SONG OF THE TIDES You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press. Any posting, copy. eForeword A fractured Southern family that “fate tested a thousand times” comes robustly to life in Pat Conroy's novel The Prince of Tides. Published in , this. Welcome to the English Conversation Class sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ We teach Beginning English Conversat.
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New York Times bestseller: A "powerful" Southern drama about the destructive repercussions of keeping an unspeakable family secret (The Atlanta Journal). The Prince of Tides: A Novel. XM US/Data/Literature-Fiction. /5 From Reviews. Pat Conroy audiobook | *ebooks | Download PDF | ePub | DOC. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy - MonkeyNotes by maroc-evasion.info The full study guide is available for download at: maroc-evasion.info 1.
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New York Times bestseller: A "powerful" Southern drama about the destructive repercussions of keeping an unspeakable family secret The Atlanta Journal. Tom Wingo has lost his job, and is on the verge of losing his marriage, when he learns that his twin sister, Savannah, has attempted suicide again.
At the behest of Savannah's psychiatrist, Dr. As Tom's relationship with Susan deepens, he reveals to her the turbulent history of the Wingo family, and exposes the truth behind the fateful day that changed their lives forever. Drawing richly from the author's own troubled upbringing, The Prince of Tides is a sweeping, powerful novel of unlocking the past to overcome the darkest of personal demons—it's Pat Conroy at his very best.
Fiction Literature Publication Details Publisher: Open Road Media Publication Date: Born the eldest of seven children in a rigidly disciplined military household, he a Log In Sign Up.
An object relations view of the Prince of Tides Graham S Clarke. The Prince of Tides: Clarke 1 has argued that Fairbairn's theory can be applied to cinema and illustrated how this might be carried out. The starting point of that argument is based in Fairbairn's analysis of a dream 2. However Padel has pointed out that the analysis of a dream in terms of endopsychic structure is only one aspect of that paper "The dozen pages in which Fairbairn cautiously yet thoroughly analyses the dream deserve full study from all concerned with psychotherapy He saw almost at once that he could interpret the dream in three ways, all valid and potentially useful Since Fairbairn saw the Oedipal situation as a social psychological construction on the basis of endopsychic structure 4 the three levels of analysis are linked.
I am going to look at "The Prince of Tides" at these three levels. First, I will reconstruct a narrative of the events depicted, in chronological sequence, and very briefly consider how both Kohut and Lacan might have seen the relationship between the psychiatrist and the main character. Second, I will look at the Oedipal elements of the film and, finally, I will suggest there is an underlying endopsychic structure represented here and describe the transformations it undergoes.
I will also discuss in passing the way in which the relationship between the psychiatrist, Dr Susan Lowenstein Barbra Streisand , and the central character Tom Wingo Nick Nolte , is represented. The main focus of the film is an extended history-taking by the psychiatrist from Tom Wingo, as a supplement to the physical treatment of Tom's twin sister.
Winnicott suggests that "..
If cultural products are capable of conveying human meaning then they are likely to be as overdetermined as their producers. Fairbairn's reported remark to Guntrip that the Oedipus situation was " It is this sort of approach that is being attempted here. The way in which the film narrative reveals the hidden and traumatic secret that Tom Wingo holds is comparable to one of Freud's early case studies.
Some background to the problem is given and then gradually, through the relationship between the psychiatrist and Tom, more of the details of Tom's life are revealed, until eventually the traumatic memory is uncovered with full affect, and, like the undoing of an hysterical symptom, Tom is made whole again. Breuer and Freud's comments on the hysterical symptom " The story is told from Tom Wingo's perspective and is about his family of origin, his current family, and the relations between himself and his mother and father, his brother and twin sister, his wife and his children.
Tom narrates over parts of the film from the point of view of someone who is writing after the action of the film is over. It is his memories that we are privy to, that take us back into his childhood and adolescence. It is his life we follow throughout. It is about the way his relationship with a psychiatrist, Dr Susan Lowenstein, changes his life.
Henry is a working man who fishes for a living, Lila is a socially ambitious woman. Tom says in the prologue to the film that depicts the positive aspects of their childhood, "I don't know when my parents began their war against each other, but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children In the family, gender differences and roles are strongly reinforced and differentiated, sensitivity is a womanly attribute.
Tom is sensitive and chastised for it. Luke on the other hand stands up, not just for himself, but for his younger siblings too. When Luke and Tom and Savannah have had enough of the world, they go down to the jetty and jump in the water together, and form a circle underwater by linking hands, only emerging when their lungs can stand it no more.
