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Psychoanalysis of Lacanian Theory and Practice Analytical Essay

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2019

In psychoanalysis of Lacanian theory and practice, is evidence of symbolism, imagery and reality as the story develops. In fact, the story is primarily developed through these aspects of literature. However, all these have a close relationship and conciseness with other forms of psychoanalytic literature.

The purpose of this analysis is to provide a critical evaluation of Lacanian theory and practice. In addition, the discussion describes how this theory relates to other psychoanalytic theories such Freudian theory, especially in its analysis relating to childhood Phobia.

Not Much support has been given in the story that can actually be analysed based on Freudian theory. This is shown in the story where Hans’s father familiarises himself with the Oedipus complex (Kovacevic, 2003). This evidently shows that Hans had some imagination.

In this case, he had fantasies in which he saw his mother entering into a marriage with him. Though Hans never had full knowledge of the complex, there was a possibility that he knew it existed. Freud uses symbolism and imagery, which is connected to the actual events as White (2008) asserts. Hans has a strong fear of horses with a ‘black mouth’.

This symbolizes his father’s well-developed moustache. The story also states that Hans feared horses that had blinkers, which in this case symbolizes the father, who wore spectacles. Looking at his father’s skin, it resembled a horse because it was white. This symbolizes his father’s white skin that was also lovely. Several points tend to describe Freud’s view.

For instance, in this story, Hans has fantasies of him and his mother indicating that he was sexually attracted to her. This is one indication that he was ready to eliminate his father, which actually prompted him to kill his father (Nitzgen, 2011). His sexual desire towards his mother brought a feeling of anxiousness when his feelings became real.

To find a change of expressing his real feelings towards his mother, he pretended to be sick in order to draw her attention. The story ends with his fear towards the father diminishing after resolving his ‘Oedipus complex’ (Daiello et al, 2006).

To evaluate this story, the fact that Hans had sexual desire towards the mother is arguable because there is little evidence that he wanted to have sex with her. Despite this, Freud states in the story that “…..by telling him of the existence of the vagina and of copulation”.

The only evidence shown is that he only desired a contact with her, which in this case can be described as less sexual in nature. It can therefore be argued that the Oedipus complex could have been healed by ‘simple primitive’ contact (Schwartz, n.d). Relating to Lacanian, women have been used as imagery because they are perceived to be objects of pleasure.

A good example is depicted by Mulvey in his formulation of a male gaz. Here, females are taken as objects through which men can gaze and obtain satisfaction. In the story, Hans never gave a sign of hating neither fearing the father but Freud claims that he possesses these emotions, but severally denied.

Because of continuous questioning, he agrees and this hatred is supported when Han knock down a toy horse (Stavrakakis, 2007). This symbolises the father and the horse. Knocking down the horse is an indication of his father’s elimination.

However, it can also be argued that this was an unconscious intention of knocking down a common horse and not a sign of killing his father. Symbolism in Lacan theory has been used as to signify human universe. With this, human desires are achieved as shown by the imaginary function in his body.

In Oedipus complex, Lacan portrays the father as a metaphor and not a real person. In addition, the relationship between a mother and a child has been portrayed as a close sexual relationship, yet we have not been told of the occurrence of any form of sexual contact between the mother and the son (Nolan, 2011).

The child developed a feeling of superego. In this case, the Oedipus complex develops in the son. In turn, it brings the child much close to the mother but is doubtable whether this meant to make the child sexually attracted to the mother.

It can further be argued that all the errors that Hans made were deliberate and if he actually intended to kill the father, it is still doubtable because literature does not provide any supportive evidence whatsoever (Strupp, 1991). In fact, the story fails to give any rigid evidence of Han’s intention to kill the father, although it is clear that he feared him. Lacan relates this to what happens in real life, especially when a person’s desires are not fulfilled (Lachmann, 2010).

Han’s excitement that later turned to be anxiety towards the mother could be due to the type of phobia in him, which later turned to be pleasure. However, there is no evidence in this literature, which means that no change in him has been shown in regards to the origin of his fears (Strupp, 1971).

This can be explained in Lacananian theory, where the mother-to-child bond is perceived as a way of making achieving some comfort from other symbolic things posing as a threat to the child. In this case, the child’s attraction to the mother can be perceived as a way of seeking safety and comfort rather than sexual attraction (Kovacevic, 2003).


Daiello, V., Hathaway, K., Rhoades, M., & Walker, S. (2006). Complicating Visual Culture. Studies In Art Education: A Journal Of Issues And Research In Art Education, 47(4), 308-325.

Kovacevic, F. (2003). Lacanians and the fate of critical theory. Angelaki: Journal Of The Theoretical Humanities, 8(3), 109-131.

Lachmann, F. (2010). Addendum; afterthoughts on Little Hans and the universality of the Oedipus complex. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(6), 557-562.

Nitzgen, D. (2011). Review of ‘Lacanian psychonanalysis’: Revolutions in subjectivity (Advancing theory in therapy). Group Analysis, 44(3), 346-347.

Nolan, S. (2011). Lacanian theory in practice. Therapy Today, 22(2), 40.

Schwartz, S. (n.d). A Report on ‘Ordinary Psychosis: Paris English Seminar’. Analysis, (14), 245-246.

Stavrakakis, Y. (2007). Wallon, Lacan and the Lacanians: Citation Practices and Repression. Theory, Culture & Society, 24(4), 131-138.

Strupp, H. H. (1971). Psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In , Psychotherapy and the modification of abnormal behavior: An introduction to theory and research (pp. 23-35). McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Strupp, H. H. (1991). Review of ‘Psychoanalytic practice, Volume 1: Principles’. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 8(1), 109-110.

White, J. (2008). PLURALISM IN CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOANALYSIS: THEORY AND PRACTICE. British Journal Of Psychotherapy, 24(2), 138-150.

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