Electra complex

What is Electra complex in literature?

“Electra complex” is a psychological term coined by the psychoanalyst Carl Jung to describe a girl’s psychosexual attachment to her father and resentment towards her mother, similar to the Oedipus complex experienced by boys.

The term is derived from the ancient Greek myth of Electra, who plotted with her brother Orestes to kill their mother and her lover, who had murdered their father. In psychology, the Electra complex is thought to arise during the phallic stage of psychosexual development, when a girl experiences sexual desire for her father and jealousy towards her mother.

The Electra complex is considered a controversial concept in psychology, with some critics arguing that it is based on outdated gender stereotypes and lacks empirical evidence. Nevertheless, the concept remains an influential one in the field of psychoanalytic theory.

example of the Electra complex in literature:

In the play, “Electra” by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, the character of Electra exhibits many of the symptoms of the Electra complex. She is deeply attached to her father and feels betrayed by her mother, who has married her father’s murderer. As the play progresses, Electra becomes increasingly obsessed with avenging her father’s death and restoring his honor. The play is a powerful exploration of the themes of family loyalty, vengeance, and the destructive effects of unresolved psychological trauma.

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