AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

The Sonsâ Daydreams: The Nonhuman Creaturesâ Gaze and the Oedipus Complex in Edgar Allan Poeâs Works

by Yen-ling Chu

Institution: NSYSU
Year: 2015
Keywords: the Oedipus complex; nonhuman creaturesâ gaze (including animal gaze and birdsâ gaze); daydream; psychoanalysis; Edgar Allan Poe
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2118646
Full text PDF: http://etd.lib.nsysu.edu.tw/ETD-db/ETD-search/view_etd?URN=etd-0712115-114027


From the perspective of psychoanalysis, this thesis explores the function and the influence of the nonhuman creaturesâ gaze (including the animal gaze and the bird gaze) in Edgar Allan Poeâs four worksââThe Murder in the Rue Morgue,â âThe Black Cat,â âMetzengerstein,â and âThe Raven.â Focusing on the function and influ-ence of the nonhuman creaturesâ gaze, this book is concerned with how Poe and the male characters in these four works satisfy their desires for ideal maternal love and define their egos by daydreaming. This thesis contains six chapters. Chapter One expounds thematic concerns cov-ered, introducing the thematic structure and methodology of this book. This chapter introduces psychoanalytic theories related to the Oedipus complex and the gaze. By connecting Poeâs aesthetic idea of âthe death of the beautyâ to Princess Marie Bona-parteâs concept of âmurdered mother,â this chapter contends that the nonhuman crea-turesâ gaze is the imagination created by Poeâs and the male charactersâ desire for the ideal mother. Chapter Two focuses on the gaze of the ourang-utan in âThe Murders in the Rue Morgue,â analyzing how the ourang-utan, as an ideal father, castrates the Oe-dipus complex of the male characters in the story and discussing how the ourang-utanâs gaze strengthens Poe and the male charactersâ desires for the ideal mother. Chapter Three explores the black catâs gaze in Poeâs âThe Black Catâ; it examines how the black catâs gaze, as the gaze of an ideal mother, affects the behavior and mind of the adolescent protagonist. Focusing on Poeâs another mysterious story titled âMetzengerstein,â Chapter Four discusses how the horseâs gaze becomes the gaze of âthe big Otherâ to help the Baron, the protagonist in Poeâs âMetzengerstein,â to achieve the ego ideal. Chapter Five centers on âThe Ravenâ and the bird gaze, argu-ing that the self-image in the ravenâs gaze is the reflection of the speakerâs ideal ego and that the speaker is able to repetitively obtain the ideal mother only by day-dreaming of his ideal ego in an imaginary world. Chapter Six, the closing chapter, is a brief summation of the entire book. Advisors/Committee Members: Chang, Ya-lan (chair), Lee, Chia-jung (chair), Lu, Li-ru (committee member).