Dora An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
The Relationship Between Freud and Dora: Insight into the Workings of a Daughter’s Mind
Sigmund Freud represents an extremely rare breed of literary genius. His ability to delve into the human subconscious and extrapolate meaning from the apparently nonsensical gives his works an exploratory, constantly twisting feel that finds its own place in the history of literature. In particular, ‘Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria’ epitomizes the Freudian style of writing as a unique combination of literature and science, as he converges the two topics in a harmonic medley that lends both a rich narrative of rhetorical devices alongside a psychoanalysis and justification of Dora’s hysteric symptoms. The next way in which Freud creates a unique and memorable piece of work is through his ability to construct a massive intricate linkage that remains constant throughout the Analysis, which operates on a panoramic and explicit view as well. Alongside this, from a more holistic perspective, we see numerous twists and revelations throughout the work; none more so than the realization of an intimate relationship between Freud and Dora, which Freud fails to see, and ultimately becomes the primary gain from the case history of Dora. What makes the Analysis a unique text is Freud’s combination of ‘scientific’ postulates and gripping narrative. The former method is referred to in quotations due the fact that psychoanalysis is not an exact science, but actually “an art, which would otherwise be useless, turned to account for the discovery of the hidden and repressed parts of mental life”. From a general outlook, the Analysis is structured in such a way that Freud will first engage the reader through a descriptive narrative of Dora’s situation, pulling the reader in by use of eloquent syntax. Then, a psychoanalysis will follow, where he employs extended metaphors and specific analogies to communicate his most technical points to his audience, and in this sense, language serves as a gateway to explanation for us, just as it does in the dream world. Once instance of such metaphoric dialogue is where he relates Dora’s unconscious thoughts that are twined around a structure of organic connections to “festoons of flowers twined around a wire”. Or when speaking of somatic compliance, he compares the earliest development of a psychical symptom as a real organic irritation of the throat to “a grain of sand around which an oyster forms its pearl”. These analogies engage and submerse the reader in the text, and create a harmony between scientific empiricism and rhetorical technique. Another way that Freud masters language and uses it to further validate his points is through his sharp eye for detecting puns and double entendres in the diction of dreams. Such as in Dora’s first dream, where he notices that because there is a ‘fire’, Dora must be suppressing intense emotions by using its antonym. Here, ‘fire’ is actually an opposite façade for ‘wet’, which he then uses as a junction to suggest that Dora is a.) Being saved by her father for wetting her bed, and b.) Protecting her genitalia from being moistened or sexually aroused by employing the antipode of ‘wet’. This is but one instance where Freud uses his vast knowledge of diction to create linkage through free association, a technique he is well known for.Furthermore, Freud’s bypassing of conventional 19th century societal norms is another reason why Dora is seen as a memorable work. Just 30 or so years earlier, Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin was received with public outrage over the graphic sexual content of the novel. Freud however sees it as an essential and necessary component in deducing the causes for Dora’s symptoms, and thus chooses to delve deep into sexual themes insofar as they relate to Dora’s psychological issues. Although Freud discusses such intimate realist topics so publicly, he does provide brief asides as to why he is doing so, justifying the discussion of such topics by referring to “the uncertainty in regard to the boundaries of what is to be called normal sexual life, when we take different races and different epochs into account, should in itself be enough to cool the zealot’s ardour”, and also the necessary nature of referring to such topics in this case of hysteria. Such cogent rhetoric is exactly typical of Freud, and a key example of how his eloquent wielding of language. This also demonstrates his persuasive tone, which exemplifies his use of diction to his advantage. Possibly the most significant and distinctive characteristic of the Analysis is how Freud manages to piece together an intricate web of ideas that is continually added to and adapted throughout the novel. This linkage of theories and hypotheses of Dora’s symptoms eventually culminates in a massive intertwined combination of deductions that provide us with a picture of the inner workings of Dora’s mind. Because Freud sees Dora’s symptoms as having real somatic roots, yet being hyperbolized by a variable psychical element, he searches for the twisted and most troubled parts hidden away in Dora’s subconscious. This is probably Freud’s greatest talent, his mastering of linkage that allows him to see deep through Dora’s surface and