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Death, Incest, and Totem

2021-11-20 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due教员组今天给各位留学生带来一篇纯原创代写范文,讲的是《图腾与禁忌》,希望这篇可以帮助到各位留学生,同时需要代写也可以直接联系我们51Due客服vx(vx:Jenny_dynh)进行咨询。 


In Totem and Taboo, Freud points out that the social system was built to avoid incest. There are two basic taboos in the totem system: death taboos and incest taboos. Death and incest are two basic elements of the Oedipus complex. Oedipus complex and totem system will inevitably be integrated in Freud’s studies. Freud establishes consistency between the compulsive taboos of neurotic patients and taboos from the primitive society, namely the prohibition of touching.

 

In Freud's view, the starting point of civilization really began with a tragic historical event. It must be linked to death. The incest taboo in the totem system seems inexplicable. Freud thinks that the privileged people are not restricted by incest taboos. The law will only prohibit what people want to do instinctively. The only thing he can accept is Darwin's theory of the primitive groups. Darwin inferred from the habits of early apes that humans were also living in smaller clusters, in which the eldest male's strongest deterred the sexual intercourse within the group. Prevention of incest may have become the evolutionary advantage as well.

 

Freud follows the psychological explanation but proposes a different interpretation. He insists on using the Oedipus Complex to explain the origin of the totem. Based on the case of the child Arpad, he believes that the totem animal is actually the substitute of the father image in primitive tribes. Therefore, the totem system may be produced under the influence of the Oedipus complex. Little Albert told his neighbor’s wife that he would marry his mother. This adds a footnote to Freud's totem theory originated from the Oedipus complex. Freud's doctrine means that the existence of the totem is due to the taboo symbol that the primitive man set up to prevent incest.

 

James George Frazer is known as the founder of totem cultural studies. Totemism and Exogamy, published by Frazer, is a great anthropological work. Frazer believes that extramarital systems were invented by clever people in the primitives to prevent close relatives from getting married. Freud shares the same conclusion, while Frazer provides an alternative proof for it. Frazer divided the totem into clan totem, sex totem and personal totem. By analyzing the Australian indigenous totem culture, Frazer believes that the totem system originated from a primitive pregnancy theory. Due to the ignorance of fertility knowledge, the primitive person associates the flash of delusional natural objects with pregnancy.

 

Robertson Smith has a profound influence on Freud's studies. In the last chapter of Totem and Taboo, Freud strongly promoted Smith's thoughts and re-examined the totem culture in an attempt to prove that the dematerialization of divine beings and the final anthropomorphization were slowly evolved from later periods of religion. Following Smith's research, Freud thought that the origin of the sacrifice was a ceremony of a sacrificial repast, and there was no distinction between the gods and the offerors. Death is at its center, because there is no other way than the slaughter and consumption of animals to define the ties between the participants and the sacred world.

 

Freud also believes that the Holy Communion means eating God as a way to commemorate the ancestors of the primitive tribe that was killed earlier. This view stems from the ritual understanding of eating the totem animal in Smith's original totem worship. It is an inheritance and development of Smith's view. In the issue of sacrificial studies, Freud and Smith also share a common view that early forms of religion are not the practical application of belief systems, but rather a set of traditional practices that are fixed, and each member of society was only naturally following the practices. In other words, religion does not originate from belief, but is the natural and evolutional pursuit of the individual's commitment to society as a whole. The primitive people were unconscious about why they were involved in the "sacrificial repast" ceremony and what they were looking to achieve through the ceremony. They could not express their feelings in language.

 

In this sense, the foundation of the construction of a civilized society and humanity is based on taboos on death and incest. Freud generally puts forward a dual social construction theory with death and incest as the core. In addition to totem religion, Freud boldly speculates that Greek religion, Judaism, and Christianity all contain the same morality. However, it remains to be further confirmed whether the patricides behavior is the engine of human social civilization. Freud has little empirical evidence to prove his judgment. He just deduces what happened in history by relying on the ceremonial activities of the totem tribes.


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