FREDUIAN INSIGHT INTO TOYO-O'S MISERABLE LIFE
In the story called Bewitched our prominent character, Toyo-o differs himself from the other typical male
characters. At the first sight, you realize that he has lack of some male characteristic traits. As readers, we feel
empathized with Toyo-o, the situation which he is in may cause pain sensation in the reader. As he is described as
loser and helpless, he is distinct himself in terms of his dependent character. He is an outsider character and also he
is ostracized by his own family because he did not fulfill the task or play roles which his family or society assessed
for him. When you look at the text for the first time, you could easily find some excuses for the situation which
Toyo-o confronts to. For instance, If you just look from the surface level without analyzing the text thoroughly and
without relating the text with some Freudian terms, probably, you might claim that he is being isolated because he
is not interested in family business or he has desire for learning and he has the cultural pursuits rather than being a
fisherman but actually these are not the real reasons, the real reason underlies in more depth. After doing an
extensive research about Freud and his concepts and afterwards, if you look at the text carefully and analyze once
again, you will figure out that the real answer underlies in Toyo-o's childhood experience and the unconscious
mind. In other words, Toyo-o's real problem traces back to his childhood or early life. His Id and desires are
repressed and besides, the early experiences which he had gone through also play significant role on shaping his
character and the life.
In my paper, mostly I will concentrate on Toyo-o and try to find the underlying causes in his personality and
besides, I will shed light on his some specific behaviors, manners and reactions In other words, I will look at his
personality in more detail and try to explain the Toyo-o and his certain characteristic traits and the reactions given
to the particular situation with the freudian concepts. I assert the idea that Toyo-o fails to complete the
psychosexual stages successfully and also that is the reason why fixation occurs and in result, he became a
dependent man. Additionally, I want to point out that in Toyo-o's case, the three major system which constitutes
the total personality and called id, ego, and super-ego fail to form and unified and harmonious organization and this
situation inhibit Toyo-o from carrying out his own tasks properly. This also could be considered as one of the
underlying factors lies behind his unfavorable character.
According to perspective of Freud, personality is mostly established by the age of five. Early experiences not
only play major role in personality development and but also continue to influence behavior later in life. Life has
traces from the one's past life thefore Freud believes that one should not overlook the past experience. Freud's
theory of psychosexual development is one of the best known, but at the same time it is one of the most
controversial one and therefore it is open to discuss. Freud believed that personality develops through a series of
childhood stages during which the pleasure-seeking energies of the id become focused on certain erogenous areas.
This psychosexual energy, or libido was depicted as the driving force behind behavior.
If these psychosexual stages are completed successfully, the result is a healthy personality but if certain issues
are not resolved at the proper stage, fixation may occur. A fixation is a continual focus on an earlier psychosexual
stage. Until this conflict is resolved, the individual will remain "stuck" in this stage. Such as the Toyo-o's case. For
example, a person who is fixated at the oral stage may be over-dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation
through eating, drinking, or smoking. We see that Toyo-o is a dependent man. He personally does not own even a
thing. His mother summoned Toyo-o, “Why have you bought such a thing? ” she demanded. “ Everything in this
house-- food, money, goods—belongs to Taro. There is nothing you can claim as your own” (Akinari, 637).
dependent on his father and older brother for his livelihood, he realized he was in no position to make a hasty
promise on his own initiative alone—without consulting them and obtaining their consent. “(Akinari, 635). For that
reason, one might claim that Toyo-o “stuck” in this stage. Therefore, we might assert the idea that his personal
development did not fully completed, he fails to the complete the oral stage properly.
Besides his personal problems, moreover, his family does not count on him. His family does not consider him as a
male figure instead he is viewed as someone who has feminine qualities. “ Toyo-o was the sort who, once he came
into possession of money, would soon be deceived and robbed of all he owned” (Akinari, 632). He always need an
assistance to lead the way.
Also, Toyo-o is considered as an incompetent man. His family did not trust on him after they saw the sword
his family immediately suspicious of Toyo-o. They assume that it is no way that he is deserved such a costly prize.
