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Fries, M.E. (1949). 'Feeling of Hostility'. Psychoanal Q., 18:120-121.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:120-121

'Feeling of Hostility'

Review by:
Margaret E. Fries

The comments that were made about the film, Feeling of Rejection, apply to this film which, however, seems more complete. The scenes portray realistically overt behavior to a remarkable degree. For instance, the little girl shows oral regression when frustrated not only by eating the cake but by sucking her fingers when confronted with her baby brother; and when the ambivalent wife warns the husband to avoid an accident about which she has read so much, she burns her arm on the toaster.

This title too is unfortunate. The title, Rejection, could as easily have been given to this film as to the other. That personality development is overdetermined is overlooked in the captions but not in the screening. Static casual relationships are considered to be etiological. The father's going away on business, which the mother resents, is given as the reason for the child's subsequent development. Why an expert mining engineer should be killed in an accident, unless it were unconsciously determined, is not explained. No reason is given for the mother's resentment for her husband's going on a business trip. The life history omits the important pregenital development of the child, who is four years old when the film starts.

The progress of Clair's development from four years and after the death of the father is well portrayed. She first clings to her mother, and then feels rejected when the mother remarries and has another child.

In school the child is unable to adapt because her mother has ambitions and sends her to a private school far above the girl's competitive ability. Her struggle to gain the teacher's love with a piece of cake, and her disappointment when the teacher does not take the cake home, is poignantly enacted. Her success as editor of a school paper and her failure in social life at college is well illustrated. Success in a responsible position in publicity, but without the emotional warmth she needs, concludes the scenario.

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