On “Envy and Gratitude”
I am going to present a summary and then some thoughts on Melanie Klein’s paper “Envy and Gratitude”, first published in 1957, and more generally on Kleinian technique. We will look at key concepts and terms such as greed, envy and jealousy, as well as guilt , gratitude and generosity.
But let us begin with a piece written last year. In his book published in 2013, The Examined Life, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz writes movingly about the problem of Parents envying their children, and how it impoverishes and spoils matters for all parties. The prose is simple, yet it conveys a taster of the more complex ideas to be described in the rest of today’s lecture, and signposts some concepts like destructiveness, spoiling, impoverishment of relationships and grievance
Grosz pp. 93-95
精神分析师Stephen Grosz去年的一篇文章开始。 在他2013年出版的书《验过的生活》中，他生动地描述了父母对孩子嫉羡的问题，以及这些嫉羡是如何使所有的聚会变得贫瘠、被糟蹋了。文章很简单，但传递了今天的演讲中要描述的更加复杂的味道，即一些标志杆一样的概念，如毁灭、宠坏、关系的贫瘠和委屈。（Grosz, 93-95页）让我们从
The definition of envy used by Klein is “the angry feeling that another person possesses and enjoys something desirable, often accompanied by the impulse to take it away or spoil it”. Contemporary authors also recognise envy as a painful affliction.
Klein believes that envious impulses, oral and anal sadistic in nature operate from the beginning of life, initially directed at the maternal breast, and then against parental intercourse. Klein sees envy as a manifestation of primary destructiveness, to some extent “inherited” i.e. constitutionally based, and worsened by external adversity. She feels that the attack on the good object leads to a number of consequences includingConfusion between good and bad And thus difficulties with depressive position acquisition and integration
Envy heightens persecution and guilt.
In contradistinction to envy, Klein saw gratitude as an expression of love and of the life instinct, thus as the antithesis of envy .
*在嫉羡的禁忌征候里， 克莱因把感恩看作是爱的表达，是生本能，是嫉羡的对立面。History of Envy in PA (Psychoanalysis)
The term “envy” has a long history in Psychoanalysis .
In 1908 Freud introduced the concept of “envy of the penis”, as a key psychological problem in the development of women.
Freud’s assertion was that the little girl becomes aware of lacking a penis upon noticing the genital anatomy of the two sexes. She feels inferior, as Freud put it “lesser in so important a respect” (1925, 253) She thinks that she did possess a penis and has been castrated as a punishment for masturbation and/or imagines that she was deprived of a penis by a neglectful and unloving mother. She envies the penis for its size, masturbatory ease, and its manipulation of the urinary stream. Lacking it, she turns away from the mother to the father to obtain one from him; and the wish to have a baby is born. The wish for possession of a penis is never fully given up, it always persists in the girl and may be impervious to analysis. This penis envy was seen as “the primary organizer” of the female psyche ( Moore and Fine, quoted in Akhtar (2009), p 205) and underlines many character traits eg competitiveness with men, preferring a weak and castrated male for a partner, and neurotic symptoms such as kleptomania and vaginsmus in adult women. Gradually the concept came under increasing criticism for many reasons (Akhtar describes 10 of which I will enumerate a few) :
Freud 断言：小女孩注意到两性的生理解剖上（的区别），开始意识到她缺乏一个阴茎。她会感到低人一等，就如同freud指出的“在如此重要的方面很小”（1925，253页）， 她认为她的确有过一个阴茎，因为自慰而被作为惩罚被阉割掉了，或想象被一个忽略和不爱自己的母亲剥夺了。她嫉羡阴茎的尺寸、易于自慰、可以操纵尿流。缺乏阴茎，她从母亲那里转而朝向父亲，希望从父亲那里获得一个，和父亲生一个宝宝。这种想要获得一个阴茎的愿望从未放弃，总是存在于女孩，可能精神分析也不能渗透到这一点。阴茎嫉羡被看作是女性心理的“原始的组织者”（Moore和Fine,引用于Akhter,2009,205页），这加强许多性格特质，比如与男性竞争，倾向于找一个弱的、阉割了的男性作伴侣，以及成年女性中的露阴癖和阴道痉挛等神经症。渐渐地，这些观念因为很多原因而得到越来越多的批评（Akhtar列数了十个，我在这里列举其中几个）：
The entire concept of penis envy and Freud’s use of the expression of the “superior organ” for the penis represented the phallocentrism of a narrative written by and for men
The portrayal of female psychosexual development as disappointed masculinity ( Moore and Fine 1990,p140 , quoted in Akhtar, 206) is not only theoretically biased and pejorative, but empirically untenable in the light of child observational studies
Even when penis envy is discernible in girls, it is seen as subtle and phase-specific, not pronounced and life long as Freud suggested
Rather than emanating from auto-erotic and narcissistic factor, penis envy arose from object relations; it was a manifest content that hid all sorts of affects and longings
- Penis envy may be but one manifestation of envy at large….and thus can be encountered in men !
