Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? : a study of the connection between the infantile fear of the wolf and the desire for sexual satisfaction by the father in the case of the 'Wolf Man'

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Doherty, Kathleen
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MA in Psychoanalysis
Dublin Business School
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In this thesis, I intend to look at Freud's case 'From The history Of An Infantile Neurosis' (1918 [1914]), more commonly known as the case of the 'Wolf Man', I wish to investigate Freud's claim that the childhood fear of the image of the wolf was a result of the boy's repressed desire for sexual satisfaction from his father. In Freud's 1913 article, 'The Occurrence In Dreams Of Material From Fairytales' , he describes a dream had by the 'Wolf Man' as a young boy, from which he awoke in a state of anxiety. Freud gives an extensive analysis of this dream show how and believes he could connect it back to a repressed experience of the primal scene. Through a series of events in the boy's life, Freud explains, his sexual development and choice of sexual object deviated from the norm leading to his wolf phobia and subsequent obsessional symptoms. I will discuss Freud's findings about the 'Wolf Man' in relation to his theories of dream formation and interpretation and his theory of infantile sexual development. I will also look at the case and it's relation to the imagery and themes in fairytales with particular reference to the character of the wolf in fairytales such as 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats'. I will in the case of the 'Wolf Man', the wolf represents his fear of the father, more specifically, his fear and shame at his own desire for passive sexual satisfaction from his father. This desire, which he repressed, was reawakened by the dream of the wolves, which Freud connected to his perception (actual or phantasy) of his parents engaging in sexual intercourse.