When Tom and Savannah are about seven years old Lila has a stillborn baby at home. She says it is the children's fault it is stillborn. Henry wraps the baby in towels and puts it in the freezer overnight intending to bury it the next day. Tom wakes in the middle of the night and finds Savannah nursing the dead baby and saying, "You're the lucky one, 'cos you don't have to live with us".
When Tom tells her about this the next morning she denies any knowledge of it. Henry isn't a successful businessman and tries a number of different occupations, one of which involved keeping a tiger outside his newly acquired gas station.
Tom remembers how courageous Luke was and how only he could feed and look after the tiger. When Tom and Savannah are thirteen, three prisoners escape from a nearby prison called "Callenwold". They find Lila, Tom and Savannah at home alone and rape them all.
While the rape is in progress Luke arrives. He kills two of the prisoners and Lila kills the third. Lila tells them all that it never happened and swears them to secrecy. They bury the bodies and clean the house and tell no one.
Three days later Savannah tries to kill herself for the first time. When Tom is about fourteen Lila finds out that he has had a fight with one of the social elite's children and takes him round to the Newberry family home to apologise in order to protect her social standing.
Reece Newberry takes Tom to his study where he slaps his face and says he will run his family out of the area if Tom ever touches his son again or tells anyone he has slapped him. Later, Luke goes to Vietnam and returns a hero.
Savannah goes to New York to become a poet, and forget her childhood. Tom becomes a Coach and an English teacher. Henry and Lila divorce. As part of the divorce settlement Lila gets the island. She sells it off to the government for a good price. Lila joins the social elite by marrying the man who slapped Tom's face. Luke, who still regards the island as his, fights government plans to build a power station and then takes direct action, blowing up a construction site.
After more fighting he is shot dead by agents of the government. Both Tom and Savannah had tried to dissuade him but to no avail.
Luke died two years before the main action of the picture takes place. Immediately after Luke's death Savannah tries to kill herself again, and Tom ".. He gives up his job, he doesn't know what to do. He shows no affection to his wife, he avoids anything serious by manic humour and behaviour.
He gives his wife Sally, a hospital doctor, nothing and she feels rejected and upset and eventually turns to another man: This breakdown in their marriage coincides with Savannah's trying to kill herself again. She asks him to help her, and Savannah, by telling her about their childhood.
At first just the shortcomings of his parents, and the courage of Luke, come out, but it turns out there are several clues that what troubles Savannah most is the Callenwold incident, but that she has no conscious memory of it. She has written a children's book under an assumed name she masquerades as the daughter of two survivors of the holocaust that refers to the incident symbolically, and she says "Callenwold" when she comes out of the coma following her unsuccessful suicide attempt.
Tom realises that he is going to have to tell Lowenstein about the incident. Tom's marriage is still rocky but his talking to Lowenstein has made him more aware of his own feelings and problems and more sensitive to others.
His wife is still having a love affair with a man he despises, and thinking about the possibility of marrying him, when he goes back to Charleston for his youngest daughter's birthday but, Tom is able to remain calm and civil and caring when they discuss their difficulties.
Sally notices the change in him and says she knows he has met someone in New York. Tom tells his mother, now living in the house she once took him to, to be humiliated, that he is going to tell Lowenstein about Callenwold, and, after an argument about whether he should tell, he says it will help Savannah, and then asks what she feels about Luke.
She breaks down and asks him who taught him to be so cruel and he says, "You did Momma, you did. Tom returns to New York and tells the story of Callenwold to Lowenstein. She listens carefully and gradually allows him to recognise and talk about his own rape and feel the full impact of it. Lowenstein then comforts him as he cries, being reconnected to himself as a thirteen year old boy in terrible pain. This revelation leads to a breakthrough in Savannah's treatment and she and Tom are reunited as sentient human beings in full possession of their faculties compared with her previous brief appearances in a drugged and withdrawn state.
Tom meets Lowenstein, outside the sessions to help Savannah, and is asked by her to coach her son who is keen to play football for his school. Her violinist husband is on tour and Bernard wants to play both violin and football even though Herbert the father is against it. Tom helps Bernard, who is at first resistant and rude, but learns to accept help from Tom.
During this process, coaching Bernard and telling Lowenstein about his childhood, Tom and Susan's relationship is developing and she tells him that she thinks she has made a new friend, the first one for a long time.
