Teaching The Oedipus Complex to Freshmen

Some people don’t think students can understand complicated subjects. but I use the Feynman method, which allows me to explain any idea in simple terms that students can understand. Yesterday I explained Freud’s Oedipus Complex to Freshman using a simple classroom poll. First I asked “How many boys in the class love their mothers?” Most confessed that they did. Then I asked “How many of you would murder your father in order to sleep with your mother?” and, as you might imagine, a much smaller number confessed to that. But then I said, “Freud says that each of you do want to murder your father in order to sleep with your mother and that all of your fear, anxiety and unhappiness in this life is the result of you not acknowledging that fact to yourself.” The class scoffed originally, but I explained that their skepticism was their fear talking and that they had an inner Oedipus hungry to express himself. Then I had an inspiration. I broke the class into “families” of five and made them perform skits wherein they murdered their fathers and seduced their mothers. Jessie P. beat his father a hundred and fifty times with a baseball bat. Adrian C. slit his father’s throat while he was watching a football game and drinking a beer. Then he embraced Mariah T. on top of his “dad’s” slumping corpse, which was awkward because Adrian and Mariah had a thing for each other and it took a couple of minutes to separate them. Some kids refused to explore their true natures, but I argued that they could never be free individuals until they accepted the facts about their own animal selves. Still, a few preferred to take the F.

(Your Thing) for Dummies


2 thoughts on “Teaching The Oedipus Complex to Freshmen

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt, (Your Thing) for Dummies | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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