after due considération of their wider outside bearings ; 
and again, our opinions on thèse wider issues may profitably 
be reviewed in the hght of the knowledge that is gained 
by a biological and psychological study of the family. 

In the présent pages we hâve followed in the main the The extent of 
latter course. Neverthéless it would appear that on the whpie ^^ harmony 
the conclusions we hâve arrived at by this method are not in 
any way seriously incompatible with the gênerai tendencies of 
contemporary thought While recognising the necessity and 
desirability of the family influences in early life, we hâve for 



the most part demanded émancipation ôf thè individual from 
àîiy such growth and rétention of thèse influences as would be 
liable to hamper or delay his personal development. This is 
wéU in harmony with the tendencies which are manifested 
nowadays towards freedom in éducation, with the analogous 
tendencies aiming at the overthrow of autocracy and the 
estàbhshment of democracy in politics and with the growing 
toleration and increasing abandonment of the Judaic attitude in 
in éducation In éducation there would seém to be almost complète 

agreement between the implications of our own conclusions 
and ail the more modem and progressive tendencies in 
discipline and teaching; it is only with the antiquated remains 
of sjrstems that are now universally condemned by ail reformers 
that there remain any serious éléments of conflict 

in religion ' In religion the agreement is also vety considérable, though 
pérhàps less thoroughgoing; there are perhaps many who 
would still retain the notion of a quasi-an thropomorphic Father- 
God as an extra-mental reality, even though the purely mental 
drigin of such a God has become apparent. 

in politics It is in politics howevei" that such discrepancy as there 

existe is perhaps most apparent. Although the primitive 
political father^ — thè autocrat — ^would seem to be rapidly dis- 
appéaring, it is fairly clear that there exists a tendency to 
fesurrect some of the parental attributes and give them a 
political application by bestowing them upon the State. The 
world-war has taught us the necessity of implicit obédience to 
the State and ite représentatives — military and civil; the right 
ôf independent thought, action and criticism being to a large 
ëxtent stispended and the minute détails of our lives being 
subject to ôrder and inspection in much the same way as in 
our childhood they were subject to the supervision of our 
parents. Again, modem socialistic thought — espécially in its 
cruder aspects — has produced a state of mind, as a resuit of 
which the individual becomes to a large extent absolved from 
the responsibility for his own éducation, progress and main- 
tenance, or fôf those of his children, The adult individual is 
thus led to trànsfer on to the State that attitude of dependence 
which he originally adopted in relation to his parents, faihng 
to this éxtént to attain that full degree ôf self-reliance and 



independence which.we hâve had in view in considering the 
graduai émancipation of children from their parents. In thèse 
respects] it wôuld seem that the conclusions arrived at in thé 
course hf our study of the family would point to a rather 
larger measure of Individualism than is contemplated by the 
great body of contemporary political thought. If our conclusions 
are correct, there is a danger in too wide a ramification of 
State provision and state control, inasmuch at it is liable to 
prevent that full development of individual power, initiative 
and self-reliance which can only be obtained by a high degreê 
of émancipation from the primitive attitude of dependence on 
the parents. If, on the other hand, it is considered that the 
advantages of a far-reaching and complex state organization 
override those attending the full development of individuality, 
it is obvious that ovu* ethical conclusions with regard to the 
family may hâve to be correspondingly revised. 

There remains but one more set of ethical considérations The 

to review before we finaUy take leave of the reader. Supposing ^^î^^^g^to 
that the relations of the individual to his family environment his family in 
hâve successfuUy passed through the stages we hâve outlined ^^"^ 
and that the individual has at maturity attained the désir- 
able degree of émancipation from, and independence of, 
the influences emanating from his family, there remains 
the problem of defining more precisely the nature of. his 
relations to his family after he has reached maturity; 
It is évident enough from our previous considérations that 
thèse relations will be loose and far from binding. It is 
also fairly clear that they must be such as to be capable of 
being broken altogether v^^ithout causing any very considérable 
amount of distress or inconvenience to any of the parties They must be 
concemed. Sooner or later thèse relations are necessarily ^^^ b^roken 
broken by the great divider Death, and even before this final altogether 
and inévitable séparation, distance, diversity of occupation or 
otherconsiderations may place the members of a once closely 
knit family entirely out of touch with one anothen According 
to our principles it is obviously désirable that thèse unavoidable 
séparations should involve no élément of bitter regret or thoug it^is 
paralysing sorrow. some relation- 

Supposing however that circumstances are such as to sl^jho^d be 
make possible relations of some degree of intimacy between 



the members of a family, ail of whom hâve reached maturity, 
what will be the désirable extent and nature of this relation- 
ship? Presupposing always a satisfactory previous history on 
the Unes we hâve considered, there would seem reason to 
think that some kind of relationship will, and shonld be^ 
usually maintained. The common interests, affections and 
associations formed during a lengthy and highly important 
period of life will, in the absence of reasons to the contrary, 
usually constitute sufficient ground for the continuance 
throughout life of the intimacies that hâve been formed 
between those who Uved se long together and hâve so long 
been subject in varjâng degree to each other's influence. 

We must remember, however, that there very often are 

reasons to the contrary. In many cases, for instance, the love 

except where or dependence fixations in an individual's mind are such that 

(^ °^*^^^^P"- continued intimacy with the parents will seriously detract from 

are definite that individual's capacity to make the best of Ufe. Fréquent 

reasons to the meeting with the parents may sap his energy or deprive him 

of initiative and self-reliance in the manner we hâve studied: 

or again, it may cause serious interférence with his love life, 

as where the constant arousal of the not whoUy outgrown 

love impulses to father or mother may appreciably diminish 

the affection available for husband or wife respectively, thus 

producing an unhappy marriage. For similar reasons fréquent 

meetings between brothers and sisters may often be dis- 

advantageous. Still more clearly is it undesirable to continue 

family intimacies where not love but hatred is the prédominant 

tendency aroused and fostered by thèse intimacies. In such 

cases it is évident hypocrisy for the parties concemed to meet 

more often than is absolutely necessary : the fréquent stirring 

up of conscious or unconscious hatred can onlj^ cause 

unhappiness, improfitable and dangerous mental conflict or 

détérioration of character; and the more that relatives who 

. are unable to **get on" with one another keep apart, the 

; better it will be for ail concemed. 

