By Alexander Willis,2014-06-12 19:16
16 views 0


    Edward Morgan Forster was born in London on January 1st 1879 and died in Coventry on June 7th 1970[25] and was the only surviving son of Edward and Lily Forster. Forster‟s

    friend and biographer, P.N.Furbank[26], relates an interesting story concerning how he

    came to be named Edward. In actual fact, the name that he was registered with was Henry Morgan, but on the day that he was christened, the verger asked his father what the baby‟s name was to be, and he gave his own name by mistake. The verger wrote this down and he was christened Edward. After much discussion within the family, it was decided that he should keep the name that he was christened; and so Henry Morgan Forster became Edward Morgan Forster.

    Having lost his father at an age that he was too young to remember, Forster lived with his mother, almost constantly, until she died in 1945. It is true to say that she dominated his life and had a profound influence on him; shaping him, both consciously and unconsciously into the man he became. His relationship with her was without doubt, the most significant relationship of his life.

    Freud claims that the mother is the first love object and that from the moment she becomes so, the child has already started the process of repression that will „withdraw from his knowledge awareness of a part of his sexual aims‟[27]. This is what Freud calls

    the Oedipal;恋母情结; complex. However, the conflict at the core of the complex during this stage is with the father. The (male) child competes with his father for his mother‟s affection. He wants to dispose of the father in order to secure his mother‟s complete and undivided attention, until eventually, „the Oedipus complex would go to its destruction from its lack of success‟[28], and its resolution is achieved by identification with the parent of the same sex. When there is no father, or indeed in Forster‟s case, no alternative paternal presence, the Oedipus complex cannot be resolved; leaving it repressed, rather than destroyed. In On Sexuality[29], Freud says that;

    „If the ego has in fact not achieved much more than a repression of the [Oedipal] complex, the latter persists in an unconscious state in the id and will later manifest its pathogenic effect‟[30].

    In order to understand the relationship that developed between Forster and his mother, and the effect that it had on his life, at least, in Freudian terms, it is necessary to first look briefly at his mother‟s childhood and her life in order to understand how her circumstances affected the way that she related to her son.

    Alice Clara Whichelo was born in 1855,[31] the third of ten children and the eldest

    daughter. Her father was a drawing master, who left his family penniless when he died in 1867. Alice, or Lily as she was always known, was only twelve years old when her father died and her mother, left with no money and ten children to support, had to take in lodgers. Lily‟s mother leaned on her a great deal and she did much of the mothering of her younger brothers and sisters. Therefore, by the age of twelve and nearing the end of her latent stage, Lily lost her childhood and became a maternal substitute to her siblings and a support to her mother. Taking on these adult responsibilities at such an early age would, according to Freudian concepts, have caused an interruption in the course of her normal sexual development, and when any one of the stages goes unresolved the individual can

become stuck in that stage; a process that Freud terms fixation.[32] This can hamper the

    development of normal healthy adult relations for the individual and cause varying degrees of neurosis and anxiety in later life.

    In 1867, Lily acquired a rich benefactress; Marianne Thornton. Marianne was by then, seventy years old, unmarried and living in Clapham with her niece, Henrietta Synnot. A mutual friend introduced the young Lily to the two women and they took to her immediately, eventually taking over parental responsibility of Lily from her mother. For Lily, although this type of arrangement was not uncommon in those days, and it was to benefit her materially, she must still, as a child, have felt a great sense of abandonment by her mother. This episode would not only have made her feel abandoned, but would also have made her conscious that her value had a price. Marianne who, in the beginning, treated Lily as a poor dependant reinforced this concept.

    „When Marianne took her down to Weymouth in 1869 to stay with her own niece and nephew-in-law, Emmy and Major Sykes, the kindly Dr Tayloe offered to pay for new clothes for Lily, but Marianne, who prided herself on her worldly cunning, insisted on her wearing her shabby old dress: Waifs and strays, she said, were never liked unless they showed their lowly estate‟[33].

    Whatever the intentions on the part of Marianne, this would have been deeply humiliating to Lily and she, in Freudian terms, would have learnt the ambivalence;正反感情绪并存;

    of opposites[34]: of greater and lesser, of superior and inferior and of material concerns being valued higher than love.

