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Lander, J. (1950). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 19:454.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:454

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Joseph Lander

March 14, 1950. BETTY M AND THE SEVEN DWARFS: A CONTRAPUNTAL ESSAY ON RAYNAUD'S DISEASE. Bernard C. Meyer, M.D.

Dr. Meyer describes a number of points of interesting parallelism between the story of Snow White (and other fairy tales) and the clinical history in a case of Raynaud's Disease. The patient, seen only for three short interviews, apparently used the disease to symbolize her sexual conflict: the vasoconstriction, with consequent coldness and 'whiteness' (purity, chastity) presumably represented a rejection of 'redness' (sexuality, life, passion, femininity). The denial of femininity was further amply demonstrated by her frigidity and in other ways. The 'red-white polarity' is discussed, with reference both to the patient and to the characters of several fairy tales. Dr. Meyer's patient had had ten operations, two accidents, removal of parts of seven organs, and two 'finger prickings' with serious consequences, all (except a hymenectomy) after attaining motherhood. 'The picture is one of systematic dismemberment, a sort of organ scuttling with particular emphasis on feminine functioning.' Her masochism represented introjection of the image of the cruel stepmother.

In discussion, Dr. Schur urged caution in drawing inferences, no matter how ingenious, from so few interviews. Dr. Róheim expressed the opinion that the Snow White theme is to be viewed as a fantasy of return to the womb, with acute (projected) hostility to the mother who is pregnant. Body destruction fantasies are prominent, and based on this hostility.

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