The Electra Complex: Background information when reading Elektra

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A Novel

by Jennifer Saint

Elektra by Jennifer Saint X
Elektra by Jennifer Saint
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  • First Published:
    May 2022, 304 pages

    May 2, 2023, 304 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Peggy Kurkowski
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About this Book

The Electra Complex

This article relates to Elektra

Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon, painting by Frederic LeightonWe have all heard of the Oedipus complex, right? Its origin is in Greek mythology, where Oedipus, King of Thebes, unknowingly kills his own father and marries his mother. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of the complex, which posits that a young boy has a subconscious sexual desire toward his mother and anger or jealousy toward his father. Less well-known is the Electra complex, which is essentially the female version of the Oedipus complex, wherein a girl between the ages of three and six is subconsciously sexually attached to her father and increasingly hostile toward her mother. Often mistakenly attributed to Freud, it was his contemporary, Carl Jung, who devised the theory in 1913, drawing from his colleague's hypotheses on the psychosexual stages of development.

Just as the Oedipus complex was named after a Greek myth, so was its obverse. In Greek mythology (spoiler alert!), Electra, the youngest daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra of Mycenae, seeks revenge ...

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