Skip to main content

Some psychoanalytic reflections: femininity, feminism and fantasy in “APPLE TREE YARD”

Abstract

This paper examines the interplay between femininity, feminism, and fantasy, based on the analysis of the protagonist of Apple Tree Yard, a British television mini series (2017) adapted by Amanda Coe from the novel of the same name by Louise Doughty (Apple Tree Yard. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2013). This examination addresses the following questions: What causes a married, 52-year-old woman, with two grown children to engage in a reckless and perverse affair with a man she does not know? What unconscious fantasies have been evoked by the traumas of her childhood and of her adult life, and how do these unconscious fantasies encroach upon her external reality?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Aichorn, A. (1925). Wayward youth. New York: Viking Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • APsaA Panel. (1970). The development of the child’s sense of his sexual identity, V. L. Clower, reporter. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 18, 165–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arlow, J. A. (1969a). Unconscious fantasy and disturbances of mental experience. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 38, 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arlow, J. A. (1969b). Fantasy, memory and reality testing. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 38, 28–51.

    Google Scholar 

  • Auerhahn, N. C. & Prelinger, E. (1983). Repetition in the concentration camp survivor and her child. International Review of Psychoanalysis, 10, 31–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bach, S. (1977). On narcissistic states of consciousness. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 58, 209–233.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bach, S. (1985). Narcissistic states and the therapeutic process. New York: Jason Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Balsam, R. M. (2012). Women’s bodies in psychoanalysis. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Balsam, R. M. (2015). The war on women in psychoanalytic theory building: Past to present. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 69, 83–107.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bemesderfer, S. (1996). A revised psychoanalytic view of menopause. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44S(Supplement), 351–369.

    Google Scholar 

  • Benedek, T. (1950). Climacterium: A developmental phase. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19, 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blum, H. P. (1976). Masochism, the ego ideal, and the psychology of women. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24S(Supplement), 157–191.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chasseguet-Smirgel, J. (1970). Feminine guilt and the Oedipus complex. In J. Chasseguet-Smirgel (Ed.), Female sexuality: New psychoanalytic views (pp. 94–135). London: Maresfield Library.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chasseguet-Smirgel, J. (1998). Book Review. The problem of perversion: The view from self psychology. By Arnold Goldberg. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(2), 610–619.

  • Chodorow, N. (1989). Feminism and psychoanalytic theory. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coe, A. & Carey, C. (Producers) and Hobbs, J. (Director). (2014). [Television Series]. Apple Tree Yard. Kudos Film & Television: UK. [BBC One].

  • Deutsch, H. (1924). The menopause. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 65, 55–62, Edited, with Introductory Note by Paul Roazen, 1984.

  • Doughty, L. (2013). Apple tree yard. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle edition. 2014.

  • Freud, A. (1936). The ego and the mechanisms of defense. New York: International Universities Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freud, S. (1901). The psychopathology of everyday life. Standard Edition (Vol. 6, pp. 1–310). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality. Standard Edition (Vol. 7, pp. 135–243). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1908). On the sexual theories of children. Standard Edition (Vol. 9, pp. 209–226). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1912a) On the universal tendency to debasement in the sphere of love. Standard Edition (Vol. 11, pp. 178–190). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1912b). Types of onset of neurosis. Standard Edition (Vol. 12, pp. 227–238). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1915). Repression. Standard Edition (Vol. 14, pp. 141–158). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia. Standard Edition (Vol. 14, pp. 237–260). London Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1919). The ‘uncanny.’ Standard Edition (Vol. 17, pp. 217–252). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1925). Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes. Standard Edition (Vol. 19, pp. 241–258). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1927). The future of an illusion. Standard Edition (Vol. 21, pp. 1–55). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1931). Female sexuality. Standard Edition (Vol. 21, pp. 223–245). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1933). On femininity. In: New introductory lectures in psycho-analysis. Lecture XXXIII. Standard Edition (Vol. 21, pp. 112–134). London: Hogarth.

  • Freud, S. (1937). Analysis terminable and interminable. Standard Edition (Vol. 23, pp. 211–253). London: Hogarth.

  • Green, A. (1973). Le discours vivant. La conception psychanalytique de l’affect. [The fabric of affect in the psychoanalytic discourse]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (PUF).

  • Holtzman, D. & Kulish, N. (2003). The feminization of the female Oedipus complex, Part II: Aggression reconsidered. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(4), 1127–1151.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Horney, K. (1924). On the genesis of the castration complex. In: H. Kelman (Ed.) Feminine psychology (pp. 37–53) New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1967. Also in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5, 50–65.

  • Horney, K. (1926). The flight from womanhood. In: H. Kelman (Ed.), Feminine psychology (pp. 54–70) New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1967. Also in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 7, 324–339.

