chapter  6
THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX
Pages 6

Either the consequences are direct, in which case the son displays violent resistances against his father and a particularly affectionate and dependent attitude towards his mother; or they are indirect, that is to say compensated: instead of resistance to the father there is marked submissiveness coupled with an irritated, antagonistic attitude towards the mother. Direct and compensated consequences can sometimes alternate. A ll this is true also of the Electra complex. If the sexual libido were to get stuck in this form, the Oedipus and Electra conflict would lead to murder and incest. This naturally does not happen with normal people, nor in so-called “amoral” primitive communities, otherwise the human race would have perished long ago. On the contrary, it is in the natural order of things that familiar objects lose their compelling charm and force the libido to seek new objects; and this acts as an important regulative factor which prevents parricide and incest. The continuous development of libido towards objects outside the family is perfectly normal and natural, and it is an abnormal and pathological phenomenon if the libido remains, as it were, glued to the family. Nevertheless, it is a phenomenon that can sometimes be observed in normal people.