My responses to Frank O"Connor's "My Oedipus Complex".
In Frank O"Connor's short story "My Oedipus Complex", we get a chance to explore the world of a little boy. In this story, Larry, a five-year-old boy obsessed with his mother suddenly sees a drastic change in his life when his father returns home from war. With abundant humour and considerable pragmatism, O"Connor depicts in this story the "Oedipus stage" of a boy's life alluding continuously and wittily to Freudian psychoanalysis.
The focus of the story is the relationship between Larry and his father. It is witty and ingenious in the way it depicts the oedipal phase. The conflict arises when his father comes back from the war. Larry views his father as a stranger who suddenly steals his mother's love and attention away from him. Larry is a very possessive, self-cantered and selfish boy. He despises the fact that his mother is paying more attention to his father. He becomes extremely jealous of his father and starts competing with him as only a five year old would know how. This creates a very hilarious situation and the readers are constantly amused by the absurdity of his actions. He is typically babyish and childish in his behaviour towards his father, mother and his brother Sonny. However, at the end, he finally comes to terms with his father and Larry moves from rivalry with his father over possession of his mothers love to reconciliation with him. The denouement or the unravelling of the plot of the story is prompt but very plausible. .
The story is written by the older man who looks back and tells the story from the little boy's point of view. The older narrator knows what the boy does not know. This gap creates an irony throughout the story. Larry thinks that he is in the right, never realising that he is the selfish one. The author is brilliant in recreating the boy's world. He explores the mind of the young boy and gives a vivid portrayal of the boy's feelings and emotions.