With thèse wide and sweeping réservations however, it 
would probably seem to accord best with psychological and 
sociological considérations if at any rate some moderaté degree 
of connection be maintained between relatives, whom 
circumstances hâve not definitely set apart. Given freedom 



from ail undesirable fixations (whether of hatred or of love), 
brothers and sisters hâve at least as good reasons for being 
permanently helpful and agreeable to one another as hâve 
friends who hâve been intimate with one another in the course 
of school, collège, social or professional life, Still doser perhaps 
in some ways are the bonds that may permanently unité 
parents and children. The long period through which they hâve 
been bound to one another by ties that are biologically 
justifiable and necessary wrould seem to produce a psychological 
effect that inevitably tends to persist in some degree throughout 
the remainder of life. The relations of child to parent and of 
parent to child are so fundamental to ail human existence and 
human intercourse, that most, if not ail, of our mental Ufe, in 
so far as it has référence to our fellov^ créatures, is to some 
extent reminiscent of them, or affected by them. We can never 
root out frona our mind the tendencies connected writh this 
most intimate and essential of human connections; and this 
being so, it would only be in accordance with the most 
fundamental promptings of our nature to permit a certain 
proportion of the energy involved in thèse tendencies to 
continue to flow in its original direction, 

This is not to say however that the manifestations of this But the rela- 
energy will not undergo considérable altération as time passes. ^^pa^^nte^T 
As children grow up and parents grow^ older, the former children mtist 
increase, the latter decrease in natural strength and ability of pro^ound 
mind and body. In course of time therefore the attitude w^hich modification 
parents and children naturally and reasonably adopt towards as time passes 
each other must gradually change to suit the varying conditions. 
At first children are dépendent on the guidance and protection 
of their parents, who must make the necessary efforts to help 
and rear their offspring. Later on this differentiated relationship 
should give place to one in which parents and children are 
on equal terms. Finally, the original relationships may become 
to some extent reversed and, if parents and children are still 
vdthin reach of one another, the former may corne to look to 
the latter for some retum of that help and protection that they 
themselves had previously afforded. 

In this last situation, we see a form of the relationship, The care of 
which appears to be pecuUar to human society. Throughout Hjeir^fhildren 
the animal world and even in many primitive human communities 



is culturally there is no thought or care or tendemess devoted to old âge, 
very désirable ^j^^ increasing moralisation of human character (in which the 
relationship between parent and child has probably played a 
leading part) has brought it about that at least some degree 
of attention is given in ail civilised societies to the needs — ' 
material and mental — of those who are no longer able fully to 
support themselves or tp cany on their life without assistance, 
In any society in which the family is a permanent and firmly 
organised social unit, the duty of caring for the aged will 
naturally fall to some extent upon their children. This care of 
elderly, lonely or infirm parents by their children may perhaps 
legitimately be considered one of the most beautiful and 
touching expressions of specifically human morality — a point in 
which Man has definitely risen superior to the conditions of a 
brutal struggle for existence. As such it both deserves, and 
stands in need of, every encouragement and support which a 
developed and enlightened System of practical Ethics can afford; 
It is not however free from certain^ ethical difficulties of 
though it has its own. Thus, it might seem at first as though the care and 
^^Umitedons*^^ attention that a person of mature âge may bestow upon his 
parents is but a just and reasonable retum for the benefits 
which he himself received from thèse parents in his infancy and 
youth. BiologicaUy however the cases are not similar. The 
care of parents for their young is necessary for the perpétuation 
of the race. The care bestowed upon the aged and infirm 
who are no longer able to provîde adequately for themselves 
is of no direct value in the struggle for existence ; it may even 
be a disadvantage in this struggle, a luxury that can only be 
afforded when the struggle is relaxed or when ail competing 
individuals or races hâve adopted the practice, Further, from 
the point of view of the race, the real équivalent that is given 
in retum for the benefits received from parents in early life 
lies in the corresponding benefits bestowed upon the next 
génération in its tum, and the double burden of maintaining 
and caring for both the young and the old may be definitely 
beyond the powers of many. 

Fortunately, it but rarely happens, even at the extrême 
end of a long life, that the old are entirely dépendent upon 
the care and efforts of others. In a civilised society ttiey 
usually remain permanently able to provide for a considérable 



part of their immédiate needs, and the sounder and more stable Satisfactory 
is their own and the gênerai économie condition, the more is ^^J^^g^" 
this the case. On the whole it is perhaps rather on the conduce to 
psychological than on the strictly économie side that they ^^P|5°^^|^ 
will be in need of assistance, and hère it is that the 
principles that hâve emerged from the study of the facts and 
tendencies with which we hâve been concemed in this book 
may prove of use. In so far as family life is able to proceed 
and develop on the Unes which a true morality based on soxmd 
psychological principles and an adéquate psychological knowledge 
would seem to indicate as most désirable, it should be possible 
for the older members of the family to participate freely in 
the joys and satisfactions which they may still find within the 
family circle and to escape the danger of being excluded from 
thèse satisfactions, by the disappointments and misunder- 
standings, or by the unhappiness and bittemess that the faulty 
development of the family so frequently, and so disastrously, 
brings in its train. The old tend always to live to some extent 
vicariously: they find a great part of their interests and their 
pleasures in the contemplation of the doings of others who 
are younger than themselves: their own lives are projected 
into those of their children and their grandchildren, and by 
means of this projection they enjoy the most natural compen- 
sation for the decKne of their own personal interests and 
capacities. If they hâve found this compensation, it may well 
be said that life's concluding chapter has shaped itself for them 
in a form as satisfactory as any which it is granted to human 
nature to en]oy. 

With thèse considérations regarding old âge we may Conclusion 
appropriately end. The subject of the human family is a 
mighty thème, of which no full treatment has been attempted 
hère. If I hâve illumined certain aspects of the subject, if I 
hâve led the reader to realise something of the depth ànd 
complexity of the problems involved and of their vast 
importance for human weal and woe, nay, even for human 
existence, I shall hâve accomplished ail, or more than ail, that 
I set out to do. We hâve seen that, just as on the biological 
side the family is an essential factor in the development and 
préservation of the human race, so too on the psychological 
side, the thoughts, feelings and impulses that centre round the 




family belong to the most intimate and fundamental part of 
Man's spiritual nature. If we are to understand this nature 
and to control and mould it wisely in order that we may 
achieve those ends in life which seem to us désirable, it is 
very necessary that we should hâve a full and accurate 
knowledge of the way in which the mind is influenced by, and 
in its tum reacts upon, the forms, circumstances and conditions 
of the human family. It is this which makes the subject of this 
little volume one of such suprême importance. 



Abandonment of infantile ten- 

dencies, 83. 
Abdication, 131. 
Abnormalities of development, 

48 ff., 61 ff., 88 ff., 102, 

188, 191, 218, 219, 241. 
Aborigines, 91, 140, 194 ff., 229. 
Abortion, 160. 
Abraham, K,, 51, 92, 106^ 148, 

150, 185. 
AcK N., 7. 
Acheron, 69. 
Adam, 148. 
Adaptation to reality, 68, 215, 

216, 219 tf. 
Adler, A., 14. 
Admiration, 98, iio, 123, 124, 

139, 186, 227. 
Adolescence, 51, 149, 192, 233. 
Adonis, 72. 
Africa, 194, 197. 

As a factor in love, 28 ff., 

89, 106, 207, 208. 
Classes, 87. 
Old, 239 ff. 
Aged, care of, 240. 
Agoraphobia, 67. 
Agriculture, 147. 
All-Father, 136, 137. 