into her clandestine thoughts. Another noticeable thing about Freud is that he leaves nothing untouched or unexamined, from dreams to subtle movements to diction, he takes in everything about a patient and somehow orders the actions into a super picture. We see this come into effect when Dora is in session with him, and at the simple subconscious touching of a reticule, Freud sees “betrayal oozes out of (her) at every pore”, and links this subtle act to a slight release of subconscious longing for sexual pleasure, a want even she does not know of. From Dora’s dyspnoea, or breathing troubles, Freud weaves together an explanation by piecing together several different pieces of information. He estimates that Dora being near to her father’s room, she often heard him struggle to breathe. This is then associated with “detached fragments of the act of copulation”, and Dora’s subconscious takes in something sexual from the coughing. Thus, he states, her troubled breathing is her subconscious fantasy of sex. Another instance of Freud’s talent for noticing the miniscule connections between apparently unrelated incidents is his indication that when Herr K. kissed her, she secretly desired him. He comes to this conclusion by first relating her disgust of the kiss to the governess’ warning that all men are untrustworthy. This then causes her to find a similarity between her father and the general perspective of men that the governess described. Then we see that because her father was impotent and suffered a venereal disease, all men must be untrustworthy, and prepared to pass of venereal diseases. Thus, despite her subconscious love for him, the slightest emotional impulse tipped the balance in the other direction, inspiring disgust instead of acceptance. However, he also divines the reason for her aphonia, or inability to speak, due to Dora’s belief that it is not necessary to communicate when Herr K is gone. These deductions of Dora’s true psychical causes for her symptoms characterize Freud’s method of linkage perfectly, and thus we see two polar opposite emotions battling each other inside Dora, all linking back to the primary emotions surrounding her father and Herr K. Freud achieves the linkage of several, seemingly irrelevant or unrelated points to a master network by two primary methods, which are empiricism and the belief in the close boundary of opposites. The former relies on investigating Dora’s past and finding the clues that link her present symptoms to her troubled childhood. The latter, however, is the more specifically Freudian approach. Here, Freud relies on the ideal that when dealing a hysterical patient, the use of opposites plays a vital role in the analysis. Because Dora’s mind is “dominated by the opposition between reality and phantasy”, it becomes even more difficult and complicated to break down her emotional barriers and see what true emotions lie behind. An instance of Freud’s handling of opposites is on the holistic view of Dora’s dream. In reality, Dora believes she “can get no quiet sleep until I am out of this house”. However, in the dream world, her subconscious expresses this by an abstract reversal. In her dream, she claims, “as soon as I was outside I woke up”.In spite of this, though it appears that Dora is insulted by Herr K’s advancement on her, and that she must leave their home immediately, her dream suggests that her actual subconscious love for him had to be “repressed with so much energy” that, again, the opposite of what she actually wants takes place in her dream. As explained earlier through the process of linkage, because of Dora’s experience with the mixed connotations of her father’s coughing fits in bed, and her generalized projection of her fathers impotence on to all men, such a fine line runs between her ideals of sexual longing and morbid anxiety. This is another factor why she further represses her love for Herr K, instead of surrendering to it, as a stimulation of the oral and erotogenic zone seems to bring to life feelings of sickness and loss of breath. To the average observer, such behaviour would appear to be erratic, given that we have seen somatic symptoms emerge from Dora due to her love for Herr K, but to Freud, all that needs to be done is divide the amalgamation of opposites, and link together the different facts to piece together an image of Dora’s inner workings. This “juxtaposition of the most dissimilar tendencies” is at the source of Dora’s hysterical issues, as with such a fine line dividing such contrary ideals, “it is never possible to calculate towards which side the decision will incline in such a conflict of motives: whether towards the removal of the repression or towards its reinforcement.” This oxymoronic motif of the mutual dependence of contrary ideas is present throughout the analysis as a continuous undertone, which piece by piece reveals to us Dora’s tumultuous yet fiery emotions of love, hate, anxiety and jealousy. Hence we see how they fit together in her mind, each with its own repression, displacement, or exaggeration, and each with its own complex justification as to why. Thus Freud makes ordered sense of what would appear to be irrational hysteria, through his technique of linkage and being able to recognize when a true emotion is being masked by using its opposite, the