My Oedipus Complex

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Sydne Weber
AP Lit/comp
Period 5

Frank O’Connor’s “My Oedipus Complex” Is a piece of literature concerning the generalization of competition within male family members, the lack of affection within them, and the shift of relationship between family members. The medium of “My Oedipus Complex” is short story, with the generic constraint being prose. The author uses evidence to show the volatile relationship the protagonist, Larry, and his father share. These two members persistently try to gain the attention and affection of their mother and wife. The story begins in retrospection. The adult Larry remembers his idyllic and blissful early childhood at home with his mother while his father was away during War. Larry urged his mother’s attention and accompanied her throughout each day, prayed unfailingly for his father’s safe return, and urged his mother to brighten up the house by bringing home a baby. This Edenic existence is abruptly lost when his father returns home from the war. At that point, Larry’s mother lost complete interest in him and turned it all to her husband. It is to my understanding that this story contains a prose which bases off of real life motives of humans and human interaction. In which case, the motives of the characters and character interaction are quite persistent throughout the story. Larry, the protagonist, fights for his mother’s affection that he even takes into consideration to marry her. This is also where the psychological theory of the Oedipus Complex comes into place. Though at times it seems that the mother is desperately trying to please the father, she is really only drawing attention to herself. There are many times in the story that the mother says, “Just a moment, Larry ” or “Do be quiet, Larry ”(2). By saying those types of things, she is only increasing the competitiveness between Larry and his father. It was hard to tell if this was her motive but it is more likely than not. Larry wants his mother's...
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