Aima Mater, 125. 

**Alternation of générations", 

Altruism, 188. 

Amazon, Indians of the, 194. 

Ambivalency, 129 ff., 141, 143, 
149, 150. 

American Indians, 193, 194, 196. 

American Psychological As- 
sociation, 2. 

Americans, 127, 170, 195. 

Amnesia, infantile, 77, 83. 

Amniotic fluid, 77. 

A-moral, 21. 

Aîiœsthetics, 167. 

**Anagogic" symbolism, 37, 38. 

Anal Libido, 192. 

Ancestor Worship, 135 ff. 

Ancestors, 86, 124, 135 ff. 

Andamanese, 197. 

Andromeda, 109. 

Angel Clare, 116. 

Anger, 9, 177, 222. See also Hâte. 

Animais, 137 ff., 149 ff., 200,, 
202, 239. 

Animism, 134, 135, 152, 153. 

Annunzio, G. d , 92. 

Antombahoaka, 90. 

Anxiety, 57, 70, 158, 159. See 
also Fear. 





Of Psychology, 2, 3, 65. 

Practical, 217 ff. 
Archer, William, 107. 
Art, so, 135. 
Arthur, King, 69. 
Artzibasheff, 92. 
Ass, 139. 
Assam, 196. 
Atlas, 147, 148. 
Atonement, 151. 
Attila, 127. 
Attis, 72, 144- 
Augustine, S/., 74. 
Aunt, 92, 
Australian, aborigines, 91, 140, 

195. 196, 229. 
Authority, 47, 119 ff., 125, 129, 

152, 163. 
Parental, 43 ff., 58, 61, 63, 

96, 118, 128, 152, 163, 

171, 177, i8i,223,233ff. 
Autocracy, 128, 235, 236. 
Autoerotism, 14 ff., 122, 188, 

Autonomy and moral develop- 

ment, 44 ff., 234 ff. 
Avebury, Lord, 205, 206. 
Aversion to incest, 200 ff. 
**Avoidances," 35, 85, 91, 93, 

97» 195- ^ 
Awe, 139. 

Babel, Tower of, 148. 
Bachofen, J, J,, 66. 
**Backward" children, 43, 
Bailey, /., 197. 
Bancroft, H, //., 93. 
Baptism, 71, 149. 
**Barbary Sheep," 115. 

Barrenness, 200. 

Basket, 70. 

Basfian, A„ 194. 

Beauty, 208. 

Bedrooms (of child and parents), 

Beds, 66, 67. 

"BeUa Donna," 115. 

Beresford, J, D,y 112. 

Berkeley-Hill, O., 114. 

Birth, 66 ff., 82 ff., 146, 164 ff. 
Control, 222. 
Supematural, 146. 

Bisexual, God as, 143, 144. 

Bleuler, E., 129, 215. 

Blood, 201. 

Boats, 69, 70, 80. 

Bôcklin^ 69. 

Body, 145. 

Bomeo, 197. 

Brain, 77. 

Brazil, 90, 194, 197. 

Breath, Shortness of, 70. 

Breeding, 202 ff» 

Breuer, Joseph, 8. 

Brill, A. A„ 6, 163. 

Brothers and Sisters, 19, 20, 
27, 30, 86, 89 ff., 102, 
104, 143, 144, 147, 180, 
181, 184, 193, 205, 208, 
209, 229, 238. 
Half-, 229. 

Brothers through Totem feast, 

Buddhist monks, 67. 

BuUying of children, 162, 233. 

Burial, 69, 72. 

Buried alive, fear of being, 67. 

Burrow, T,, 189. 

Burt, Cyril, 20, 29, 120, 140. 



Business, 59, 63, 210. 
Byron, 109. 

Caesarian Section, 78. 

Cali, 90. 

Cambyses, 90. 

Canal, 70, 80. 

Cannibalism, 147. 

Care of aged, 240. 

Career, 64 232. 

Casandra, 107, 

Castration, 85, 113, 144, 147. 

Caves, 67, 69. 

Celebes, 194. 

Celestial City, 69. 

Cerebrum of infant, 77. 

Cérémonies, 69, 71, 81 ff,, 142, 

Chalmers, Rev, J., 194. 
Change of parents' attitude, 

171 ff., 226 ff., 233. 
Character, 50, 61 ff., 187, 188, 

Charcot, J, M., 7. 
Chastity, 113, 115, 116, 146. 
Chazac, 86. 

Chicago Vice Commission, 195. 
Childbirth, 77, 164. 
Childhood, duration of, 185. 
Chinese, 114, 129. 
Chippewayans, 193. 
Christ, 56, 57, 143 ff., 148. 
'^Christian, The", 115. 
Christianity, 139, 141, 143 ff. 
Church, 69, 123, 143, 145. 
Cimon, 91. 
Cinderella, 99. 
Circumcision, 82, 85. 
**City of the Dead,'' 92. 
Clan, 136 ff., 178, 180, 201. 


Poorer, 58, 195. 

Ruling, 109. 

Wealthy, 58. 

Working, 120. 
Classificatory System of rela- 

tionship, 90. 
Claustrophobia, 67. 
Clavigero, F, S., 90. 
Clergymen's sons, 64. 
Clitoris, 17. 

"Cloacal theory" of birth, 74. 
Club, 210. 

Clubs, Men's, 87, 179. 
Cole, E. M,, 53. 
Collège, 125, 210, 235, 239. 
Côffin, 69. 
Coitus, 73, 75, 76. 
Communion, Sacrament of, 

Communistic rearing of child- 

ren, 230. 

Community, see Society. 

Complex, 95, 157. See also 
Œdipus Complex. 

Compromise, 51, 52. 

Conception, 74, 138. 
Immaculate, 146. 

Confirmation, Sacrament of, 149. 

Conflict, intra-psychical, 21 ff., 
52, 81, 92, 93, 113, 143, 
147, 148, 166, 167, 172, 
175, 184, 190, 215, 218, 
223, 238. 

Conflicting Interests, 58, 158, 

Conklln, E. S,, 56. 
Conscience, 135. 
Consciousness, Function of, 

215, 216. 



Conservatism, 124, 129, 153, 

Constellation, 157. 
Contempt, iioff. 
Continence, amongsavages, 197. 
Contrast (in Displacement), 27. 
Control, parental, 231 ff. 
Conversion, 71. 
"Cosiness", 66. 
Cosmogonies, 146, 147. 
Country, 124 ff. See also Nation. 
Court routine, 129. 
Cousins, 27, 92, 102, 208, 229. 
Couvade, 164 ff. 
Cradle, 70. 
Creator, 134, 135. 
Criminals, 84, 119, 221. See also 

Cronos, 147, 150. 
Cruelty, 58, 83, 84, 100, 130, 

141, 142, 150, 162, 164. 
Cupid, 104. 
Curiosity, 74 ff., 224. 
Cybele, 144, 147. 
Cyrus, 56. 
Czar, 127. 