    Lily gradually had her status elevated within the Thornton social circle and she was educated and found work as a governess, which she quite enjoyed. Then, in 1876, when she was twenty-one, she met and fell in love with Marianne‟s nephew, Edward Forster[35],

    who was seven years her senior. One can see from her earlier experiences, why she should choose an older man; or a father figure, as her husband. Although Edward was not substantially older than she was, he was old enough to be a more experienced, worldly man who could take care of her. They married in 1887 and by the end of that year, Lily was expecting her first child. Unfortunately however, the baby died at birth. A year later, Edward was born and they settled down to a short period of happy family life before his father, Edward Senior, became ill. He began to constantly catch colds and then developed a chronic cough. Lily, who had come from a very robust family and had little experience with illness, did not worry unduly. However, Marianne knew the signs and by the time that she had insisted that a doctor see him, he was in the advanced stages of consumption. By October 30th 1880, he was dead. Lily was devastated by the loss and she was also very aware that her husband‟s family blamed her for not spotting the signs

    earlier. Not only was she aware that other people blamed her for her husband‟s death, but she would have been likely to have blamed herself too and this sense of guilt, along with her grief, would have, in Freud‟s view, left her very emotionally detached from her child for

    a period of time. In his paper, Mourning and Melancholia, Freud outlines the process of mourning. He says that it involves feelings of profound and painful dejection, a loss of interest in the outside world, a loss of the capacity to love and an inhibition of all activity. „This inhibition and circumscription of the ego […] leaves nothing over for other purposes or other interests‟[36].

    Therefore, from a Freudian analysis of the situation, the normal bonding with her child in its oral phase was interrupted. Lily was consumed by her grief and probably her guilt too, and she was, at that time not emotionally available to her son. For the next couple of years Lily and Morgan, as he was commonly known, lived a gypsy like existence. They went from one friend‟s house to another, staying for a while and then moving on. Intermittently, Lily made some attempt to find them a home of their own, and Morgan was left in the care of Marianne Thornton, who having lost two adored nephews of her own, became very attached to him. The young Morgan demonstrated, or in Freudian terms, acted out how this situation had made him feel insecure by his „violent passions of love or fury‟[37], and

    the way that he ran to his mother and clung to her whenever she returned. The child, in Freudian terms, felt the loss of the bond with his mother and feared a physical separation from her as it symbolised her abandonment of him. This insecurity and feelings of loss were also manifested in his,

    „misery when anything is withheld from him. He seems to have the attachment of grown up people for each other, for inanimate objects‟[38].

    However, this period of mourning comes to an end after a certain period of time and, „when the work of mourning is completed the ego becomes free and uninhibited again[39].

    In the autumn of 1892, Lily eventually found them a home. The house was an old gabled house in Stevenage; renovated and modern, but very isolated, set in four acres of land. Its name was Rooksnest[40] and Lily and Morgan moved into it in the spring of 1883. Morgan loved the house and he later said of it; „The house is my childhood and safety‟[41].

    Forster's childhood (and much of his adult life) was dominated by his mother and his aunts, and it is obvious that Forster's relationship with his own sexuality was deeply influenced by this. He lived in a familiar atmosphere inordinately dominated by the mother figure and this no doubt, had an irreversible influence on his attitudes and relationships as an adult. Although it is true that Forster did have several male relatives that he had contact with on a relatively frequent basis, none of them were close enough to have any influence and it was his female relatives that shaped his life. Indeed, it was the legacy of Marianne Thornton, which gave Forster the opportunity to travel and the freedom to write. They were his only social and emotional contact and his role models.

