Winning Essay: "To the Lighthouse and Oedipal Triangle"
Caroline Beaton ’13 has been awarded the prize for the best undergraduate essay pertaining to psychoanalysis in the country by the American Psychoanalytic Association.
Beaton, from Cherry Hills Village, Colo., graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English and a minor in psychoanalysis.
In her essay, “To the Lighthouse and Oedipal Triangle,” Beaton uses Freudian and self-psychological models of the Oedipus complex and erotic degradation to explore the Ramsay family’s psychical impotence and fragmentation in Virginia Woolf’s novel. The “Oedipal triangle” refers both to the intricate, ambivalent relationship between mother, father, and son and to the connections between their Oedipal conflicts, degradation dynamics, and psychical impotence.
Beaton attributes her interest in psychoanalysis and analytical writing skills to her studies with Philosophy Professor John Riker and Classics Professor Marcia Dobson. She says Riker and Dobson inspired her to pursue graduate studies relating to psychoanalysis.
A précis of the essay appears in Winter/Spring issue The American Psychoanalyst, Volume 48, No. 1.