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Stoddart, W.H. (1922). A Symbolism of Appendicitis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:45-45.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:45-45

A Symbolism of Appendicitis

W. H.B. Stoddart

A male patient under analysis and during the stage of dealing with his homosexual complex told me one day that he had swallowed a grape pip and was afraid it might give him appendicitis. I did not take the matter seriously and let it pass.

A fortnight later he reverted to the matter and regarded the fear as a curious one, because he knew quite well that a grape pip would 'dissolve' in the digestive juices; so I told him to analyse the fear. His analysis was as follows:

His concept of the appendix was that of a tube leading into a hollow cavity and that appendicitis was a swelling up—a distension—of this cavity, which might be caused by a grape pip passing through the tube into the cavity. A grape pip is a seed which could germinate into life. Seed = Semen. The distension of the cavity would therefore be with a child. Moreover, until fourteen years of age he imagined the female to be fashioned just like the male and supposed fertilization to be induced via the mouth.

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