    Once Lily had passed through the natural process of mourning, she turned all her attention to her son and became a doting mother. Morgan was already a nervous child and after her experience with her husband, Lily became morbidly anxious about his health, and obsessively coddled him throughout his childhood. In fact, it was not until middle age that Forster realised that he was not frail at all and was actually very healthy; he had internalised;使成为主观; his mother‟s fears about himself, which were, in actuality,


    Morgan was a delicate and pretty child and his mother and Aunts insisted upon dressing him up in little sailor suits and growing his curly hair long. He was the darling of a group of women, mostly childless, and he was spoilt and precocious. Not having other children to play with on a regular basis and having a mother that had little experience of a „normal‟ childhood made him rather old before his time. He read widely and had a tremendous general knowledge and a great deal of his time was spent either educating the servants,

or making up stories about his dolls[42]. He was a rather intellectual child, which is not

    surprising, being constantly in adult company, but he so obviously craved;渴求; children

    of his own age to play with. His only form of communication was intellectualisation, which is a defence mechanism;防御机制;, used as a way of expressing one's self when one is

    emotionally cut off. Morgan had a vivid imagination; his favourite book as a child was Swiss Family Robinson, because „the boys in it were happy‟[43]. He could read and he

    could imagine but he could not play. He was burdened by his mother's morbidity and emotionally stifled by his environment. Consequently, he spent much of his childhood, especially the time he spent at school, in a state of depression and nervous anxiety. Although the relationship between Forster and his mother was very intense, he was still not secure within it and became very upset when anything threatened it. In a letter that Lily wrote to Marianne Thornton she says;

    „ I washed my hair yesterday afternoon. S.D[44] and Morgan would look on. I left my hair

    down and told M. I was 15 and not his mother at all. „I know you are, you look just like her, do up your hair and you will be 30.‟ At last he got quite nervous about it and said „Now do come out of joking-let me look at you. I am sure you are my mama‟‟[45]

    Shortly after the above incident, when Forster was about six years old; during the phallic stage of his psychosexual development, and according to Freud, the stage in which the Oedipal crisis occurs, a small, but significant exchange occurred between him and his mother, that was to shape their relationship for the rest of their lives. Lily describes it in another of the frequent letters she wrote to Marianne Thornton:

    „ Morgan. When I grow up, my darling, I shall call upon you every day.

    Lily. You can live with me if you like.

    M. That will be best, and I will only sit with you and pay visits with you when you go with me.

    L. What shall I do when you marry?

    M. I shall only marry to you.

    L. You can‟t.

    M. Why not? People can marry twice, so I don‟t see it will make any difference to you.

    L. Boys can‟t marry their mothers.

    M. What a bother. Well I shall take care then never to go to any wedding in case I should be married and I don‟t want it.‟[46]

    As the dialogue hints, a „love affair‟ sprang up between the two of them that was to ensure

    that Forster remained in the phallic/Oedipal stage throughout his life; never reaching emotional or sexual maturity. It would be easy to pass the above conversation off as a childish fantasy or an insignificant piece of fun between a six year old boy and his mother. However, nearly thirty years later, it is obvious that Forster has not moved on, as he talks about his wish to visit India, in a letter to his friend Malcolm Darling. He writes; „My mother is not doing well-nothing definite, but loss of spirits since her mother‟s death a year ago, and I doubt whether she will ever recover them entirely. […] You see how difficult it all becomes. I know that she will mind me going even if she urges it, and that she will be lonely without me‟[47].

    Here, the adult is echoing the child, when he promises to „only sit with you and pay visits with you when you go with me‟. Although Forster was by now, thirty-three years old, his

    relationship with his mother had not really changed from the one that they had experienced when he was six. This relationship was to frustrate Forster throughout his life. In 1915, he wrote in a letter to his friend, Florence Barger:

    „I am leading the life of a little girl so long as I am tied to home. It isn‟t even as if I make mother happy by stopping-she is always wanting me to be 5 years old again, so happiness is obviously impossible for her, and she never realises that the cardinal;基本

    的; fact in my life is my writing, and that at present I am not writing‟[48].