"Daddy Long Legs'*, 220. 
Danger, 130, 131, 164, 170. 
Darwin, Charles, 64. 
Daughter, 46, 64, 83, 96 ff., 180, 

207, 209, 227, 231. 
Daughter-in-law, 94, 173. 
Dattner, B., 125. 
Day dreams, 155. See also 

Dead, the, 135. 
Death, 10, 22, ,68, 69, 76, 82, 

83» 99» 109» 148» 237. 
Duties, 170. 

Wishes, 10 ff., 22, 59, 99, 
135, 160, 165. 
Deceased : 
Brother's wife, 93. 
Wife*s sister, 93, 229. 
Deëmotionalisation, 11. 
Dégradation of sexual object, 

Delinquents, 46, 120, 140, 221. 
Democracy, 128, 236. 
Démons, 165. 

Of child on adults, 42, 121. 
Of child on parents, 49, 51, 
61 ff., 94, 95, 121, 154, 
175, 181, 185, 188, 189, 
211, 218, 219, 230 ff., 
236 ff. 
Of individual on the State, 

236, 237. 
Of old on young, 239 ff. 
Type of love, 103, 104. 
Déposition of king, 131, 132, 147. 
Descent : 

Through father, 166, 196. 
Through mother, 166, 196. 
Abnormal, 40 ff., 61 ff., 88 ff., 

102, 188, 191, 241. 
Mental, 4, 13 ff., 21 ff., 31 ff., 
40 ff., 48 ff., 61 ff., 83, 
88 ff., 102 ff., 152, 171, 
175, 186, 188, 191, 
219 ff., 227 ff. 
Moral, 44 ff., 76, 152, 154, 
155, 177, 183, 188, 210, 
218 ff., 229, 240. 
Of individual personality, 
31 ff., 40 ff., 171, 189, 
211, 219 ff., 237 ff. 



Sexual and individual, 41, 

DeAnl, the, 142, 153. 
Différent, désire to be from 

parent, 64. 
Differentiation in Society, 212. 
Disappointment, 56, 171. 
Disease, 3, 121, 166, 200. See 

also Neurosis. 
Disgust, 9, 10, 139, 145. 
Disobedience, 223. 
Displacement, 25 ff., 35, 49, 50, 

62, 69, 88 ff., 98, 100 ff., 

ii6ff., 122, 125, 133 ff., 

147, 158, 163, 171, 172, 

175, 186, 187, 190, 193, 

215, 228, 235. 
Dissociation, 11, 21, 26, iioff., 

142 ff., 152 ff., 215. 
Distrust of women in Christia- 

nity, 144. 
Division of labour, 43. 
Divorce, loi, 224. 
Doctor, 80, 120 ff., 
Don Carlos, 107. 
Don Juans, 55. 
Dove, 139. 
Dreams, 10 ff., 50, 66, 79, 80, 

139, 160. 
"Tj^ical", 10. 
Droit de Seigneur, 143, 195. 
Dualistic principle, 143. 
Duplication, 143. 
Duration of childhood, 185, 219. 
Durkheim, E, 201. 
Dysgenic influences, 202 ff., 

208, 219, 229. 

Earth, 69, 72, 83, 145, 147. 
East and Jones, 203. 

Eating, 147 ff., 165, 212. 
Economie position, 58, 59, 231, 

Eden, 148. 
Education, 65, 177, 186, 189, 

225, 226, 230 ff., 234 ff. 
Effort, 67 ff., 73, 170, 188. 
Ego, see Self. 
Egypt, 90, 91, 203. 
Electra Complex, 12. 
Elixir of life, 72. 
Ellis, W, 91. 

From control, 44 ff., 70, 171, 

190, 222, 231 ff. 
From early love objects, 29, 

30, 70, 171, 190, 222, 

227 ff . 
Emergence from womb, 70. 
Enclosed space, 67, 70. 
Energy, psychic, 71, 192. 
England, 127. 
Environment, 15 ff., 24, 46, 64, 

170, 198, 203, 204, 216, 

220, 221, 232, 235, 237. 
Envy, 167, 168, 224. 
Ephialtes, 148. 
Escape from life, 67. 
Ethical applications, 217 ff. 
Eugenics, 205, 208. 
Eve, 148- 
"Everyday psychopathology", 

Exaggerated love (or anxiety), 

57, 130. 
Excretory functions, 118. 
Exhibitionism, 192. 
Exogamy, 91, 137 ff., 195 ^f-, 

200 ff., 229, 
Ezekial, 90. 



Fairy taies, 99, 155. 
Falling in love, 51, 102 ff. 
With married or betrothed 
persons, 107. 
Family, as object of love, 124- 
Father, 17 ff., 46, 53, 54, 58, 
64, 74, 75, 76, 80, 83 ff.. 
94» 95» 98, 110,117,120, 
122, 125 ff-, 132 ff-, 160, 
163 ff., 179 ff., 207, 209, 
227, 235, 238. 
-inJaw, 94, 95. 
Favourite child, 163. 
Fear, 9, 67, 70, 83, 130, 135, 139, 
141, 142, 154, 175, 177. 
See also Anxiety 
Feast, 137. 
Fechner, G. T„ 7. 
Ferenczi, S., 14, 37, 52 ff., 59, 

67, 68, 116, 121, 139. 
Fertility, 132. 
Festivals, 131, 137, 195. 
Fire, 148. 
Fish, 139. 

Fixation, 51 ff., 61, 86, 89, 94, 
95, 102, 106, 118, 123, 
124, 152, 158, 190, 193, 
223, 226 ff., 238, 239. 
Flûgel, J. C. 116, 155, 215. 
Foetal Posture, 67. 
Forsyth, David, 14. 
Foster parents, 56, 139. 
Fowl, 139. 
France, 127, 128. 
Fratricide 20, 

Frazer, Sir J. G. 72, 82, 83, 
90» 91» 92, 93, 130, 131» 
1321 138, 140, 142, 145, 
147, 148, 150, 160, 161, 
164, 194, 196, 201. 

Freud, Sigmund, 6ff., 22, 24, 
26, 32, 33, 40, 51, 54, 
55» 56» 66, 67, 69, 70, 
74, 80, 96, 103, 107, 
iio, 113, 123, 129, 135, 

138» 139» 140» 149» 152» 
177, 182, 187, 192, 206, 
207, 211, 215, 224. 

Friands, 172, 232. 

Frigidity, 51, 

Functional symbolism, 37. 

Gaboon, 194. 

Gaia, 147. 

Game, 139, 155. 

"Gang^ 84, 85. 

George Junior Republic, the, 

Germany, 127, 128. 

Gestation, 74, 75, 77, 189. 

Ghosts, 135. 

Giant, 109, 150. 

Gibbon, 145. 

God, 133 ff., 234 ff. 

Goethe, 106. 

"Golden Bough, The", 131. 

Gonzalves, 194. 