They assume that this sword should have been stolen by Toyo-o. Toyoo's father roared, “ What have you done to
deserve such a precious prize? I cannot imagine! ( Akinari, 637). Even though, he is not really content with his
current position in the household, he has not many options. His only choice is to dependent on his family to survive
his life. In reality, he has no other choice than dependent on his family because he is not strong enough to make his
own living. Actually, he wants to escape from his family, settle down and also he wants to get married. Here, again
if we look the perspective from Freud, we may claim that he is especially want to escape from his brother, Taro,
could be perceived as a father figure because Taro was the one who dominant in the household. It seems like Taro
is the more respected in the family. “ thus to allow him to be a burden on his older brother for the rest of his life”
(Akinari, 632). It is obvious that Toyo-o has lacked of some male qualities, Toyoo's wishes are not fulfilled. He can
not take decision alone. He needs consulting all the time. “ In the story, he borrows an umbrella from his tutor on
his way home also he has given a a sword by Manago “. Here is a sword which was a precious possession of my
late husband. Wear it constantly,” and she presented it to Toyo-o. (Akinari, 636). Here we might make some
connections between the sword and the penis because sword is a object which is used commonly by men but in the
story he has given the sword so might infer that he is lack of some maleness characteristic traits.
Penis is the most important organ for the males, penis is the symbol of the power and the dominance and lack of
this could create the castration anxiety. Gothic stories mostly based on the male-female issues, and the males are
considered to be powerful and dominant over women because of their sexual organ. In the story, Toyo-o has the
penis but he did not fulfill his tasks. Even he has penis, Toyo-o is a dependent on his family. He has not power that
is the reason why he is given sword by Manago. Unlike other gothic stories, our female character, Manago, is more
dominant than our male character, Toyo-o, On the other hand, we can say that he might have a castration complex
because his masculinity is less dominant. The old man also underlies this masculinity issue while he speaks to
Toyo-o. From this conversation, we get a sense that , the old man also considers Toyo-o as a man who lack of some
certain male characteristic traits. He says “ You must develop a more manly, more determined spirit, which you
lack” (Akinari, 644).
This can be associated with some kinds of longings because his masculinity has some kind of lack so he tries
to complete it by these kind objects( sword, umbrella). Because of these desires, he might not notice the Manago's
bad side(snake). He wants to see her like in his dreams. Freud interpret this situation by looking at Toyoo's id or
desires that are repressed. He wants to be a dominant figure but he can not so the returning of repressed come out in
his relationship with Manago. Here , id refers to unorganized and instinctive part of Toyo-o's mind. Capable of
logically and physically incompatible desires also driven to satisfy basic instincts. Just opposite from id, superego is
an organized part of our mind that is responsible for our sense what is wrong and right. And between these two, we
have ego, rational decision making part of our minds that has to deal with the demands of id and the prohibitions of
As we mentioned above, the total personality as conceived by Freud consists of three major systems. These
are called the id, the ego and the superego. It can be claimed that when we look at the Toyo-o's case, we realize
that these three systems fail to form unified and harmonious organization. “ By working together co-operatively
they enable the individual to carry on efficient and satisfying transactions with his environment. The purpose of
these transactions is the fulfillment of man's basic needs and desires. Conversely, when the three systems of
personality are odds with one another the person is said to be maladjusted. He is dissatisfied with himself and with
the world, and his efficiency is reduced” (Storr, 22). It could be claimed that Toyo-o failed to fulfill his basic needs
and desires and this situation causes many ongoing issues and problems in his life even changed the course of his
life to some extent. This situation prevent him carrying out the task or duty in a proper way moreover this situation
even might be considered as an underlying factor behind his unfavorable and dependent and immature character.
Even though, he is aware of his incompetence, he did not do anything to change the situation. From this sentence,
we understand that he is sort of aware of what's going on, he says to his brother's wife that “As you know, I am
inexperienced in the ways of the world and have no means of making an independent living” (Akinari, 637).
Although he is aware of the facts , in other words, he does not seems to be fully unaware of how he is perceived by
others, and also knows his limited potential but the weird thing is that he does not attempt to do anything to change
or to improve the situation. On the one hand, he is sort of accept the situation.
On the other hand, we get a sense that Toyo-o is not really content with the current situation that he confronts to.
