Lacanian Psychoanalytical Theories in Marsha Norman’s ‘Night, Mother

Alieyh Alsadat Jafari, Shahram Kiaei


Marsha Norman’s ‘Night, Mother (1983), is a great American play with psychological basis and it is considered as a feminist play. The present paper investigates it in the light of Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytical theories which serve as a methodology in psychoanalytic criticism. Lacan knows the human psyche formed by the three interacting ‘orders’ of the Imaginary, Symbolic, and Real. He argues that the roles of ‘father’, ‘mother’, ‘Object petit a’, ‘Jouissance’, ‘the Name-of-the-Father’, ‘Big Other’ and ‘others’ are also significant in affecting one’s psyche. The characters of ‘Night, Mother are Lacanian ‘subjects’ whose lives have been embodiments of Lacan’s psychoanalytical theories, especially Jessie whose disorders, behaviors, reactions to the ‘others’, frustration, committing suicide, and death indicate that many familial, social and mental issues have affected her psyche, and they are crystalized by psychoanalytical theories of Lacan in this paper. 



Imaginary Order, the Lacanian Subject, the Name-of-the-Father, Object petit a, Other, Symbolic order

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