Gosse, Edmund, 182, 

Grandchildren, 241. 

Grandfather, 86, 161. 

Grandparents, 161 ff. 

Gratitude, 24, 98, 183. 

Graves, 69. 

Greece, 91. 

Gregariousness, see Herd In- 

Group marriage, 90, 179, 195. 

Guardians, 234. 

Guilt, i48. 

Gurney, E,, 7. 



Half brothers and sisters, 229. 

Hall Caine, Sir, 115. 

Hamlet, 99, 115. 

Happiness, possibility of, 169. 

Hardy, Thomas, 116. 

Hart, B., 7, 130, 182. 

Hartland, E. S., 109, 138, 146, 

Hartmann, E. von, 7, 169. 

Harvest, 72. 

Hâte, II f{., 18 ff., 24, 27, 28, 
50, 57 ff., 61, 64, 83, 
94 ff., icx>, 117 ff., 128 ff., 
139 ff., 151, 156 ff., 162, 

171» i75i 177^-1 184, 

215, 222 ff., 233, 234, 

238, 239. 
Healy, W., 46. 
Health of children, 208. 
Heape, Walter, 138. 
Hearne Samuel, 193. 
Heaven, 147, 148, 
Heirs, 170. 
Helmholtz, //. von, 7. 
Henry VIII, 116. 
Hera, 92, 147. 
Herd Instinct, 23, 24, 135, 182, 

210, 212, 214, 215. 
Hereditary wealth and rank, 170. 
Heredity, 62 ff,, 87, 105, 198, 

199, 202 ff. 
Herodofus, 90. 
Heterosexuality, 15 ff., 54, 103, 

156, 189. 
Heterosis, 203. 
Hichens Robert, 115. 
Hickson, S, J,, 194. 
Hindrance, in love, 108. 
Historical treatment of subject, 

176 ff. 

Hodgson, R., 7. 

**Holy Father", 127. 

Holy Ghost, 145. 

Home, 51, 56, 123, 124, 159, 223. 

Home-sickness, 51, 124. 

Homosexuality, 16, 17, 53, 54, 
74, 103, 113, 116, 189, 
In girls, 16, 17, 53, 113. 

Honouring of father, 150, 151. 

Hostility between members of 
family, 10 ff., 18 ff., 57 ff., 
94ff., ii7ff., 135, 141, 
i46ff., 156 ff., 177 ff., 
213, 214, 221 ff. 

**Humdrum" activities, 214. 

Husband and wife, 93 ff., loi, 
158, i63ff.,2i3, 227,238, 

Hybrid vigour, 203. 

Hypnosis, 67, 121, 122. 

Ibsen, H„ 107. 

Idéalisation of parents, 54 ff., 
62, 63, 94, 120, 124, 

134» 137» 152, 163. 
Idealism, 145. 

Of husband and wife, 92. 
Of parents with children, 103, 

168 ff. 
With country, 125 ff. 
With grandparents, 86, 160 ff., 

With parents, 63, 105, 115, 

163, 168. 
With self, 103, 189. 
Illness, see Disease. 
Illusion of happiness, 169. 
Imaginaiy fulfUment of désire, 

Imitation, 186. 



Immaculate Conception, 145. 

Immortality, 72, 162, 169, 170. 

Impotence, 51, 81, 132, 200. 

Inbreeding, 202 ff., 219. 

Incas of Peru, 91, 203. 

Incest, 12 ff., 22, 34 ff., 51 ff., 61, 
73» 79«-i 89 ff., 97 ff., 
104 ff., 108, 116, 131, 
139, 142 ff., 147, 184 ff., 
193 ff., 200 ff., 219 ff. 
As symbolic, 34 ff. 
Examples of brother-sister, 

90, 193 ff. 
Examples of parent-child, 
193 ff. 

Independence increasing with 
growth, 42 ff., 61 ff., 71, 
76, 171 ff., 211, 230 ff. 

Indian Archipelago, 194» 


N. American, 193. 
S. American, 194. 

Individual, the, 32 ff., 40 ff., 65, 
72, 76, 81, 136, 137, 
152, 154» 160, 169, 170, 
175, 209ff., 214, 215, 
218, 227, 230 ff., 237 ff. 

Individualism, 237. 

Individuation and Genesis, 159, 
214, 215. 

Industrial life, 62. 

Infanticide, 160. 

Infantile attitude in love, 28 ff. 

Inferiority, feeling of, 166, 232, 


Infertility, 201. 

Infidelity, 99, loi. 

Inheritance, see Heredity. 

Inhibition, 52. See also Re- 

Initiation, 71, 79 ff., 142, 149, 

Innate : 

Ideas, 77. 

Tendencies, 15, 23, 77. 
Insanity, 67. 
Instinct, 157, 169, 186, 187, 


Institutions, 160, 234. 
Intégration : 

In Society, 212. 

Psychic, 3, 122, 216. 
Intercourse, sexual, 73, 75, 76. 
Interests of parents, I57ff.,i7iff. 

With children's desires, 18, 
28, 58, 64,97, 118,119, 

157» 177» 178, 225. 
With parenfs disires, 159, 

160, 171 ff. 
"Interprétation of Dreams,The", 

Intra-uterine life, 66 ff., 189, 198. 
Inversion, sexual, see Homo- 

"Inverted" Œdipus Complex, 

54» 59- 
Isanna River, Indians of, 194, 
Ishtar, 144. 
Isis, 92, 144. 
Islands, 66, 69. 

Janet, Pierre, 7. 

Java, aborigines of, 194. 

Jealousy, 17 ff., 28, 57, 84, 98, 
100, 108, 116 ff., 132, 
146, 156, 158, 159, 163, 
209, 223 ff., 233, 234. 

Jews, 90, 128, 129. 



Jocasta, 37, 105. 

Jones, Ernest, 6, 35, 37, 39, 71, 

72, 99, 109, 115, 118, 

121, 125, 126, 127, 128, 

142, 161, 163. 
Judaism, 141, 148, 235, 236. 
Jung, C. G„ 32ff., 40, 69, 71, 

72, 173, 211, 224. 

Kacharis, 196. 

Kadiaks, 193. 

Kaiser Wilhelm II, 153. 

Kalangs, 194. 

Karens, 194. 

Karna, 70. 

*'Keel-hauling", 84. 

Kempf, E, J„ 64. 

Ketjen, E., 194. 

Kikuyu, 86. 

King, 119, 125 ff., I29ff., 137, 

Kinship, 151. 
Knight Dunlap, 7. 
Knowledge, 120 ff ., 138, 148, 

Tree of, 148. 

Kohler, J., 205^ 206. 

Labour, 77, 164. 
Lactation, 189. 
Lake, 69, 70, 125. 
Lamb, 139. 
Landesvater, 127. 
Lang, Andrew, 205, 206. 
Language, 135. 
Latchkey, 232. 
Latent sexual period, 26. 
Laziness, 36, 61, 231. 
Leaming, process of, 186. 
Legend, see Myths. 

