Attachment and Separation

Daniel M. Ogilvie

in Fantasies of Flight

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195157468
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894024 | DOI:
Attachment and Separation

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The study of J. M. Barrie brings us face to face with an issue that confronts all human beings and is more problematic for some than for others. The matter involves the question of how can one be embedded in relationships (that is, connected with others) and construct a sense of identity that, in some respects, is independent of one's relationships. This chapter introduces some ideas pertaining to attachment and separation in a way that provides a general platform for the remaining chapters in part II. The accept me/reject me balancing act that Barrie perfected with Margaret throughout his childhood continued to be played out during his adult years. Freud's concept of “repetition compulsion” can be applied to this phenomenon if we think of such compulsions in terms of repeating variations of general patterns of behavior instead of replicating specific actions. These patterns are not random. Instead, they can be thought of as being guided by scripts. The elements of Silvan Tomkins' script theory are discussed.

Keywords: J. M. Barrie; attachment; separation; relationships; Silvan Tomkins; script theory

Chapter.  3087 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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