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Fenichel, O. (1943). Charlotte Brontë: Zur Frage Des Masochistischen Charakters. (Charlotte Brontë And the Masochistic Character.): Käte Friedländer. Int. Ztschr. f. Psa. u. Imago, XXVI, 1941, pp. 32–49.. Psychoanal Q., 12:143-144.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Charlotte Brontë: Zur Frage Des Masochistischen Charakters. (Charlotte Brontë And the Masochistic Character.): Käte Friedländer. Int. Ztschr. f. Psa. u. Imago, XXVI, 1941, pp. 32–49.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:143-144

Charlotte Brontë: Zur Frage Des Masochistischen Charakters. (Charlotte Brontë And the Masochistic Character.): Käte Friedländer. Int. Ztschr. f. Psa. u. Imago, XXVI, 1941, pp. 32–49.

Otto Fenichel

In Charlotte Brontë a relatively superficial layer of intense masochism covers a deeper masculine activity. In her writings and in her life, suffering predominates. Various

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biographers ascribe this to real suffering in Charlotte Brontë's childhood. Friedländer represents her as a type of masochistic character whose complaints are accusations, and whose modesty and shyness cover a tendency to exhibit her suffering. A brother with whom she had a 'masculine homosexual' relationship, later proved a failure. Charlotte reacted by turning away from him and began to write, writing having a 'masculine' significance for her: 'It seems as if the loss of his masculinity gave her the power to fulfil a masculine task.'

'… the personality, which is hidden behind the chronic suffering, the shyness, the softness, and the piety, behind the very feminine attitude, is very different from the personality which Charlotte Brontë's biographers have described. We see a woman with a so called masculine intelligence, very clever, very sagacious, with a high degree of critical ability and with great stubbornness to achieve her aims; a woman who is able to impose her will on her surroundings, though in a soft manner, on men as well as on women; a woman who attained fame by herself though she lived the greater part of her life in an isolated little village almost without any contact with the world… this combination of masculine fantasies, fixation to the father and a special elaboration of penis envy is not rare … her masculine activity is hidden and effective behind the cover of severe suffering.'

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Article Citation

Fenichel, O. (1943). Charlotte Brontë: Zur Frage Des Masochistischen Charakters. (Charlotte Brontë And the Masochistic Character.). Psychoanal. Q., 12:143-144

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