Leibnitz, 7. 

Lethe, 69. 

Levels of development, 49. 

Levirate, 93, 195. 

Liberty, statue of, 127. 

Libido, 33, 192. 

Licence, period of, 82, 86, 89 ff., 

13I) 195- 
Life after death, 68, 69, 76. 
"Life task", 34. 
*'Literature", 13,89, 91, 92, loi, 

107, 135- 

''Little Commonwealth, The", 

"Little Father", 127, 

Livelihood, 41, 64, 231. 

Lohengrln, 56, 70, 75, 104. 

Lombroso, 140. 

Loosening of parental ties, 
218 ff., 226 ff., 230 ff. 

Lorenz, Emil, 146. 

Love, 8, 12 ff, 22, 27 ff, 49, 51, 
57, 58, 61, 64, 89 ff., 
94» 95) 98» ^oolL, 117, 
123, 129 ff., 139 ff., 
156 ff., 160, 171, 173, 
175» ^77» 178, 182 ff., 
200 ff., 209, 221 ff., 230, 
238, 239. 

**Love at first sight", 103. 

Low, Barbara, 6. 

Lynching, 114. 

McCurdy, J, T., 182. 
McDougall, W., 136, 157, 185. 
McLennan, /. F., 205, 206. 
Madagascar, 90, 196. 
Magic, 132, 152, 153, 164. 
''Making good", 170. 
Malay Peninsula, 197. 



Marriage, i8, 51, 52, 59, 81, 
82, 90 ff., 99, 107, io8, 
112, 114, 115, 158, 
172 ff., 178 ff., 195 ff., 
205 ff., 213, 214, 224, 
229, 238. 
By capture, 205. 
Group, 90, 179 ff., 195, 205, 

Relatives by, 92 ff. 
Martius, C, F. P. von, 194. 
Mary (mother of Christ), 144 ff. 
"Mary Rose", 69, 73. 
Masochism, 139, 192. 
Maspero, Sir Gaston, 91. 
Masturbation, m, 113. 
Materialism, 145. 
Matricide, 83. 
Matter, 145. 
Maturity, 102, 237 ff. 
Médical attendant, 80, 120 ff, 
Melanesia, 194. 
Memories, recovery of, 77. 
Memory, in savages, 204. 
Men's Clubs, 87, 179. 
Menstruation, 82, 201. 
"Mentally déficient" children, 

Metempsychosis, 162. 
Mexico, 90. 
Midwifery, 167. 
Military life, 62. 
Monasteries, 67, 
Money, 59, 232. 
Monks, 67. 
Monogamy, m, J78, 197, 209, 

Monotheism, 144. 
Monster, 82, 86, 109, 150. 
Montessori, Maria, 226. 

Moral code, 181 ff., 229, 240, 241. 
Development, 44 ff., 76, 152, 

154) 155» 177. 183» 188, 
210, 218 ff., 229, 240. 
Influences, 182, 183. 
Tendencies, reinforcement 
of through primitive 
trends, 38. 
Tendency and repression, 
23 ff., 61. 
Morality, 170. 
Morals of gods, 152. 
Morgan, H. L., 90 
Morfon Prince, 7. 
Moses, 56, 70. 

Mother, 15 ff., 46, 53, 55, 64, 
66 ff., 80, 82 ff., 104, 
iio, 115, 122, I25ff., 
131 ff., 143 ff., 158 ff., 
163 ff., 171 ff., 180, 184, 
189, 190, 198, 207, 209, 
227, 238. 
Unmarried, 158. 
Holle, 100. 
-in-law, 94 ff. 
Mowgli, 139. 

Mountains, 66, 69, 73, 125. 
Muller, G. E,, 7. 
Mûller, Max, 138, 126. 
Murder, 83, 84, 99, 119, 131, 

148 ff., 160, 165. 
Mysticism, 72. 
"Myth of the birth of the hero", 

56, 70- 
Myths, 12, 13, 37, 56, 66, 69, 

70, 75» 91» 92, 99» loi, 
104, 105, 109, 116,131, 

138, 139, i43i 147) 148) 



Nagging, 162, 233. 
Name, 105, 106, 161. 
Narcissism, 54, 56, 103, 105, 

113, 122, 152, 153, 

i88{{., 198, 215, 221, 
Narcissistic neuroses, 123. 
Narcissistic type of love, 103,105. 
Nation, 109, i25{f., 129, 136, 209. 
Natural Sélection, 198, 202 ff., 

207, 208, 210, 211. 
**Naturalistic" of interprétation 

myths, 37, 38. 
Neglect, 100. 
Negritos, 197. 
Negroes, 114. 
Neo-Malthusianism, 222. 
Nephews, 92. 
Nepos, Cornélius, 91. 
"Neuclear complex'', 13, 123. 
Neurosis, 3, 17, 122, 166. 
Neurotic symptoms and mani- 
festations, 50, 57, 67. 
Neurotic, the, 34, 36, 209. 
New Guinea, 194. 
New York, 127, 
Nicodemus, 71. 
Nièces, 92. 
Nietzsche, 7, 142. 
Nomadic peoples, 204. 
Normal and abnormal develop- 

ment, 48. 
Novels, 155. 
Novice, in initiation cérémonies, 

Nnnneries, 67. 
Nurse, 15, 119, 234. 
Nursery, 62, 

Obédience, 50, 61, 62, 124, 125, 
127, 134, 141, 200. 

Object love, i4ff., io2ff., 152, 

153, 169, i88ff., 215, 

Obligation towards parents, 

Obsessional Neurosis, 123. 
Obstacle, need for in love, 

Œdipus, 56, 75, 105, 131, 144- 
Œdipus Complex, 12 ff., 37 ff-, 

49» 54, 57» 99) 105, 117, 

123, 132, 140, 146, 209, 

Old âge, 239 ff. 
Old women, 86. 
Omnipotence, 68, 134, 153. 
Omniscience, 134. 
Onanism, m, 113. 
Only child, 157, 222. 
Oral Libido, 192. 
"Original sin", 148, 149. 
Osiris, 92, 144. 
Otos, 148. 
Ouranos, 147. 
Outbreeding, 203, 204. 
Over-determination, 37, 132, 

Owl, 139. 

**Papa", 127. 

Control, 231 ff. 

Readjustment, 171 ff. 

Tendencies, 157, 169, 221. 
Parental ties, loosening of, 

218 ff., 226 ff., 230 ff. 

Of father emphasised, 165. 

Sacrifices involved in, 159 ff., 



Parents, 8, 12 ff., 26 ff., 42, 
45ff., 61 ff., 71, 79ff., 

88, 89, 93 ff., 100, 104, 
loBff., iiSff., i33ff., 
156 ff., 177 ff., 185 ff., 
205, 207 ff., 221, 223. 

-in-law, 93 ff., 173. 

Strong and weak, 233. 