    Lily was a demanding and possessive mother, but there was „a coolness and briskness […] in her feelings for Morgan‟.[49] In Freudian terms she was emotionally distant, being

    herself, most probably, stuck in the latent stage. This lack of emotional security led Forster to be anxious and nervous about their relationship and he constantly strove to gain her approval. This in turn led him to often repress his true self, in order to appear as his mother wished him to be. There were many instances in his childhood, that Forster relates to Furbank for his biography, that demonstrates his mother‟s dissatisfaction with her son and in turn, his reaction to it. One such incident involved his male cousins, whom Forster did not get along with as a child and who picked on the rather effeminate Morgan and tormented him, whenever possible. On one particular visit, one of the boys blew a whistle in his ear, which made Morgan scream with fright and he cried for hours. His mother was of course, cross with the cousin, but she was equally as cross with Morgan, for being such a cry-baby. In another letter to Marianne Thornton, Lily wrote that she wished that „he was more manly and that he didn‟t cry quite so easily‟[50]. Furbank says that Forster felt his

    mother‟s disapproval and began to act accordingly;

    „He sensed how the land lay, and when one day his mother said she believed that Jack, the lively third son, was his favourite in The Swiss Family Robinson, he was careful not to correct her, though in fact he preferred the priggish;一本正经的; Ernest‟[51].

    This form of repression and distortion of personality went on for the rest of their lives. In Freudian terms, the relationship was ambivalent, because Lily was never clear or consistent with her son; on the one hand, wanting to keep him as a child and on the other wanting him to be „more of a man‟. This ambivalence added to Forster‟s insecurity of the relationship, adding to the list of reasons he had for never confiding in her about his sexuality. Forster was never open with his mother and never told her the truth about himself; therefore, the longest and most important relationship that he had in his entire life was never to be an honest and truthful one. It is little wonder then, that by the time Forster reached puberty, he was suffering from depression. Used to being cosseted and already a nervous and anxious child, he was sent away to school at the age of eleven. Like his mother, who was taken away from her family at a young age, it was not an unusual occurrence for a middle or upper class boy, however, Morgan was deeply unhappy at school, feeling abandoned and frightened. He did not get on with the other boys, who bullied him, his mother had sent him away, he was lonely, unpopular and pubescent. He developed several crushes on older boys and started to question his sexuality, but had no one to confide;吐露秘密; in and although he wrote to his mother about his loneliness and his fear of the other boys, he could not talk to her about sex.

    „Lily‟s whole attitude to sex was that it was a dreadful subject and to be thought of as little as possible. She made no attempt at any stage to tell Morgan the facts of life‟[52].

    In fact, according to Forster himself, it was not until he was thirty, that he fully understood how copulation took place. Freud says that the young child imagines that both men and women possess the same genitalia as themselves until they see the genitalia (usually of a younger brother or sister) of the opposite sex. It is then that the male child develops the castration complex. The child is often chastised for masturbation and terrorised by the threat of his penis being cut off and then assumes that the same has happened to his sister or mother etc. Furbank says that it was not until he was at school that he learnt that the penis was not called „dirty‟; his name for it, up until then. When he was younger, he

    had been chastised for masturbating, by his mother, who had told him it was dirty. This made such an impression on him, that „help me to get rid of the dirty trick, figured in his prayers‟[53].

    It is also often the case that when the child is fatherless or is an only child, and living in a household where there is little openness about nudity, the idea that a woman has a penis is fixed, and even when, in later life, the truth is known, the man will find himself „unable to

    do without a penis as his sexual object […and] he is bound to become a homosexual‟[54].

    In this case, as with Forster, the child that is frightened for his penis will react later on in life with horror at the sight of a woman‟s genitalia, seeing it as a mutilated;残缺的; organ.

    Forster‟s school years were the most miserable years of his life. They were scarred by fear loneliness, guilt and shame, and it was not until he went to Cambridge that, in his own words, „he found himself‟.[55] Although he was always on the fringe;边缘; of one „set‟ or

    another, he made friends there, for the first time; some of which would remain so all his life. In this freer and more open atmosphere, Forster came to know with certainty that he was a homosexual; although it would be many years before he acted upon it. However, this was enough for Forster at that time. He had always felt that he was different and coming to terms with why, was a very freeing experience for him.

    In The Dynamics of Transference,[56] Freud introduces the concept that from a very early

    age every individual develops a sexual template that is created from a combination of genetic structure and primary experiences. This template will underpin all sexual desire for the individual and according to Freud can, through analysis, sometimes be modified, but can never be changed.