At a dinner party Susan's husband, Herbert, does his best to humiliate Tom but Tom resists and makes him apologise to both Susan and himself. Tom leaves and Susan follows asking him to take her with him. He agrees and they have an affair, perhaps his first full genital relationship, symbolic of that anyway. Susan is aware that he will go back to Sally and the children if Sally asks and they talk about that eventuality. Savannah is back in her apartment and has started a new book of poems to be called "The Prince of Tides" and dedicated to Tom.
Sally decides that she does want Tom back. Susan and Tom part, and he returns to Sally and their children, and a new job as a coach and teacher, with a positive outlook.
Through his relationship to Lowenstein Tom has become able to accept and talk about his past and this has led to his being able to approach his life afresh. Commentary This relationship with Dr Susan Lowenstein is like a therapeutic relationship at one level. On another level it is like a love affair - two people working on the same problem come to love each other and have an affair. To some extent it is like a form of brief analysis where the analysis is concerned with a very specific topic.
However it also has some similarity to "wild analysis", not in the classical sense 6 but in the sense discussed by Balint 7 - holding the patient, having a social and sexual relationship with the patient while the analysis is going on. Although the time span isn't completely clear it is clear that the whole process takes place in a relatively short period - six weeks to two months. At certain points in the relationship it is explicitly denied that this is a therapeutic relationship and yet it is shown with all the conventions of that relationship.
That these memories are then being used by the doctor to help her treat Savannah, is never given any concrete expression in the film. Savannah gets better but we do not see how. Tom does change and we see the changes as a consequence of his relationship with Lowenstein. Clearly the relationship with Lowenstein is crucial to Tom's being able to "establish a functioning self The Kohutian explanation of such change in narcissistic personality disorder is " That Tom is narcissistic is exemplified by his attitude towards Savannah when he first goes to New York.
It is his needs that dominate over hers until Lowenstein forcefully reminds him of the reality. However Kohut's comments do not allow us to make much useful comment on the rest of the detail of the film. Lacan has written that "Analysis can have for its goal only the advent of a true Word and the bringing to realisation of his history by the subject in relation to his future" Earlier in the same paper he compares the "true Word" with the hysterics undoing of a trauma by recalling it and talking about it with full affect " For the truth of this revelation lies in the present Word which testifies to it in contemporary reality Neither of these views however helps us to understand the complex dynamics, of and between the people involved, depicted in the film.
Oedipal Aspects Fairbairn's view of the Oedipal situation differs from Freud's and he sees it as a social psychological situation that the child constitutes for itself out of the basic endopsychic structure. Briefly, the child, in order to deal with the ambivalent mother, splits her into three, an over-exciting libidinal , an over-rejecting anti-libidinal and an acceptable ideal object and splits his ego similarly.
When the child moves from a two person to a three person situation, in relation to the father, then the same sort of process happens again, so that the libidinal, anti-libidinal and ideal objects are mixed objects based on both mother and father. At the time of the Oedipal situation the child seeks to simplify the complex of relations and objects by equating one parent with the exciting and the other parent with the rejecting object.
Tom gives an idealised account of his mother reflecting his feelings about her as a young boy. As the film proper starts, when Sally tells him his mother is coming over Tom becomes agitated, says he hates her, suggests that she is the epitome of evil and when she arrives gets into an argument with her almost immediately, one major component of which is his assumption that she thinks he has not realised his potential.
When he is in New York with Lowenstein he says his mother is a liar and illustrates his claim by talking about an incident when he was seven or eight when she called him into her bedroom and got him to lie down next to her and cuddled and kissed him in a desperate sort of way and told him that he is her favourite and that he is the only Wingo that will amount to anything. He recoils and feels uncomfortable and wants to get away but she won't let him go until he says, "I love you" and this relates to his difficulty in saying he loves his wife or in showing her any affection.
During the rape his mother calls out to him, a thirteen year old boy, to help them as the three escaped convicts break in and he is profoundly guilty at not having been able to help. This guilt is dissipated after he is able to tell Lowenstein about the rape and experience his own shame, pain and guilt. His mother's taking him to the Newberry's to be humiliated, in order to preserve her social standing, is an aspect of her rejecting and cruel nature.
So his mother is still a powerful figure in his unconscious, an ambivalent figure who is idealised and sexualised on the one hand and a powerful controlling figure on the other, an over-exciting and over-rejecting figure. By the end of the film he is able to put her into perspective and accept her for what she is.
Father In the prologue Tom speaks lovingly of being allowed to navigate by his father and his love of boats based in that experience and he says that his father might have been a good father if he had not been so violent. During his time in New York he brings back to conscious memory two examples of his father's attitude that he talks to Lowenstein about.