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(1941). Applied: Martin Grotjahn. 'Ferdinand the Bull.' The American Imago, 1940, Vol. I, No. 3, pp. 33–41.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:80.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Applied: Martin Grotjahn. 'Ferdinand the Bull.' The American Imago, 1940, Vol. I, No. 3, pp. 33–41.

(1941). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 22:80

Applied: Martin Grotjahn. 'Ferdinand the Bull.' The American Imago, 1940, Vol. I, No. 3, pp. 33–41.

The story of Ferdinand the Bull (written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by R. Lawson) is the story of an innocent little calf who gets older and stronger but refuses to grow up. He refuses to fight in the bull ring of Madrid and avoids dying like a guilty Oedipus. The cork tree, so important in the illustrations of the book, represents both the ridiculed father and the loving mother. Ferdinand is not a sacred symbol of the father and so escapes the fate of a totem animal. Ferdinand not only successfully avoids the fate of Oedipus; he is also the depreciated father about whom the son laughs before he identifies himself with him. Like Charlie Chaplin, Ferdinand simply refuses to accept defeat by reality. He gains his significant inner security and harmony by his knowledge of possessing father and mother. The disguise of the true meaning of the story of Ferdinand seems to be a successful one: a totem animal and father imago is depreciated, killed and revived in a form acceptable to the super-ego.

Author's Abstract.

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Article Citation

(1941). Applied. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:80

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