    „For the sexual life of children is already free from all these doubts from the third year of

    life onwards […] The mental and social phenomena of sexual life need no longer be absent; the choice of an object, an affectionate preference for particular people, a decision, even, of one of the two sexes, jealousy-all these have been established by impartial observations made independently of psycho-analysis and before its time, and they can be confirmed by any observer who wishes to see them‟[57].

    At The T.S. Eliot Lecture, [58] Adam Philips claimed that society imposes its ideals onto

    the individual; rendering nature at odds with culture. Therefore, whatever happened in Forster‟s psychosexual development, the way in which he dealt with the consequences was not entirely his own choice, and has to be understood, not only within a psychoanalytical context, but also within a cultural and historical context too. In The Gay Liberation Pamphlet, Andrew Hodges and David Hutter write of Forster; „Throughout his life Forster betrayed other gay people by posing as a heterosexual and thus identifying with our oppressors. The novel [Maurice] which could have helped us find

    courage and self esteem, he only allowed to be published after his death, thus confirming belief in the secret and disgraceful nature of homosexuality. What other minority is so sunk in shame and self-oppression as to be proud of a traitor?‟[59].

    However, it is easy for Hodges and Hutter to condemn Forster from the relative safety of the nineteen seventies. They call him a hypocrite for claiming a reputation as a moralist and social commentator and „propounding the value of freedom, individual commitment

    and personal honesty‟[60]. Yet, it is unfair to judge Forster from a time when freedom, individual commitment and personal honesty were possible, because these things were not so freely available in the early years of the twentieth century. Homosexuality was only decriminalised in 1967[61], three years before his death. Before then, any man engaging in a sexual relationship with another man was a criminal. Forster was only sixteen when in 1895, Oscar Wilde was tried and sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour for „the 'love that dare not speak its name'„[62]. In sentencing him, Mr. Justice Wills told him;

    „It is no use for me to address you. People who can do these things must be dead to all sense of shame, and one cannot hope to produce any effect upon them. It is the worst case that I have ever tried… that you, Wilde, have been the centre of a circle of extensive corruption of the most hideous kind among young men, it is equally impossible to doubt. I shall, under such circumstances, be expected to pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgement it is totally inadequate for such a case as this‟[63].

    In a climate such as this, it would be unfair to condemn Forster‟s repression of his

    homosexuality. In Freudian terms, Forster was demonstrating transference, by channelling his energies into changing the way that society thought and in doing so, he may not have found it possible to be free and honest himself, but certainly contributed to Hodges and Hutter‟s privilege to be so.

    Society, culture, class, education, religion and even politics can affect the way in which an individual deals with either a trauma or an interruption in the sexual developmental stages. In his lecture Some Thoughts on Development and Regression-Aetiology[64], Freud cites

    the example of two young girls, both sharing the same childhood experiences, but both developing as adults in different ways. One was a caretaker‟s daughter and one a landlord‟s. The girls, both at the phallic stage, play sexual games with each other, however the caretaker‟s daughter puts the experience aside and goes on to have a successful

    career and normal healthy adult sexual relations whilst the landlord‟s daughter develops neuroses „which cheats her of marriage and her hopes in life‟[65]. Freud explains that;

    „The difference between the lives of these two, in spite of their having had the same experience, rests on the fact that the ego of one of them underwent a development with which the other never met. Sexual activity seemed to the caretaker‟s daughter just as natural and harmless in later life as it had in childhood. The landlord‟s daughter came under the influence of education and accepted its demands. From the suggestion offered to it, her ego constructed ideals of feminine purity and abstinence which are incompatible with sexual activity[66]„.

    Freud says that it was the education that was responsible for the way in which the Landlord‟s daughter reacted to the experiences of her childhood. However, class

    determined which of the two girls received an education and it was the values and ideals of society in that particular historical moment that constructed the terms of that education.

In his Sex Politics and Society[67], Jeffrey Weeks states that,

    „the way in which we define masculinity and femininity, motherhood and fatherhood, even childhood, are culturally specific and often bear little relation to the expected or ascribed roles in other cultures, nor are they, of course, simple products of biology‟[68].

