The Representation of the Monster as the Castrating Mother: The Psychoanalytical Approach to Mama
Kastre Edici Bir Anne Olan Canavarın Temsili: Mama’ya Psikanalitik Yaklaşım
Year 3, Issue 6, Pages:82-95
This article aims to reveal and discuss the representation of the monster figure as the castrating mother in the movie titled Mama (Andrés Muschietti, 2013). The study argues that the movie’s specialty is based on the characterization of the monster with psychoanalytical connotations. The monster and the female figure are often portrayed as related characters in the horror genre. Conventionally, the binary opposition between the male and the female causes to represent the female with monstrous qualities in the genre. The castration complex provides male characters to define females featuring monstrous attributions. This study broadens the argument in the field by explicitly analyzing the maternal monster character called Mama in Mama (2013) with psychoanalytical studies by seminal works of the theoreticians in the field. For this purpose, the castrating complex, the uncanny concept, and ancestor examples of monstrous characters in the genre are researched to gain an understanding of the characterization of the monster called Mama within the psychoanalytical perspective. The threat of the Mama as a castrating figure, the maternal qualities as a substitute mother, and terrifying appearance as uncanny characteristics are analyzed through the movie’s narrative structure. Besides the characterization of the Mama as the castrating mother, its relation to the setting of the movie is highlighted as an uncanny relationship, which is a conventional element in the horror genre. This study intends to contribute to the field with an interdisciplinary approach to analyze a horror movie within the psychoanalytical perspective. In this way, the representation of the monster related to the material qualities and the function of the monstrous character both in the narrative structure of the movie and the genre are discussed and revealed.