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Mind of Kurt Cobain: A Look at His Life Through Freuds Eyes

Essay by   •  December 19, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,204 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,971 Views

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Kurt Donald Cobain was born in 1967 into a typical American family. His father was a mechanic, his mother was a home maker and he also had a younger sister. In his early life he was prescribed Ritalin for his attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Kurt regarded his childhood to be a happy one. This changed in 1975 when his parents divorced. He was seven years old. Kurt became more withdrawn and his mother's personality changed. "I can remember feeling ashamed for some reason. I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn't face my friends anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family" (Savage). Kurt moved in with his mother after the divorce and later moved to Washington to live with his father. He became rebellious and often was the center of controversy at school and at home. In high school his father pressured him to play sports which did not interest Kurt. One of Kurt's high school friends was gay which made others believe he was gay. Kurt admitted that he thought he was gay in high school but later concluded that he was bi-sexual. He was fascinated with human fecal matter and also female organs. He once strapped firecrackers to his body and lit them.

Cobain found his escape though music. He attended the local punk rock scene and was given a guitar for his fourteenth birthday from his uncle. He smoked marijuana regularly and experimented with many drugs. He became addicted to painkillers and harder drugs which continued though his music carrier. Kurt dropped out of high school and was kicked out of his mother's house. He later became a famous guitarist and singer for the grunge band Nirvana. He is now regarded as the father of grunge music.

Kurt Cobain's personality can best be described through Freud's psychoanalytic theory. Kurt's idea about having a perfect American family can be explained though the psychosexual stages. Since his parents divorced at an early age Kurt was stunted in maturing and held on to traits of the anal and phallic stages. It is evident that Kurt held on to traits of the anal stage though his need for control, obsession with female genital organs, and fecal matter.

Freud described the anal stage to last from 18-36 months and focused on bowel and bladder elimination, and coping with demands of control. When his parents divorced in 1975 he was supposed to be in the latency stage, however; since he suffered form attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder he learned at a slower pace than his peers. Freud believed that if a person was forced to "resolve the anal conflict" (Myers) contrary to their will, they would be either messy and disorganizes (anal expulsive) or organized and very controlled (anal retentive). It is clear that Kurt was an anal expulsive person when reviving his notebooks and diaries. Due to his ADHD his mind would wander and he would often draw during classes. Most of his artwork was things associated with fetuses and the human anatomy (Wikipedia). He displayed these traits throughout his life which is very apparent on the artwork for his album In Utero, which is a picture of the anatomy of a woman. Kurt said that the divorce of his parents made him more withdrawn from his family. According to Freud this could be because of his need for power even in circumstances beyond his control.

Kurt also displays traits of the phallic stage of Freud's psychosexual stages. The phallic stage centers on pleasure to genitals, and coping with incestuous feelings. He was very confused with his sexual orientation in high school. This can also be blamed on his parents divorce. Because he moved in with his mom after the divorce, he lacked identification with a same sex parent. The psychoanalytic theory describes the identification process as a process when children's superegos incorporate values and principals from their parents. Freud believed that when a child identifies with the same-sex parent, the child learns the sense of being male or female (Myers). This could be the root of Kurt's confused sexual orientation. If he had lived with both his mother and father we could have developed

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