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Ferenczi, S. (1949). Notes and Fragments [1930–32]. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:231-242.

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:231-242

Notes and Fragments [1930–32]

Sándor Ferenczi

Oral Erotism in Education 10.8.1930

1. It is not impossible that the question of how much oral erotism (sucking the breast, the thumb, the dummy—kissing) should be allowed or even offered to the suckling, and later in the period of weaning, is of paramount importance for the development of character.

2. Tactless, un-understanding education provokes outbursts of rage and thus conditions the child to discharge tensions through aggressivity and destruction.

3. Simultaneously with these outbursts attempts at compensation develop: gratification by means of permitted parts of the body. (Screen memory: in the flat—the first remembered—sitting on the pot and rhythmically pushing a little toy (a tiny bell) up inside the nose. It remains stuck in the cavity of the nose, a doctor is called, attempts at escape. This screen memory emerged under the pressure of feelings of confusion and anxiety. The patient (woman) is essentially aggressive and negativistic. The relative friendliness of the analyst deprives her of the possibility of a fight; behind the aggressive tendencies anxiety becomes manifest, which then leads to the screen memory quoted above.) Obviously the love life of the newly born begins as complete passivity. Withdrawal of love leads to undeniable feelings of being deserted. The consequence is the splitting of the personality into two halves, one of which plays the rôle of the mother (thumb sucking: thumb is equalled with the mother's breast).

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