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Blum, H.P. (1969). A Psychoanalytic View of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 17:888-903.

(1969). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 17:888-903

A Psychoanalytic View of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Harold P. Blum, M.D.


This play, involving two couples and an imaginary child, is viewed from the vantage point of applied psychoanalysis. The adoption fantasy is the hidden underlying theme which gives cohesive unity to the play. The problems of truth or illusion, reality or fantasy, alienation or attachment are disguised derivatives of the central fantasy of adoption. The ambivalent estrangement and identity conflicts of the characters are expressions of this fantasy. The mutual diatribe, the doubt, disillusionment, and disappointment are traced to this core conflict with a universal background in the related family romance. The nature and significance of the games in the play are discussed. Reference is made to the transmutation of childhood play into drama and problems of creativity.

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