    In The History of Sexuality[69], Michel Foucault says that at the beginning of the

    seventeenth century, there was still a measure of frankness and openness of mind that made people less secretive and more tolerant towards sexual matters. Sex, for sex sake, was viewed as normal and healthy and the whole of society was less repressive and inhibitive. However, this attitude did not last and he says;

    „But twilight soon fell upon this bright day, followed by the monotonous nights of the Victorian bourgeoisie. Sexuality was carefully confined; it moved into the home. The conjugal family took custody of it and absorbed it into the serious function of reproduction. On the subject of sex, silence became the rule. The legitimate and procreative couple laid down the law. The couple imposed itself as a model, enforced the norm, safeguarded the truth, and reserved the right to speak while retaining the principle of secrecy. A single locus of sexuality was acknowledged in social space as well as at the heart of every household, but it was a utilitarian and fertile one: the parents bedroom. The rest had only to remain vague; proper demeanour avoided contact with other bodies, and verbal decency sanitized ones speech. And sterile behaviour carried the taint of abnormality; if it insisted on making itself too visible, it would be designated accordingly and would have to pay the penalty‟[70].

    The act of sodomy had always belonged to the category, both morally and civilly, of forbidden acts. However it was not until 1870 that the act of sodomy and the classification of the homosexual were separated. In 1870, Carl Westphal characterized homosexuality, „less by a type of sexual relations than by a certain quality of sexual sensibility, a certain

    way of inverting the masculine and the feminine in oneself‟[71].

    From this time, homosexuality was given a category of its own, transposed from the actual practice of sodomy into a deviation of character that stood alone. „The homosexual was now a species‟[72].

    In Europe, the eighteenth century was a time of enlightenment, when the „irrationalities of

    the middle ages[73]„ were being rejected and the west was transforming itself with a new set of ideologies ;意识形态;based upon science and reason.

    By the turn of the twentieth century, two revolutions had occurred that would shape humanity as few revolutions ever have. One was in the physical sciences, with the discovery of the subatomic world, with its new principles and laws governing the universe, and the other was in the medical sciences, with what was then an astonishing proposition: human behaviour could be studied scientifically, and treatments, not prayers or incantations, could be devised.

    Sigmund Freud and William James[74] led the medical sciences revolution, and while

    both are giants in the history of science, Freud came to symbolize, as no one else could, the search for the fundamental principles that define human behaviour. As Adam Philips said, „What couldn‟t be understood about human experience, found a new source of reference‟[75].

    Due to the threat of war and worries over national decline, some of the main issues for

    debate at the beginning of the twentieth century were health, hygiene, morality and the population. Issues that had once been personal ones were being moved into the public and political arenas.

    „The political and theoretical debates over personal morality and national fertility, physical

    deterioration and a differential birth rate, major topics in the early decades of this [the twentieth] century, all caused twin questions of the population and the role and significance of sexuality‟[76].

    Consequently, issues of deviant sexual practices became issues not of individual significance but as significant for the whole race.

    Forster was a writer of the Modernist period. The term „Modernism‟ refers to a radical shift

    in aesthetic;美学; and cultural perceptions evident in the art and literature at the time. It embraced a wide range of artistic movements, such as Surrealism, Dada, Constructivism, Symbolism and Expressionism. It cannot be described as a movement in itself but rather as a term that represented a general trend in the arts, brought about by a „creative renaissance[77]„which included a variety of artistic fields. Modernists were very aware of studies in other fields, such as psychology and anthropology and frequently incorporated these ideas into their art. Sigmund Freud was one of the great Modernist icons and Forster and his friends were very aware of his ideas and theories.