Substitutes for, see Substi- 

World, 147. 
Parricide, 12, 83, 131, 132. 
Participation in divine nature, 

Patemity, knowledge concer- 

ning, 138, 146, 204. 
Patria potestas, 128, 235. 
Patriarchal system, 129, 136, 

i8off., 197. 
"Patrie*, 127. 
Patriotism, 125 ff. 
Pathological, the, in mental 

development, 48, 88, 

89, 102, 229. 
Paulo and Francesca, 107. 
Pélican, 139. 

Pelleas and Melisande, 107. 
Pénis, 73, 74, 80. 
Perseus, 56, 70. 
Persians, 90. 
Peru, 91, 203. 
Peruvian aborigines, 194 
Pfister, a, 6. 
Phallus, see Pénis. 
Phantasies, 66ff.,79,io8,io9,iii, 

115» II?) 151» 155» 161. 
Philippines, 197. 
Philosopheras stone, 72. 
Philosophy, 64, 74, 145. 
Physician, 80, 120 ff. 

Piedrahita, L. F, de, 90. 
"Pilgrim's Progress**, 69. 
Plants, 137, 200. 
Plaio, 220. 

Play, 43- 

Politics, 64, 125 ff., 232, 234, 
236, 237. See also So- 

Polytheism, 142 ff. 

Pond, 70. 

Poorer Classes, 58, 195. 

Pope, 120, 127. 

Porter, S, C, 74. 

Posterity, 169, 170. 

Practical applications, 217 ff. 

Prayer, 153. 

Pregnancy, 160, 166. 

Prematurely bom children, 77. 

Pre-natal life, 66 ff., 189, 198. 

Pressure, 70. 

Préventive sexual intercourse, 

Pride, 167, 168. 

Priest, 120, 142. 

Primitive Sympathy, 185, 186. 

Priority of parent-love sen- 
timent, 191, 192. 

Privilèges of maturity, 84. 

Profession, 63, 163, 210, 212, 239. 

Professional position, 59. 

Prohibitions, 105, 131^ 132, 148, 

165, 177» 195» 202, 204, 
Projection, 103, 130, 135, 141, 

143, 146, 151 ff-» 163, 

165, 241. 
Prometheus, 148. 
Promiscuity, 90, 197, 205. 
Property, 169, 170. 
Prostitute, iioff. 



Prostitution, religions, 142. 
Protestant Church, 145. 
Psyché, 104. 
Psychology : 

Applications of, 2, 3, 65. 

Présent status of, i ff. 

The abnormal in, 48. 
Ptolemies, 91, 202. 
Puberty, 71, 82, 113. 
Punishment, 85, 141, 147, 148, 
165, 167, 177, 206, 209 
Puritanism, 142. 
Purity, 146. See also Chastity. 

Queen, 127. 

Children's, 74 ff., 224. 

In myths, 75, 104, 105, 148. 

Racial factors, 72, 76, 81, 105, 
109, 114 ff., 129, 152, 
169, 170, 190, 198, 
202 ff., 208, 219, 220, 

Rank, Otto, 13, 33, 50, 55, 56, 
69, 70» 75» 92, 98, 100, 
loi, 106, 108, 109, 125, 
126, 128, 132, 143. 

Rationalisation, 84, 86, 200, 

Reaction formations, 155, 175, 
182 ff. 

Read, Carveth, 138. 

Readjustment of parents atti- 
tude, 171 ff., 226 ff., 233. 

Real world, 155. 

Rébellion, 119, 120, 128, 129, 
148, 223. 

Rebirth, 66 ff., 79, 81 ff., 149. 

Reciprocation of love, 15, 16, 

226, 227. 
Reconciliation, 86, 148, 179. 
Reconstruction, i. 
Rectum, 74. 
Régénération, 71, 72. 
Régicide, 119, 131, 132. 
Régression, 13, 41, 61, 62, 68, 
76, 88, 89, 121, 123, 
190 ff. 
Reik, Th., 83, 85, 164. 
Reincaration, 86. 
Rejuvenation, 72, 76. 

By marriage, 92 ff,, 195. 
-in-law, 92 ff. 
Religion, 56, 64, 71, 72, 76, 81, 
116, 120, 133 ff., 201, 
232, 234 ff. 
Future of, 154. 
Value of, 152. 
Remarriage, 99 ff. 
Remus, 139. 

Repression, 9ff., 22ff.,35,37ff., 
49 ff-» 57» 61, 62, 74, 
80, 89, 91, 95, 98, 
103 ff., 130, 138, 143 
K-» 155) 165, 183, 192, 
T98, 200 ff., 229. 
Rescue, 108 ff., 115, 117. 
Resemblance, as a factor in 
displacement, 27, 102, 
105, 189, 198. 
Respect, 45, iioff., 186. 
Retum to womb, 66 ff. 
Revenge, 162. 

Of filio-parental relationship, 

239 ff. 
Of générations, 161. 



Revision of standards of con- 

duct, 226, 227- 
Revolt against parental 

authority, 46, 47, 223. 
Ribot, Th., 157. 
Riches, 169, 170. 
Rights, 82. 
Riklin, F„ 100. 
Rio Negro, Indians of, 194. 
Rites, 69, 71, 81 ff., 142, 149. 
River, 69, 70, 80, 125. 
Rivers, W, H, R,, 90. 
Robertson Smith, 149 ff. 
Roman Catholic Church, 120, 

127, 145. 
Romans, 128, 136. 
Romulus, 56, 70, 139. 
Rooms, 66. 
Royal familles, 91. 
Ruler, see King. 
Russia, 127, 128. 

Sacrifice, 148 ff. 

Sacrifices involved in parent- 

hood, 159 ff. 
Sadism, 98, 109, 164 ff., 192. 
Sadistic theory of coitus, 109. 
St, George, 109. 
"Sanine", 92. 
Saviour, 148. 
Scapegoat, 148. 
Schiller, 106, 108. 
School, 43, 62, 124, 210, 234, 

235» 239. 
Schopenhauer, 7, 37. 
Schumann, F,, 7. 
Schwârmerei, 28. 
Schweiger, A,, 85. 
Science, iff., 74. 
Sea, 69, 70, 125. 

Seasons, the, 72. 
Seclusion before puberty, 82,83. 
Secrecy în love, 108, 113. 
Secret societies, 72, 83, 86. 
Self, i4ff., 125, 153, 182, i88ff. 

See also Narcissism. 

-assertion, 46, 215. 
-begetting, 109. 
-détermination, 43, 190, 231 ff. 
-feeling, 43. 
-love, see Narcissism. 
-préservation, 41 , 49, 169, 

211, 212, 215, 231 ff. 
-reliance, 62, 211, 231 ff., 
236, 238. 
Semangs, 197. 
Sémites, 149 ff. 
S noi, 197. 

Sentiment, 167, 169, 191 ff., 209. 

