In Ian Mcewen’S Nutshell, The Representation Of The Fetus

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In Ian McEwen’s Nutshell, the representation of the fetus as a male character is extremely vital to the novel’s narrative. That is, the fetus as male reveals the narrative of Nutshell as a love story between the fetus and the mother—in respect to sexual tension. The parallel between the love story of Trudy and the unnamed fetus resembles the incestuous relationship between that of Hamlet and Gertrude. Through the representation of gender in Nutshell, McEwen reveals theories presented by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan concerning the Oedipus Complex and the role of the phallus. Further, McEwen explores these theories throughout the novel by the intertextuality of themes from Hamlet. The unborn fetus reveals multiple times his love for…show more content…
I’m as deluded as my father. And it’s true. Her beauty and remoteness and resolve are one” (McEwen 15). The fetus recognizes the place of his father, and puts his father down, as he praises his mother out of love (I know this sounds awk I’ll change). It is through this praise which ultimately shows the fetus’s desire for his mother, and Freud can be applied. Jones writes of Freud’s theory “Of the infantile jealousies the one with which we are here occupied is that experienced by a boy towards his father… The only point that at present concerns us is the resentment felt by a boy towards his father when the later disturbs his enjoyment of his mother’s affection” (Jones 95). Ultimately, the fetus’s longing for Trudy triggers the competition he feels toward Claude. From the beginning of the novel, though the fetus is aware of his father’s death, he seems to accept it willingly (cite). While planning the murder of his own father, the fetus condemns Claude of any implications he has on his mother; however, the fetus continually reassures himself of the love he feels toward Trudy. It is through Freud’s theory which reveals that the fetus’s anger is solely directed at Claude for killing his father, not Trudy. The theory of the Oedipal complex, in turn, emphasizes the importance of the fetus as being male, as it is the male he wants to fight, and his mother whom he wants to earn the affection of. The sexual lust that the fetus holds toward Trudy reaches further than the

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