  • Horney, K. (1932). The dread of woman. In H. Kelman (Ed.), Feminine psychology (pp. 133–146). New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1967.

  • Horney, K. (1933). The denial of the vagina. In Feminine psychology. H. Kelman (Ed.) (pp. 147-161) New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co. 1967. Also in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 14, 57-70.

  • Isaacs, S. (1948). The nature and function of phantasy. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 29, 73–97.

    Google Scholar 

  • Janin, C. (1996). Figures et destins du traumatisme [The faces and destinies of trauma]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (PUF).

  • Jones, E. (1935). Early female sexuality. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 16, 263–273.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kahn, M. M. R. (1979). Alienation in perversion. New York: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (1993). The compulsion to create: A psychoanalytic study of women artists. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (2005). From benign mirror to demon lover: An object relations view of compulsion versus desire. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 65, 31–52.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, I. (2003). On being a dead, beloved child. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(3), 727–766.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, I. (2007). The struggle against mourning. New York: Jason Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, I. (2014). [Book Essay]. Transformation of personality: Deformation and reformation in confronting death: Breaking Bad. Television series created by Vince Gilligan. American Movie Channel, seasons 1–5 (2008–2013). The Duel. By Anton Chekhov. Translated by Margarita Shalina. Brooklyn: Melville House, 2011. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 62(4), 719–740.

  • Kogan, I. (2016). My father, myself. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 85(3), 563–587.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, I. (2018). Master of the universe: Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” thru a psychoanalytic lens. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78, 267–286.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, I. (2019). Could your next analyst be a computer? Psychoanalysis in the digital era. In A. Sabbadini, I. Kogan, & P. Gollineli (Eds.), Virtual intimacy and communication in films (pp. 11–34). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, I. (2020). Narcissistic fantasies in film and fiction—masters of the universe. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kohut, H. (1971). Analysis of the Self. A systematic approach to the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personality disorders. New York: International Universities Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kohut, H. (1977). The restoration of the self. New York: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Laplanche, J. & Pontalis, J.B. (1967). The language of psychoanalysis. D. Nicholson-Smith (Trans.), New York: Norton. 1973.

  • Lax, R. (1982). The expectable depressive climacteric reaction. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 46(2), 151–167.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lax, R. (1995). Motives and determinants of girls’ penis envy in the negative oedipal phase. Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 40(4), 297–314.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mächtlinger, V. (1984). The role of the father in aiding the elaboration and consolidation of a differentiated gender identity in girls in the phallic-narcissistic phase. Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre, 7(1), 25–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, E. L. (1985). ”Everybody must be just like me”: Observations on female castration anxiety. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 66, 331–347.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McDougall, J. (1978). The primal scene and the perverse scenario. Plea for a measure of abnormality (pp. 53–86). New York: International University Press. 1980.

  • McDougall, J. (1986). Identifications, neoneeds and neosexualities. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 67, 19–31.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Miller, J. B. (1973). Psychoanalysis and women: Contributions to new theory and therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

  • Person, E. S. (1985). The erotic transference in women and men: Differences and consequences. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 13(2), 159–188.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosen, H. & Zickler, E. (1996). Feminist psychoanalytic theory: American and French reactions to Freud. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44, 71–92.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Shapiro, T. (1990). Unconscious fantasy: Introduction. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 38, 39–46.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Shapiro, T. (2008). Ubiquitous daydreams and unconscious fantasy: A reassessment of Arlow’s “unconscious fantasy and disturbances of conscious experience.” Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 77(1), 47–59.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stoller, R. (1968). The sense of femaleness. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 37, 42–55.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tartakoff, H. (1966). The normal personality in our culture and the Noble Prize complex. In R. M. Loewenstein, L. M. Newman, M. Shur, & A. J. Solnit (Eds.), Psychoanalysis: A general psychology (pp. 222–252). New York: International Universities Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tyson, P. (1989). Infantile sexuality, gender identity, and obstacles to oedipal progression. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37, 1051–1069.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Volkan, V. (1982). Narcissistic personality disorder. In J. O. Cavenar & H. K. H. Brodie (Eds.), Critical problems in psychiatry (pp. 332–360). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winnicott, D. W. (1935). The manic defence. Collected papers: Through paediatrics to psycho-analysis (pp. 129–144). London: Tavistock. 1958.

  • Winnicott, D. (1971). Transitional objects and transitional phenomena. Playing and reality (pp. 1–31). London: Tavistock.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, E. (1992). Feminism and psychoanalysis. A critical dictionary. Oxford: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ilany Kogan.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kogan, I. Some psychoanalytic reflections: femininity, feminism and fantasy in “APPLE TREE YARD”. Am J Psychoanal 80, 415–434 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-020-09266-8

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-020-09266-8

Keywords

  • femininity and vulnerability to loss
  • menopause
  • feminism and antifemale bias
  • persephone complex
  • demon-lover complex