Enlightenment, 224. 
Factors, 9ff., 21 ff., 31 ff,, 40, 
53»73)75>76, 79«-. 89, 
95, iioff., 121, 131, 
132, 138, 14^ ff., 153, 
158, 173» 177 «M 185, 
187 ff., 197, 198, 200 ff., 
212 ff., 223 ff. 
Sexuality, gênerai inhibitions 

of, 212 ff. 
Shakespeare, 99. 
Shaw, Bernard, 159, 172. 
Shelley, 58, 106. 
Ship, 125. 

Shortage of women, 56, 70. 
Siegfried, 56, 70. 
Slberer, Herbert, 37, 38, 71, 
72, 132. 



Similarity, as a factor in dis- 
placement, 27, 102, 105, 
189, 198. 

Sin, 148 ff., 167. 

Sisters, see Brothers and Sisters. 

Size, 161, 162. 

Sleep, 67. 

Snow White, 100. 

Life, 46, 47, 81 ff., 89, iigff., 
152, 17O) 175) 188, 209, 
219, 232, 239. 
Position, 59, 64. 

Socialism, 236. 

Society, 65, 81 ff., iigfL, i23ff., 
136 ff., 152, 154, 169, 
170, 188, i89,20o,209ff., 
214, 219, 222, 227, 230, 
234 ff., 240. 

Son, 46, 64, 80, 83, 94, 109, 

13I) 132, 148 «•» 179 «•» 
207, 209, 227. 

-in-law, 94 ff., 173- 
Sophocles, 37, 105. 
Sororate, 93, 195. 
Soûl, 145. 
Spencer, Sir Baldwin, and 

Gillen, F. J,, 196. 
Spencer, Herbert, 135, 136, 205, 

206, 212. 
Spirit, 145. 

Spoiling of children, 162, 233. 
State, 119, 125, 141, 236, 237. 

See also Society. 
Steiner, M,, 51. 
Stekel, W,, 64, 106. 

-child, 98 ff. 

-father, 98 ff. 

-mother, 98 ff., 107, 131. 

Storm, John, 115. 

Strength, sexual attractiveness 

of, 114, 115. 
Strong parents, 233. 
Struggle for existence, 198, 240, 
Styx, 69. 
Subincision, 85. 
Sublimation, 25 ff., 74, 89, 109, 
124, 145, 151, 152, 154, 
155) 192,210,211,215, 
Substi tûtes: 
For opposite sex, 54. 
ï'or parents, 27 ff., 61, 86, 
88 ff., 119, 220, 222, 
228, 230, 234. 
Succession to Kingship, 131. 
Suggestion, 121, 132, 186. 
Sully, J„ 145, 161. 
Superiors, 45. 
Supermen, 142. 
Superstitions, 72, 166, 200. 
Symbolism, 33 ff-, 72. 
"Anagogic'*, 37. 
"Functional", 37. 
Symbols, 69, 71 ff., 80, 83, 85, 

139, 148, 151. 
Sympathy, 164, 166. 
**Primitive", 185, 186. 

Taboo, 35, 52, 75) 82, 86, 91, 
93) 97) loO) ^29ff-) 150, 
165, 206, 213, 229. See 
also Pro- hibitions. 

Talion, 83, 148, 165. 

Tammuz, 144. 

Tarzan of the Apes, 139. 

Teacher, 43, 45, 119» 120, 186, 

Tenasserim, 90, 194. 




Tendemess, 99, too, iioff., 

123, 141, 157, 183, ï86, 

192, 215, 226, 231, 240. 
*Tess of the d'UrberviUes", 

Theoretical treatment of sub ject, 

176 ff. 
Théories of reproduction, in 

child, 74. 
Theriomorphic gods, 139. 
Ties, parental, loosening of, 

218 ff., 226 ff., 230 ff. 
Tinnehs, 193. 
Titans, 148. 
Toleration, 232, 236. 
Totemic Age, 178 ff., 210. 
Totemisra, 137 ff., 149 ff-, 196. 

197, 201, 205. 
Tower of Babel, 148. 
Town, 125. 
Transference, in Psycho-Ana- 

lysis, 122, 123. 
Transference Neuroses, 123. 
Travel, 232. 
Tree, 125, 148. 

Of Knowledge, 148. 
Tribe, 136 ff., 152, 178, 180, 

192, 197, 205, 209. 
Trinity, 145. 
Tristan and Iseult, 107. 
Trotter, W., 23, 136, 182, 215. 
Tunnel, 70, 73. 
Twins, 78, 198. 

Of homosexuality, 54. 
Of love, 103. 
Tyranny, 109, iio, 120. 
Tyrant, 109, 117, 141, 224. 
Uncle, 92. 
Uncleanness, 149. 

Unconscious, 6ff., 11, 17, 31, 
34 ff., 51, 54, 56, 64, 

69» 71» 77» 79» 80, 81, 
89, 92, 97, 100, 104, 
106, 109, iio, 115, 116, 
119, 122, 125, 126,131, 

138, 139» 146, 154» 157» 
i6off., 198, 209, 215, 
217, 228, 229, 238. 
Universe, 134, 136, 142, 143, 

14s 151» 155» 184. 
University, 125. 
United States, 2. See also 

Unmarried mother, 158. 
Unwanted child, the, 221, 222. 
Urethral Libido, 92. 

Vagina, 17, 70, 73, 74. 

Variability, racial, 203. 

Vaults, 69. 

Veddahs, 197. 

Vega, Garcilasso de la, 194. 

Végétation, 72, 131, 132. 

Vicarious enjoyment, 169, 170, 

Vienna school, 40. 
Virgin mother, 116. 
Virginity, 115, 116. 
Vitality of children, 208. 

Wallace, A. R., 94. 
Wangel, Hilda, 107. 
War, I, 2, 125, 205, 206. 
War shock, 3. 
Washington, 127. 
Water, 69, 70. 
Weak parents, 233. 
Wealth, 169, 170. 
Wealthy classes, 58, 181. 



Weaning from parents, 22off., 

230 ff. 
Webster, Jean, 220. 
Wells, H, G„ 2. 
Westermarck, E,, 197, 201, 202, 

204, 206, 212. 
Weule, K„ 85. 
White, R, E„ 91. 
White, W. A., 6, 195. 
Widowhood, 99, 158, 172. 
Wife, 137, 158, 163 ff. See also 

Wilhelm II, 153, 
Wilken, G. A,, 194. 
Winterstein, A, von, 143, 145. 
Womb, 66 ff., 79, 80, 82, 138, 


Women : 
Dissociation in, ii3ff. 
Distrust of in Christianity, 

144, 145- 
Old, 86. 

Shortage of, 205, 206. 
Work, 67, 169. 
Working classes^ 120. See also 

Poorer classes. 
World parents, 147. 
Worship, 137, 141, 145, 151, 
152. See also Religion. 
Wundt, W., 178, 180, 197, 205. 

Ymir, 144. 

Zeus, 92, 139, 142, 147, 148. 

Zurich school, 40, 46. 



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