    The Bloomsbury group was an influential literary and intellectual group (c1904-c.1941)[78]

    that made Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, in London, its centre. Thursday evening gatherings soon blossomed into a myriad of friendships, philosophical discussions and the dissolution of the very strict, traditional rules governing social interaction in English society. Attendees could include, Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Vita Sackville-West, Roger Fry, Clive Bell, George Bernard Shaw, W.B.Yeats, Arnold Bennett, Lytton Strachley, Desmond MacCarthy, Saxon Sydney-Turner, Marion Richardson, John Maynard Keynes and E.M. Forster amongst others. Although Forster was not a central member of the group, he often spent time with them and was a particularly close friend of Virginia Woolf. Part of the Bloomsbury ethic was the desire to challenge social norms and rebel against what they saw as Victorian hypocrisy, and Freud had a profound effect on the group; many of its members, openly confirming Freud‟s influence on their work. In 19 17, Virginia‟s husband,

    Leonard Woolf, bought a printing press and set up the Hogarth Press[79] in the basement.

    Later, the Hogarth Press was the first to publish Sigmund Freud in English (greatly inspiring Virginia). Therefore, it is almost completely impossible to believe that Forster himself was not very familiar with the ideas and concepts of Freud too. It is very interesting to note then, that I have so far been unable to find any more than one very brief mention of him, in a letter to David Cecil, in 1930[80], in any of his writing; either public or


    However, it may not be particularly surprising, when one realises that culture and chronology play a significant part in the creation of a climate that would force a homosexual to have to publicly repress his true identity, and that Freud himself contributed to the creation of that climate; so becoming, in a way, part of the problem. Michel Foucault says that,

    „there is no question that the appearance in nineteenth-century psychiatry, jurisprudence,

    and literature of a whole series of discourses on the species and subspecies of

    homosexuality, inversion, pederasty, and „psychic hermaphrodism‟ made possible a strong advance of social controls into this area of „perversity‟‟[81].

    In his lecture, The Sexual Life of Human Beings[82], Freud uses the word „pervert‟ ;堕落

    者;to describe people who do not participate in the same sexual practices as „normal‟ people. He includes homosexuals (or inverts) in the category of pervert. Freud says that all „inclinations to perversion had their roots in childhood‟[83]. He claims

    that every child has a predisposition to every kind of deviant behaviour, but if it comes through its psychosexual developmental stages without interruption, it will leave these childish urges behind and grow into a normally functioning sexual adult. Those that do not are at risk of becoming perverts because all perversion is infantile, or immature[84]. He

    points out that one must not confuse sexuality with reproduction and that an individual‟s sexual need as an adult is the result of the physical and mental sexual blueprints written in childhood. Freud says that children are unaware of reproduction and do not, in any case, have the means to facilitate it, therefore all sexual activities in children are merely an attainment of pleasure, which makes them perverse.

    „We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it‟[85].

    Thus paradoxically, in Freudian terms, Forster could be seen to be punishing Freud, by ignoring him; therefore denying his very existence. He may have been able to intellectualise with his friends about Freudian theories, but in his personal and creative expression (up until the year 1930) he chose to ignore them. This, according to Freud himself, is a defence mechanism. Forster was repressing his anger at Freud by denying his existence, because confronting it would be too painful. Anger leads to guilt, which in turn leads to shame, and, certainly until 1930 at least, Forster chose not to deal with these feelings.

    Forster lived a very long and active life. He died a very famous and well-respected man, but, in Freudian terms, his sexual template had been established before he was three years old and he had to live with the repression of that intrinsic part of himself until he died. Much of the „blame‟ for this lies at the feet of Lily, his mother, although it is probably as

    unfair to judge her in hindsight, as it is to judge him.


    In his twenty third lecture in A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Freud says that creative people, such as artists and writers are repressed and introverted;内向的; people;

    on the edge of neurosis. He says;

    „He is one who is urged on by instinctual needs which are too clamorous; he longs to attain honour, power, riches, fame and the love of women [or men, in Forster‟s case]; but he lacks the means of achieving these gratifications. So like any other unsatisfied longing, he turns away from reality and transfers all his interest, and all his libido;性欲; too, onto

    the creation of his wishes in the life of phantasy‟[86].

    Forster lived in a time when the fulfilment of his own particular instinctual needs was a crime. He was a pervert in the eyes of society and openly expressing his sexuality would have brought, not only shame and imprisonment to himself, but also terrible shame and

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email