“Natural” Boys and “Hard” Stepmothers

  • Elizabeth Mazzola


Infancy has a variety of narratives, few of them tender. Breast-feeding becomes an occasion, for instance, for destructive impulses, anxiety, sadistic biting: even the seemingly contented baby may be impaired by an “excess of oral satisfaction.”3 If such accounts of childhood are always shaped by adult rationalizations (so that, we learn, “although but little aggression may be observable it is not possible to ignore the destructive element in the aim of the infant”4), then these mature stories demonstrate how flawed all development is, how much growth is founded on error. We are always in a state of being born. This may also suggest that we are always at war with our mothers, an insight the childless Elizabeth Tudor frequently used to her political advantage.5


Titania Manifold Cage Mold Assure 


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© Elizabeth Mazzola 2003

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  • Elizabeth Mazzola

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