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Searl, M.N. (1924). Some Analytical Illustrations from a Child's Behaviour. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:358-362.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:358-362

Some Analytical Illustrations from a Child's Behaviour

M. N. Searl

Last year for some weeks I came into rather close contact in ordinary social life—quite non-analytic—with a little six-year-old Danish girl, who was in certain ways very little repressed, and who retailed varied phantasies with a most extraordinary fluency. One day when I was too busy to have her in my room she amused herself by drawing, and later brought me the result. It was of special interest to analysts, and the child, flattered by the attention I paid it, entered eagerly into the game of description. There is a rough outline of a bed-table containing a circle with a loop denoting a chamber with its handle, and inside it an egg with scrawls on it for her own name. A cup is on the top of the bed-table, and a hare with ears, arms and legs (fore and hind legs) stands up on the latter obliquely between cup and chamber; there is no tail. The words 'hare', 'Easter-hare', 'bed-table', 'chamber', 'egg', 'nest with egg Johanni Thula', were written by me at her dictation; then she seized the pencil herself, drew rough squares by the cup and above the hare, and asked me to write 'cup of chocolate' in the former, and in the latter her full names with the addition 'born in K'. The Easter-hare thus labelled who has just laid an egg bearing her own name (probably identification as well as possession, i.e. self-birth) in a chamber in a bed-table on which is a cup of chocolate gives as complete and clear a representation of a child's fæcal birth phantasy as could be desired.

An importance attached to cup, bed-table, etc., similar to that shown in her drawing, is evidenced in the following incident which illustrates quite a number of important points in a short space. For better understanding I may say that the child's father died when she was three, while her eighteen-year-old sister, who enjoyed familiarity on equal terms with the mother, also possessed a father, who was, however, seldom seen. Thula had an endless stock of phantasies about the obtaining of babies, and an uncontrollable longing for presents of any and every description—from a half-dead flower to a baby itself. She had often begged for the gift of my engagement diary, to which she had taken a great fancy. One evening I came in and missed it, was of course suspicious, but searched everywhere.

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