He also wants to go far away from the atmosphere of his home. therefore he wants get away from atmosphere of
the home or we might even say that he wants to escape from the home, settle down and get marry. As I mentioned
before, he also wants to escape from the father figure, his brother. We could assert that Toyo-o is having an
Odepius complex, childhood amnesia. “ Freud came to assume that, by the time he has reached the 'phallic' stage
of development, at around the age of 4 or 5, the small boy is sexually interested in his mother, wishes to gain
exclusive possession of her, and therefore harbours hostile impulses toward his father” (Storr, 24). In Toyo-o's
home, he is not an important person because he has an older brother who continues father's job. For this reason,
Toyo-o turns his face to another woman like Manago in order to satisfy himself. In fact this is the desire of
returning to the mother's womb so he realizes this by an another woman. Actually Toyo-o wants to go back his
home, this home might be the womb of the mom. Toyo-o might consider the genital of Manago as a womb of the
mom. Maybe that is the reason why she is attracted to Toyo-o. If we look at Toyo-o from the perspective of Freud,
we can assert the idea that Toyo-o has some repressions and we can say that these repressions returning while he is
with Manago. Freud put lots of emphasis on studying the sexual and emotional development of children, and puts
forward the idea that mental illness in later life came about because the child's sexual development had been partly
stuck in immature stage. “ During the first year of life, the infant's capacity for physical pleasure is centered upon
the mouth; this stage called as a oral stage and this stage starts from around 1 to 3 years old and then the anal
region takes over.
This is followed by the 'phallic' stage, in which the penis or clitoris becomes the focus of libidinal
investment and masturbatory activity, although the child remains incapable of genital fulfillment with another
person” (Storr, 20). Freud defined the age interval between 3 to 6 years as phallic stage. In this stage Freud,
emphasized on Erogenous Zone in other words, genitals. According to Freud, during the phallic stage, the main
focus of the libido is on the genitals. At this stage, children also start to notice the differences between males and
females. Freud also believed that boys begin to view their fathers as a rival for the mother’s affections. The Oedipus
Complex describes these feelings of wanting to possess the mother and the desire to replace or kill the father.
nevertheless, the child also afraid of the fact that he will be punished by the father for these feelings, this fear is
defined as a castration anxiety. This could be reason behind the Toyo-o's passiveness and silence. Toyo-o might be
afraid of the fact that he will be punished by the father figure, his brother, therefore did not attempt to change or
improve the situation.
Additionally, one can not overlook the role of instincts, drives, on Toyoo-s particular behaviors one should not
forget that all of the energy used for performing the work of the personality is obtained from the instincts. “An
instinct is defined as an inborn condition which imparts direction to psychological process. The sex instinct, for
example, directs the psychological processes of perceiving, remembering, and thinking toward the goal of sexual
consummation. An instinct is like a river that flows along a particular waterway” ( Hall, 37). Life instincts are the
drives which play the major role on shaping the behavior of one individual. Freud classifies the all instincts in two
major classes. One of them called the life instinct and the other called the death instinct. One may realize that
during his interaction with Manago, the life instinct( eros) come out to the surface. Life instincts also could be
identified as sexual instincts. “ Her features, the way she wore her hair, her colorful robe, the perfume she exuded--
all this, Toyo-o noted, made her bewitchingly voluptuous “ (Akinari, 633). Basic survival, reproduction and
pleasure could be given as an example for the life instincts. These instincts are called as life instincts because these
instincts have play major role on sustaining one's life as well as the continuation of the species.
Also, in the end of the story, we witness that death instinct come out to surface, death instinct also could be
defined as Thanatos. In the story, Toyoo-s fails to overcome his death instinct, again defeated by his instinct. If we
look from the Freud perspective, it might be said that people have an unconscious desire to die, but that is largely
moderated by the life instinct and when this energy is directed to others, it is revealed in the form of hostility and
brutality. Toyo-o took out the surplice and covered her head with it, pressing it down with all his might, and she
fell to the floor,” “ Oh, how painful,” she cried out, in a muffled voice.” Why are you tormenting me like this?
Please quit pressing me here... and here” (Akinari, 648) even she begs him to stop, he does not listen to her and just
keeps on. “ But Toyo-o kept on pressing her down and covering her with all his strenght” (Akinari, 648).
Freud emphasis a lot the fact that how much we are influenced by unconscious process according to Freud,
typically we have little insight into the relationships between the parts of our mind and we rarely understand how
these factors influence the ways in which we behave. While saying lack of insight, Freud refers to unconscious
nature of the mind. In other words, Freud puts forward the idea that mind is made up of several parts. Each of
these parts affects our behavior and these influences combine in a such a way to shape the individual personality.
According to Freud, the mind can be divided into two main parts as a conscious and and as a unconscious mind.
