Vernissage: Sigmund Freud and Banana Sandwich

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Vernissage is a short story from 2008, written by Claire Anderson-Wheeler. The title also means 'varnishing day'. This refers to the day before the opening of an art exhibition, usually reserved for the painter to varnish his work (complete touchups). We hear the story from Alex's point of view and in third person limited narrator. It means that we see the events happen from Alex's eyes and the narrator tells us how he sees the situation. It is apparent that we see the story through the eyes of a child - ”If she was a food she would probably be a banana sandwich.” (line 76-77). The writer also uses short sentences.

I have interpreted this story using Freud's oedipus complex, which is clearly present at the ending of the story, when Alex watches his mother closely, while hiding under her bed. In psychoanalysis, this is a subconscious sexual desire in a male child (Alex), for the parent of the opposite sex (his mother Frances), and usually brings hostility towards the parent of the same sex (his father). As the child grows up, the hostility is replaced with admiration and the child identifies with the male character. An example of this is Alex, who mimmicks his father, when he goes to brush his teeth right after his dad does it, and he wishes to be like him. The toothbrush and the banana sandwich, are symbols for Alex's development and shows his desire to mature and grow up, as he doesn't want the crocodile toothbrush, but just wants a regular one. Same goes for the banana sandwich, he wants to say no to it because he thinks he is getting too old for that type of food. Alex is still a child, I would guess around 10 years old. He still needs a nanny to take care of him, plays with his food and makes comments & asks questions all the time, like most children do. (''what's in the bag, what did you buy the dress for?'' etc.) He has a vivid imagination like most children - he builds the character Varnie Sage in his head.

The relationship...
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