The Boy Will Come to Nothing!: Freud`s Ego Ideal and Freud as Ego Ideal

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9780300056846: The Boy Will Come to Nothing!: Freud`s Ego Ideal and Freud as Ego Ideal
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Our parents are the earliest models for our future behavior and the standards against which we judge ourselves. But as we grow and gradually separate from our parents, we find other people - some real and some drawn from history, fiction, or myth - who merge with the parental images and become part of our ego ideal, or role model. According to Dr. Leonard Shengold, our capacity to mature and change depends in large part on our ability to transfer hero worship from parents to people outside the family, for the latter are less threatening objects of the terrible emotional ambivalences we harbor toward parental figures, on whom we are dependent. Psychoanalysis, says Dr. Shengold, has not sufficiently emphasized the importance of people from outside the family in psychic maturation.
In this profound and eloquent book, Dr. Shengold illustrates his thesis by investigating Freud's own ego ideals, showing how Freud was influenced by his father and others and how he spent his life trying to disprove his father's remark, "The boy will come to nothing!" Dr. Shengold discusses Freud's psychic development in relation to such figures as the biblical Abraham, Joseph, and Moses; the literary and historical Montaigne, Goethe, and Napoleon; the fictional Oedipus and Hamlet; and especially Freud's colleagues Jung, Fliess, and Abraham. And finally he shows how Freud, despite his imperfections, has become one of our ego ideals - a substitute parental figure not only for students of psychology but for all those interested in culture.

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Dr. Leonard Shengold M.D.
Published by Yale University Press February 1993 (1993)
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