two skills that are typically Freudian, and make this case history so interesting.Moreover, despite all of Freud’s intellectual prowess, he seems to only realize that Dora had transferred her feelings of adoration and rage from Herr K, her father, and Frau K only at the very end of the analysis. In hindsight, after the analyst points this fact out, we see just how profound the relationship between the two was. Freud himself says “no one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.” A fine example of his metaphoric style of conveying a scientific deduction in rhetorical syntax. Though the Analysis is generally viewed as a failure to complete the treatment and cure Dora, Freud recognizes the huge importance of the phenomenon known as ‘transference’ in his postscript as one of the case histories most successful and fruitful discoveries. This is the act of transferring past psychic experiences and feelings onto the present physician, which Freud notes must have begun at the time of the first dream, where her subconscious was not only implying a fantasy to leave the K’s home (symbolized as her own burning house), but also an elucidation of the need to leave her treatment. Another signal of Dora’s transference is her want to exact revenge and desert Freud, just as Herr K had done to her. This is only recognized later in the Analysis, and is seen as the beginning of Dora’s process of transference. A further instance of this conversion is evident in the first dream, where the smell of smoke strongly relates to a memory of Freud, as he too had constantly smelled of cigars. Apart from these empirical evidences of transference, we see a subtext throughout the Analysis brought to light. In the eleven weeks of treatment, Freud was seeing the girl for five hours a day, and through his direct and frank approach to revealing and discussing his theories on her symptoms with her, a deep and personal relationship is established. For a neurotic girl of just eighteen years, Freud is discussing what no one else would ever dare to, confronting her issues head on and revealing where the true nature of the causes to her symptoms lay. This discovery of the connections between her subconscious activities and link them to her hysterical somatic manifestations. Freud is thus unraveling the girl’s subconscious for her, showing her things that even she did not know of, and thus he takes on a dominant figure in her life. Whether she associates this figure with negative or positive connotations is not an issue, as the dichotomy between love and hate with Dora is so weak that when dealing with hysterical patients, as mentioned earlier, the slightest burst of “fresh emotions (can) tip the balance”. As Freud explains, new symptoms find expression by channeling old emotions into new characters. Although Freud is successful in revealing to Dora her love for her father and Herr K, he does not complete the treatment, and hence Dora must find an alternative outlet for her troubled subconscious thoughts. She does this by substituting Freud for both her father and Herr K. Thus her eventual exacting of revenge over Freud is the expression of old emotions of a coveted vengeance on Herr K and her father, expressed through her actions on Freud by breaking off her treatment.In summation, we see how Freud utilizes the close relationship of opposites, the abstract symbolism of her dreams, and his method of free association to deduce the psychical causes of her somatic irregularities. Throughout the process of Freud coming to these conclusions, he is building up a stronger relationship between him and Dora, and as he piece by piece proves to her the hysteric nature of her symptoms, and reveals her subconscious love for the K’s and her father, she finds a variable outlet of her emotions in Freud. This mixture of emotions of love for her father, and also vengeful regret for Herr K among others culminates in Dora ultimately breaking off treatment, as her feelings of extracting revenge on Freud overcome any others. What we must be ever aware of when reading this Analysis is that psychoanalytic treatment is not an exact science, just as Freud purports, it is “in complete ignorance” of these mental phenomena, and therefore Freud must use a specific method for his interpretations. He is searching not only for the simple cure of Dora’s hysterical issues, but also for their true meaning, and thus in dealing with such complicated questions, he is bound to give intricate, complicated responses. Even so, what makes Dora a memorable work is not a question of whether Freud cures his patient’s hysteria. Instead, it is the vast web of connections, the oxymoronic and dramatic emotions, the struggle of contrary feelings, the engineering of eloquent literature into a scientific study, and the subliminal tumultuous love story of Ida Bauer that make this text a truly Freudian work or art.
It Ain’t No Sin: Carter’s Response to Freud’s Views of Sex