Such issues may not be impervious to analysis-they may not form the bedrock of the female psyche
And we will see that Klein, although obviously profoundly influenced by Freud, does not take penis envy as the main prototype or example of Envy
Continuing with the history of Envy in PA writing, Freud, subsequently in 1921, in “Group psychology and the psychology of the ego” described how members of a group can forego inter-group envy and rivalries in a common idealisation of the group leader .
Karl Abraham in 1919 wrote about patients who begrudge the efforts and skill of the analyst, to appreciate him, stubbornly refusing to cooperate with him and trying to usurp his place. Abraham described envy as an unmistakable feature in this and saw it as an oral trait.
In her paper entitled “Jealousy as a mechanism of defence” Joan Riviere in 1932 suggested that in some primitive states of mind, the jealousy apparently linked to “triangular situations “may be nearer to envy. Here the deepest wish was to rob the mother of her possessions. And in 1936 Karen Horney explicitly linked the “negative therapeutic reaction” with envy of the analyst in other words, a wish to spoil the analyst’s work.
在Joan Riviere 1932年名为《作为防御的嫉妒》一文中，他提出：在思维的初级阶段，与“三角关系情形”有关的嫉妒可能最接近嫉羡。最深的愿望就是抢走母亲的所有物（乳房）。1936年Karen Horney明确地把“负性治疗反应”与对分析师的嫉羡连接起来，换句话说，就是破坏分析师工作的愿望。
In the 1940s Hanna Segal and Herbert Rosenfeld began to analyse adult patients with schizophrenia and described how such patients typically would “mount wholesale attacks on the good object for its very goodness” .Their analysis of these extreme cases of envy was seen to help to delineate the phenomenon.
1940年Hanna Segal和Rosenfeld 开始分析精神分裂症的成年病人，他们描述了这些病人如何典型地“准备上演对好客体的大量攻击，就是因为客体的好。”对这些嫉羡的极端案例的分析有助于勾画出这些现象。
俄狄浦斯冲突的早期阶段》，她把嫉羡看成是俄狄浦斯情节最早期阶段发生的，无论男孩女孩都有的破坏母亲所有物的愿望，尤其是是想象中母亲还容纳了父亲的阴茎。在她1932年的名为《儿童精神分析》的书中，她详细地描述了临床上小孩对于幻想中父母性关系的嫉羡的攻击。她认为嫉羡是幻想挤进母亲身体去发现和掏空内容物的动机因素之一。有趣的是，在这篇文章中她描述了一些与求知本能有连接的毁灭性幻想，暗指有趣的似是而非，即毁灭性幻想拥有本质上的积极价值。无论如何，在Klein的观点中，这些幻想也是内疚的深层来源，导致对怀着敌意的客体在从事可怕性交的恐惧，和（或）威胁到自体。于是她认为“实际上”和谐的父母是这方面的深层保障。But back to Melanie Klein. Her first reference to envy is in 1928 in her paper “Early stages of the Oedipus conflict”. She sees it as emerging at the earliest stage of the Oedipus complex, as a desire in both sexes to spoil the mother’s possessions, particularly the father’s penis, which in fantasy the mother contains. In her work dated 1932, entitled “The Psychoanalysis of Children”, she gives a detailed clinical account of that small child’s envious attacks on the phantasied parental sexual relationship. She considers envy to be one of the motive forces for the fantasy of pushing into the mother’s body in order to discover and scoop out its contents. Interestingly, in this paper she describes such destructive fantasies as being linked to the epistemophilic instinct, implying the interesting paradox that the destructive fantasies have intrinsically positive value. However, in Klein’s view, such fantasies are also the deeper sources of guilt and lead to fears of harbouring hostile objects engaged in deadly intercourse, and/or threatening the self. She thus considers “actual” harmonious parents to be deeply reassuring in this respect. 回到Klein，在她第一份涉及到嫉羡的1928的文章《
In Klein’s (1945) paper “the Oedipus complex in the light of the early anxieties” she discusses envy of the mother as an ordinary part of the Oedipus complex in both genders . For the girl, she describes how penis envy and the castration complex are exacerbated by frustration of the more basic oedipal desires. She thinks that children may at one time believe that mother has a penis as a male attribute, but unlike Freud she regards this as far less important than the idea that mother contains father’s penis.
In the paper (1952) “ The origins of Transference” she spells out what she calls “the prototype of situations of both envy and jealousy”. Powerful envy, associated with frustrated oral desires, combined with a fantasy that some other person, ( typically, the father ) receives the coveted gratification, leads to a fantasy of the parents combined in everlasting mutual gratification of an oral, anal and genital nature.
In her subsequent paper “On identification.” (1955), Klein then uses a literary example to illustrate how envy could be a factor driving a person to use extreme projective identification.
Her seminal paper entitled “Envy and Gratitude” was published in 1957. Here for the first time she explicitly pairs the two concepts. She refers the first time to envy of the breast earlier discussed by Riviere in 1932.
And finally, in her paper “Our adult world and its roots in Infancy” she provides a brief but comprehensive outline of the paired concepts of envy and gratitude.
I will now try to describe the Key concepts relating Klein’s ideas surrounding Envy and gratitude . Much of this is derived from the Book “The New dictionary of Kleinian thought “ edited by Spillius and her collaborators, published by Routledge in 2011