Les allégories et métaphores maternelles dans les discours publics en France (1789-1914)

Abstract : C.G. Jung and his followers have emphazised the importance of the maternal imago forindivuals, groups and societies. This topic was barely developped by Freud, which is not thecase for Freudian analysts of the following generations ; one might cite for example MelanieKlein or D.W. Winnicott. Didier Anzieu and René Kaës, both French psychoanalysts, havemade an attempt to articulate the individual and the collective in their studies about groups andhave confirmed the equivalence of the group and the maternal imago. In this doctoral thesis, Ihave attempted to examine and assess the importance of this maternal representation in Frenchpolitical life during this formative period for French politics which lasts from the Revolution toWWI. I have chosen to study this issue through maternal metaphors and allegories in publicdiscourses, which include political speeches and other discourses, like award speeches at school,for example. I do not give psychoanalytical interpretation, unless it seems obvious. Thereference framework of this thesis is historical research, but psychoanalysis is itscomplementary or shadow framework. The results of the research show that maternalmetaphors and allegories were widely used in most public speeches of that time, in manydifferent forms. Nature (during the Revolution), heavenly Jerusalem or Virgin Mary in theconservative camp, and other maternal representations which were created by the early socialists– among which the “Community” (Etienne Cabet) – as well as Michelet’s maternal andmessianic France. The Republicans’ father - or rather motherland, the religion of Humanity asseen by Auguste Comte and the positivists, the religion of the Earth and the Dead (MauriceBarrès) are some examples... Maternal metaphors and allegories constitute a promise ofhappiness, an ideal and/or a submission request. These mother figures have children, mainlysons. This doctoral thesis confirms the importance of the privileged relationship between motherand son on the political level. Very often the “first” of these sons establishes himself as thespokesman or the interpreter of this metaphor or allegory. Robespierre, Napoléon, the first emperor of France, or Gambetta are some examples. In the ideological or fictional contextwhich these metaphors and allegories induce, there is hardly any room for the individual or forthe woman as such, the relationship between Mother and Son is the main identification modelwhich is proposed.
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Brigitte Demeure. Les allégories et métaphores maternelles dans les discours publics en France (1789-1914). Histoire. Université d'Avignon, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017AVIG1176⟩. ⟨tel-02182942⟩

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