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Title: La dimensione infantile e quella adulta: tra complicità, rivalità e interdipendenza
Other Titles: Between childhood and adulthood: empathy, rivalry or interdependence?
Authors: Borg Farrugia, Christine
Keywords: Psychology in literature
Children -- Psychology
Men -- Psychology
Women -- Psychology
Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939 -- Criticism and interpretation
Infant psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: University of Malta. Junior College
Citation: Borg Farrugia, C. (2018). La dimensione infantile e quella adulta: tra complicità, rivalità e interdipendenza = Between childhood and adulthood: empathy, rivalry or interdependence?. Junior College multi-disciplinary conference : research, practice and collaboration : Breaking Barriers : annual conference, Malta. 113-122.
Abstract: Childhood and adulthood have always been perceived as rivals, two parallel paths that can never be intertwined. Yet Freud explains that they are interdependent because the child looks at the adult as the point of arrival; at the same time, every grown up experiences moments when he secretly wishes to return to childhood, the age of innocence and free spirit. We consider the child to be a passive agent as there is total dependence on the adult and society; each child longs for freedom and independence, yet as we grow older, life becomes more complex and the “real world” tends to be too overwhelming. This explains why adults sometimes suffer from the Peter Pan syndrome by “refusing” to grow up. At the same time we think of Pinocchio, forced to imitate adulthood and experience the hardships endured by grown-ups. This paper aims to create a mirror-like effect forcing child and adult to look at each other and discover what they have in common and what sets them apart. The two seem to break the barriers between them in literature, a medium through which the adult comes to terms with his childhood experiences. In fact, Philippe Lejeune considers autobiography an approach of introspection through which the author processes his past life in a readable form. As Coe explains, the adult author reproduces the words uttered by the child (no longer perceived as a passive agent) and convinces the reader that even he has something to say. As childhood is perceived as a lost paradise, the adult seeks solace in a world of fantasy such as Disneyland where dreams come true because it promises happy endings for children and adults alike. In such a context, we must seek to remove the obstacles hoping that childhood and adulthood might move towards a fuller understanding of each other.
Appears in Collections:Breaking Barriers : Proceedings
Scholarly Works - JCIta

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