Throughout her body of work, Angela Carter continuously twists and transforms conventional ideas. Whether Carter places a feminist spin on traditional stories or challenges conventional thought by raising questions, her writing reveals innovative insights. Her last novel, Wise Children, is no exception. In this novel, Carter creates the character Dora Chance, who attempts to write her life story as a response to Freud’s work Dora, An Analysis of A Case of Hysteria, in which he analyzes the life events of a young girl. Carter plays off of Freud’s interpretations of sex as perversion by re-creating situations from Dora Chance’s life in Wise Children; in this book, she experiences sexual desire and activities as healthy, enjoyable, profound, and even comedic. Throughout Freud’s Dora, the psychologist emphasizes sex as the root cause of hysteria and neurotic action, and attributes Dora’s problems to her exposure to sexual knowledge and sexual experiences. Freud asserts that Dora received much of her knowledge of sexual activity from her childhood governess. Freud describes the governess as “an unmarried woman…who was well read and of advanced views” (29). By “advanced views,” Freud means advanced sexual views, which he clarifies by stating, “The governess used to read every sort of book on sexual life and similar subjects, and talked to the girl about them, at the same time asking her…to not mention their conversations to her parents” (29). Because the governess asked Dora not to tell her parents, Freud assumes that their sexual discussions were in some way perverse or taboo, thus implying a hidden side to sex which is somehow “inappropriate.” Additionally, Freud notes that the governess opens Dora’s eyes to her father’s sexual promiscuity in an act of jealousy (29-30). By including this fact, Freud positions the governess as a sexual villain who disrupts Dora’s life and impacts her negatively. Carter parallels the governess character with Dora and Nora Chance’s caregiver figure Grandma Chance, who provides positive sexual education for the twins. Dora Chance, who narrates her own life story, recalls positively the knowledge Grandma imparted to the twins. Firstly, Dora describes Grandma Chance as a nudist who raised the twins in their youth. She states, “She never wore a stitch…She thought it was good for us kiddies to get the air and sunlight on our skins, so we…often gambolled naked in the backyard to the astonishment of the neighbors” (27). By practicing nudism, Grandma taught the girls to be comfortable with their bodies. Grandma Chance also provided Dora and Nora with “comprehensive sex education” (84). Dora explains that prior to her encounters with men, “[she]’d never seen a naked man before although Grandma had drawn us pictures” (85). Dora mentions this sexual education directly before her description of her first sexual encounter on her 17th birthday, thus emphasizing the fact that she recalls Grandma’s education as the foundation of her sexual life. Whereas Freud portrays the governess’s sexual education of Dora in a negative light, Carter provides a positive sexual education for Dora through Grandma Chance. Just as Carter plays off of Freud’s idea of premature sexual education as a negative influence in Dora’s life, so too does she emphasize the naturalness of oral sex – rather than portraying it as a perversion, as Freud does. Freud asserts that Dora knows about oral sex only because of her negative sexual education (an education that was premature and inappropriate for a young girl), and that this knowledge leads her to fantasize about oral sex with her father’s friend Herr K (41-43). Additionally, Freud describes oral sex as an “excessively repulsive and perverted phantasy” (45). Though he asserts that young women with knowledge of the male organ who received pleasure from sucking their thumbs as children naturally fantasize about oral sex, he considers the act in itself a perversion. Carter twists Freud’s interpretation of oral sex in Dora Chance’s encounter with her first sexual partner on her 17th birthday. Carter uses Dora’s first encounter to show the naturalness of sexual intercourse and variations of sexual intimacy. Before Dora has intercourse with the young man, he approaches her naked, and Dora focuses on his penis. She states, “There was a little clear drop of moisture trembling on the tip, it came to me to lick it off” (85). This instance seems to fit with Freud’s assertion that young women with prior knowledge of the male organ will think about oral sex. However, Carter uses this incident to prove that oral sex is natural and not a perverse fantasy. Dora’s use of the phrase, “It came to me to lick it off” is a statement of how natural the act. In describing her own encounters with sex, Dora is effectively stating that she does not view oral sex in the same repulsive light that Freud does. Just as Freud denotes oral sex as a perversion, he also views sexual interaction as a root of illness. In Dora, Freud focuses on Dora’s past sexual experiences, fantasies, and knowledge as the root of her physical ailments and hysteria. Freud states, “For where there is no knowledge of sexual processes even in the unconscious, no hysterical symptom will arise; and where hysteria is found there can no longer be any question of ‘innocence of mind'” (42). Freud believes that sexual encounters are the root of mental illness. Additionally, Freud asserts that sexual encounters and fantasies cause the physical ailments associated with hysteria as well as other ailments. For example, Freud claims that, “Bedwetting…[has] no more likely cause than masturbation” (66). Additionally, he asserts that