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Shengold, L. (1996). The Moth As An Allusion To (Symbol Of?) Mother. Blake (, p. 360). Psychoanal Q., 65:518-547.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:518-547

The Moth As An Allusion To (Symbol Of?) Mother. Blake (1803, p. 360)

Leonard Shengold, M.D.

The meanings of the image of the moth are examined. The use of the moth as both victim and predator, with allusive and symbolic reference to parent and child, is elucidated. My emphasis is on the equation of the moth by children with their intrapsychic registration of a destructive yet vulnerable parent (usually mother) whom the child both wants to destroy and feels it cannot live without. This simple thesis is made use of chiefly to explicate aspects of the life and works of the great American writer, Elizabeth Bishop.

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