Understanding Visual Culture- Exercise 28- Buffy the Freudian

For the last exercise, we had to watch the season 4 finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon regularly incorporated Freudian and Lacanian ideas into Buffy. We were asked to note any ideological references we could find.

The references I found were

  • Freud’s Oedipus Complex- In Xander’s dream, he fantasizes about Buffy’s mother and later Buffy refers to Xander as her big brother, thus showing the relationship between Buffy and Xander is more like siblings and Buffy’s mother is like a mother to him
  • Lacan’s Mirror Phase- In Willow’s dream she appears to be finding out about her true self. The phase “They are going to find out about you” keeps coming up but Willow doesn’t seem to know what “they” are going to discover and is trying to find out herself.
  • In all of the dreams can be linked to Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams”. There are two aspects within this idea that I found to be referenced. the first, “wish fulfilment” where the unconscious is attempting to resolve past or current conflicts. The second is the “phenomenon of condensation” where symbols within the dreams have multiple meanings. The “symbol” that stood out the most within all the dreams was “The Cheese Man”, however as I have only watched this episode I’m not sure whether this is a recurring thing or if there is anything in previous episodes that would explain it.
  • Lacanian Law- In Buffy’s dream she defeats the demon with banter as opposed to fighting and killing the demon.
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About kunsworthphotography

I am currently studying towards a BA (Hons) in Photography with OCA and I have 2 children, Evie(4 years old) and Connor(3 years old)
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