masturbation causes continual discharge in young girls (68). In both cases Freud explains to his patient that her sexual habit of masturbation causes her vaginal region to excrete “negative” substances: urine and discharge. By doing so, Freud promotes a view of sexual encounters as the source of negative ailments. In the same manner that Cater counters Freud’s interpretation of oral sex and sexual education, she also denounces Freud’s argument that sex causes sickness. In Wise Children, though sexual relationships may cause heartbreak and even anxiety, as in Tiffany’s case, those are typically results of the breakdown of long-standing love relationships that also include sex, and are not strictly the negative effects of the sexual act. Likewise, Cater depicts happiness and pleasure as the result of sexual encounters. For example, when Nora has her first sexual encounter with an older gentleman at the age of 16 in a back alley, Dora describes the experience in positive terms. She explains, “Don’t be sad for her. Don’t run away with the idea that it was a squalid furtive, miserable thing, to make love for the first time on a cold night in a back alley…He was the one she wanted, warts and all, she would have him, by hook or by crook” (81). By describing a situation in which Nora has sex in dirty conditions with a less-than-admirable man, Dora could assert the horrible nature of sexual relations. However, she warns the reader to refrain from doing so by painting the encounter in a positive light. The sexual encounter occurs on Nora’s terms: she knows what she wants, and she knows when she wants it. Nora does become pregnant from her night with this gentleman, but Dora makes it clear that Nora does not view this as a negative consequence. Instead, when Nora has a miscarriage, Dora explains, “Nora cried her eyes out but not because she’d lost the [man]…No. She wept the loss of the Baby” (81). To Nora, the baby is a positive result; the miscarriage is the negative. In this story, Dora places no emphasis on the negative effects of sex, focusing instead on Nora’s control over her sexual desires and her maternal loss. Though Carter does portray serious love affairs between couples (such as Dora’s night with her young man and Nora’s relationship with her long-term American boyfriend, Tony), she also presents the light-hearted side of sexual relations. One such instance occurs with Dora’s first sexual encounter with the young man with whom she is in love. Dora explains that the young man is really Nora’s boyfriend and only sleeps with Dora on the night of her birthday because Nora agrees to play a bed trick on him. Nora agrees to let Dora sleep with him, as he cannot decipher a difference between them (83-84). Even though this relationship evokes feelings of true love from Dora, a bed trick is a traditional comic device. By using such a trick to create feelings within Dora, Carter shows how sex can be both serious and lighthearted. Another instance in which Carter directly counters Freud’s negative view of sex is during the film production of What! You Will!. On the set of the film, when Peregrine removes a bird from the crotch of Melchior’s costume that causes a huge bulge, the bird repeats the phrase “It ain’t no sin!” while dancing around the set (133). By placing the bird in the crotch of Melchior’s pants, Carter wants the reader to view the bird as a sexual symbol. Carter depicts the bird as a dancing, singing, messenger of sexual freedom – an indirect response to Freud’s view of sex as a perversion. Not only does Carter depict the light-hearted nature of sex, but she also counters the idea of sex as perversion by depicting sex as an act in which everyone engages. Carter gives almost every character in the story, including secondary characters, sexual encounters. For example, Tristam is in a sexual relationship with both Tiffany and Saskia, Genghis Khan propositions Nora, Peregrine Hazard is known for his sexual exploits, and Dora and Nora both have a slew of sexual partners. many of whom they cannot name. Additionally, Carter includes a scene in which a multitude of individuals engage in sex with their respective partners at the same time. During the fire at the Lynde Court Twelfth Night Costume Ball at Melchior’s mansion, Dora and her first sexual partner again have intercourse. After they finish, Dora notes that she and her lover “weren’t the only ones who’d succumbed to nature” during the disaster (103). Many of the cast members have sex during the fire as well. She asserts “there was an orgiastic aspect to this night of disaster” (103). By using the phrase “succumb to nature,” Dora again emphasizes her view of sex as natural. Secondly, by having all of the characters engage in sex, Carter is pointing out the fact that sexual desires is a universal experience; everyone commits sexual acts, and an act cannot be perverse if it is the norm. Just as Carter uses the sexuality of a variety of characters to counter Freud’s idea of sexuality as perverse, she focuses specifically on Dora Chance’s sexual encounters to counter Freud’s analysis of Dora’s sexuality. Carter provides a parallel character for Freud’s Herr K in the character of Peregrine, Dora Chance’s uncle. It is evident that Carter intends Peregrine as Herr K’s parallel for several