Page:Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology (1916).djvu/162

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142
ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY

that Freddie grew inside his mother like the flowers in a plant. At first he was very little, and then he became bigger and bigger as a plant does. She listened attentively without the slightest surprise, and then asked, “But did he come out all by himself?”

Mother: “Yes.”

Anna: “But he cannot walk!”

Sophie: “Then he crawled out.”

Anna, overhearing her little sister's answer: “Is there a hole here? (pointing to the breast) or did he come out of the mouth? Who came out of the nurse?” She then interrupted herself and exclaimed, “No, no, the stork brought baby brother down from heaven.” She soon left the subject and again wished to see pictures of volcanoes. During the evening following this conversation she was calm. The sudden explanation produced in the child a whole series of ideas, which manifested themselves in certain questions. New unexpected perspectives were opened; she rapidly approached the main problem, namely, the question, “Where did the baby come out?Was it from a hole in the breast or from the mouth? Both suppositions are entirely qualified to form acceptable theories. We even meet with recently married women who still entertain the theory of the hole in the abdominal wall or of the Caesarean section; this is supposed to betray a very unusual degree of innocence. But as a matter of fact it is not innocence; we are always dealing in such cases with infantile sexual activities, which in later life have brought the vias naturales into ill repute.

It may be asked where the child got the absurd idea that there is a hole in the breast, or that the birth takes place through the mouth. Why did she not select one of the natural openings existing in the pelvis from which things come out daily? The explanation is simple. Very shortly before, our little one had invoked some educational criticism from her mother by a heightened interest in both openings with their remarkable excretions,—an interest not always in accord with the requirements of cleanliness and decorum. Then for the first time she became acquainted with the