Dora Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dora.
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Illness as Connection

Illness has a central place in Dora, in that it functions as a means of structuring the familial dynamics that constitute Dora’s social interactions. Even though the case history focuses on Dora, examination of the illnesses in the people around her reveal that she is surrounded by a culture of sickness that self-perpetuates its own symptoms.

Based on the details Freud provides, throughout her life, Dora was surrounded by people with illnesses, especially those of a mental nature; consequently, Dora uses illness as a means of identification, and a way of relating to others. For example, when describing Dora’s aunt, who also suffered from hysteria, Freud says that they were alike in intellect and disposition. The means of identification formed by illness turns also manifests psycho-somatically: upon hearing that a cousin suffers from appendicitis, she begins experiencing abdominal pains, as an extreme form of...

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This section contains 1,851 words
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Buy the Dora Study Guide
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