reasons. Firstly, Peregrine and Dora interact frequently, just as Herr K is often with Freud’s Dora. Secondly, Peregrine serves as the older male character who is related (albeit through family rather than friendship) to Dora’s father. Thirdly, Peregrine treats Dora much as Herr K treats Freud’s Dora. Freud writes that Herr K often gave Dora elaborate gifts (52), and Peregrine lavishes presents ranging from expensive toys and food to kittens on Dora throughout her life (226). Finally, Dora is attracted to Peregrine sexually, just as Freud assumes that Dora is attracted to Herr K. On multiple occasions, Dora Chance notes her attraction towards her uncle. Dora recalls her first encounter with Peregrine, “Ooh, wasn’t he a handsome young man, in those days. If I find myself describing him in the language of the pulp romance, then you must forgive me – there was always that quality about Perry” (30). In this quotation, Dora shows her excitement over his attractiveness despite the fact that she is his niece in the same way that Freud assumes that Dora is attracted physically to Herr K despite his status as an older family friend.Once the reader sees that Carter intentionally set up the attraction between Dora Chance and Peregrine to mimic the attraction between Freud’s Dora and Herr K, one can easily see how Carter uses the relationship to once again apply elements of Freud’s case to rebut his argument that sex is a perversion. In Freud’s Dora, Herr K propositions Dora sexually (19). Freud assumes Herr K’s sexual proposition of Dora was the sexual trauma that caused Dora’s hysteria, which he indicates throughout the text. Freud writes, “Dora told me of an earlier of an earlier episode with Herr K., which was…calculated to act as a sexual trauma” (21). This encounter includes a kiss from Herr K, though he also propositions her sexually in the first instance (19). Freud asserts that these are the traumatic events that led to her hysteria. Though at times he asserts that Dora feels attraction for Herr K, even fantasizes about giving him oral sex, he still labels these events as traumatic and therefore negative. Once again Freud portrays the young girl’s sexual experiences as negative, despite the girl’s attraction to the man. To counter Freud’s assertions, Carter creates a positive sexual relationship between Dora Chance and her Herr K figure, Peregrine. Firstly, Dora continually describes Peregrine as a father figure in one instance and as an object of attraction in another. Throughout most of the text she keeps such descriptions separate. However, she combines those descriptions when she speaks of Peregrine as a father figure and also as an object of desire at her father’s birthday party: “[he] truly loved us…he saw the girls we always would be under the scrawny, wizened carapace that time had forced on us for…he was also faithful, and, where he loved, he never altered, nor saw any alteration” (208). This portion of the quotation shows his fatherly love. Dora, however, goes on to question her own feelings for him: “And then I wondered…was his fleshly envelope…outside the circle of my desire?” (208). In the same line of thought she thinks of him as both a provider of unquestionable fatherly love and also as an object of desire. When she catches herself doing this, she stops her thoughts for fear. She says, “I stopped thinking in that direction toot sweet” (208). This indicates Carter’s acknowledgement that many – including Freud – would see this attraction as perversion. However, Carter shows Dora transcending this negative view of her feelings by actually engaging in sexual activity with Peregrine at the close of the story. Additionally, after her sexual encounter with Peregrine, the two slip back into the roles of paternal figure and daughter. Peregrine states, “I’m not your father, Dora. I spent seventy-odd years regretting it, my precious, but mighty glad I am of it, this minute” (222). His statement exemplifies how easily the two move from a paternal relationship to a sexual relationship without thinking of it in a negative or perverse manner. Rather than a perversion, Dora Chance’s sexual encounter with Peregrine serves as a positive sexual experience. After the two make love, Dora tells Peregrine, “I love you more than ever I loved any young kid” (220). Her love for Peregrine is true, and not a source of trauma. Dora tells the reader that her night with Peregrine is the culmination of her sexual life. She explains, “Peregrine wasn’t the only the one dear man, tonight, but a kaleidoscope of faces, gestures, caresses. He was not the love of my life but all the loves of my life at once, the curtain call of my career as lover” (221). This quote shows her attraction to him as a positive end to her sexual life rather than the traumatic beginning to years of sexual perversion. Carter repeatedly draws similarities between the life of Dora Chance and Freud’s Dora in Wise Children, using her parallel story to negate Freud’s view of sexual activity as perversion. By creating parallel characters such as Grandma Chance and Peregrine, Cater recreates Dora’s story with a positive and healthy outlook on sex. Carter effectively negates Freud’s view of sex by creating a novel where characters experience sexual desire and activity in an enjoyable, positive, and comedic manner.