The conscious mind includes everything that we are aware of. This is the part of our mind we are most familiar
with, where we think about the things we are focussed on here and now. A part of this includes our memory,
which is a part of the mind corresponds to ordinary mind called as a pre-conscious mind. Actually, pre-conscious
and the conscious mind are not the revolutionary ideas because many people also observed similar things but Freud
brought to the third thing to the theory. Even though, the conscious and pre-conscious mind are not revolutionary
ideas still they have a significance importance. Nevertheless, Freud holds the belief that unconscious mind has
more significance than the conscious and pre-conscious minds. Because of the fact that, the unconscious mind is
hidden from awareness, he asserts the idea that, the unconscious mind have greater influence on our behavior and
personality than the conscious mind. He asserts the idea that without an unconscious mind, one can not have
Unconscious Mind is a revolutionary in freudian thinking. The Unconscious part is a reservoir of mostly
unacceptable thoughts, wishes, memories and feelings, information processing of which we are unaware.According
to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience and matters the most even though we
are unaware of these underlying influence. While reading the Bewitched, we see that there is a great emphasis on
dream. Toyo-o talks about his dream and tell how strongly effect on him because we know that he is disturbed by
the image of the woman which fluctuates incessantly before his mind's eye. Here the his mind's eye refers to his
ability for visualization.
Early ideas about the structure of the mind developed in Freud's book called The Interpretation of Dreams. The
interpretation of Dreams to designate the general distortion of dreams. “These distortions, which also involve the
distorted articulation of repressed wishes, are brought about through the interaction of the mechanism of the dream-
work –condensation, displacement, considerations of representability, and secondary revision – with the dream
censorship “(Weber, XVII). Toyoo's repressed wishes reveal through his dreams. I consider Toyo-o's dreams as a
journey towards his hidden, unconscious mind. Dreams provide us the journey to the world which even Toyo-o is
not full aware of. But as a reader, we have an access to his hidden world. We see the truth through his dreams. His
dreams does not conceal anything just perfectly reflects the truth as the way it is.
“Dreams were said to be nightmare revelations of the desire for wish fulfillments, not very different from daytime
wishes buried in the unconscious” ( Wain, 260). We have a insight into Toyo-o's inner world through his dreams.
His dreams guide us the way in Toyo-o's inner world.
He know, he wrote, that the scientific view in his time was that dreams had no meaning, but that lay opinion, “led
by some obscure feeling...seems to assume that, in spite of everything, every dream has a meaning, though a hidden
one...(Wain, 261) Freud interpreted this dream as wish-fulfillment. Toyo-o's dream also could be interpreted as a
wish. His secret wish towards to Manago. And later on, we will go through the process return of the repressed
because repressed elements, preserved in the unconscious reappear in Toyo-o's consciousness and his behaviour.
In Bewitched, as we mentioned above, we witness the dream which Toyo had. In the dream, he saw Manago
and himself. “ Made cheerfully drunk by the excesses of her hospitality, he yielded to her caresses and lay down
beside her, talking intimately. Came the dawn, however, and the end of his dream” . (Akinari, 634). It indicates
that, Manago has really influenced on him. Here, we witness Toyoo's unconscious wishes. Even these wishes are
concealed or hidden in the depth of his mind, it is revealed by his dream. Earliest ideas about the structure of the
mind developed in Freud's book called The Interpretation of Dreams. We could also define as the first topology.
Topology is a word for an explanation of how things are related to each other in space. In his early work, Freud
thought the different parts of the mind were above, below, beyond and in front of each other. According to Freud,
dreams could be viewed as a “royal road to the unconscious” The remembered content of dreams also could be
referred as manifest content, he believed to be a censorship expression of dreamer's unconscious wishes in other
words, the dream's latent content.
As we witness in Toyo-o's case, the mental process that influence our behavior to a great extent, therefore we need
to carefully examine our behavior because we are not usually aware of them and in some cases, the solutions that
we are looking for not necessarily located on the surface level in some cases, as in the Toyo-o's case, the truth or
the answer that we are looking for may be located far away from the surface level and because of that reason it not
easy to detect and uncover them at the first sight. Therefore, we should keep in mind that, if we are searching for
an answer of something, sometimes, we all need to look in more depth to track down the truth because the truth
may be hidden in more depth just like our unconscious. Toyo-o's case could be given as a great example for this
assertion. I tried to analyze the text thoroughly with relating the Freudian terms and I believe that I demonstrate the
fact that the real answer underlies in Toyo-o's childhood experience and the unconscious mind. Additionally; we
should not underestimate the role of his repressed id and desires on shaping his life and the personality.
Storr, Anthony. Freud. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. Print.
Hall, Calvin S. A Primer of Freudian Psychology. Cleveland: World Pub., 1954. Print.
Wain, Martin. Freud's Answer: The Social Origins of Our Psychoanalytic Century.
Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1998. Print.
Weber, Samuel. Return to Freud: Jacques Lacan's Dislocation of Psychoanalysis.
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. Print.