Humpty’s Psychoanalysis

Sorry guys… I had to.  Humpty Dumpty was begging for it.

So in Carroll’s version of the Humpty story, we’ve got an egg who’s convinced that he’s just not an egg, a young girl prone to misspeaking and interrupting, and a battle for conversational dominance.  The whole dialogue starts off with Alice calling Humpty an egg, and Humpty vehemently arguing that comment.  Humpty Dumpty probably developed some serious self-perception issues when he was a young egg.  From a psychoanalytic perspective, Humpty spends much of his time patronizing Alice for misspeaking, even in very small instances (i.e., she “saw” him singing instead of “heard”), as a self-defense.  His inability to accept his own eggness, and subsequent sensitivity upon being called an egg, causes him to hone in on the small dialogical errors of others.  It is a way to avoid his own unacceptable characteristics by ascribing them to others–in this case, Alice.

I also noticed that Humpty wishes that Alice’s face was rearranged so he could recognize her better.  It is interesting that Humpty does indeed fall and shatter at the end of the chapter, implying that he is in many separate pieces.  When the king’s men come to piece him back together, they won’t be able to–does that mean that Humpty himself might have “two eyes on the same side,” just like he wishes Alice had?  Just an afterthought.

1 thought on “Humpty’s Psychoanalysis

  1. How can you POSSIBLY psychoanalyze an ovum and a “battle for conversational dominance” and not talk about some serious castration anxiety?

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