Black Skin, White Masks

by

Frantz Fanon

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A neurosis is a mental disorder that is mild enough not to be considered a form of illness or psychosis. Psychoanalysts believe that neuroses are the result of childhood traumas which people repress in order to avoid dealing with pain, and which then surface in the form of seemingly unrelated thoughts and behaviors.

Neurosis Quotes in Black Skin, White Masks

The Black Skin, White Masks quotes below are all either spoken by Neurosis or refer to Neurosis. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of Black Skin, White Masks published in 2008.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Both the black man, slave to his inferiority and the white man, slave to his superiority, behave along neurotic lines. As a consequence, we have been led to consider their alienation with reference to psychoanalytic descriptions.

Related Characters: Frantz Fanon (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Since the racial drama is played out in the open, the black man has no time to "unconsciousnessize" it. The white man manages it to a certain degree because a new factor emerges: i.e., guilt. The black man's superiority or inferiority complex and his feeling of equality are conscious. He is constantly making them interact. He lives his drama. There is in him none of the affective amnesia characteristic of the typical neurotic.

Related Characters: Frantz Fanon (speaker)
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

Still on the genital level, isn't the white man who hates Blacks prompted by a feeling of impotence or sexual inferiority? Since virility is taken to be the absolute ideal, doesn't he have a feeling of inadequacy in relation to the black man, who is viewed as a penis symbol? Isn't lynching the black man a sexual revenge? We know how sexualized torture, abuse, and ill-treatment can be. You only have to read a few pages of the marquis de Sade to be convinced. Is the black man's sexual superiority real? Everyone knows it isn't. But that is beside the point. The prelogical thought of the phobic has decided it is.

Related Characters: Frantz Fanon (speaker)
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
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Neurosis Term Timeline in Black Skin, White Masks

The timeline below shows where the term Neurosis appears in Black Skin, White Masks. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Man of Color and the White Woman
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Self-Image and Self-Hatred Theme Icon
Desire, Aspiration, and Competition Theme Icon
...analyze Jean Veneuse using Germaine Guex’s book The Abandonment Neurosis. Guex argues that the abandonment neurosis consists of an anxiety surrounding abandonment, which leads to “aggressivity” and “devaluation of self.” Fanon... (full context)
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Self-Image and Self-Hatred Theme Icon
Desire, Aspiration, and Competition Theme Icon
Guex writes that as a result of these issues, the person who suffers from abandonment neurosis becomes obsessed with the feeling of being excluded from society. He is permanently in the... (full context)
Chapter 4: The So-Called Dependency Complex of the Colonized
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
...that exist in colonized people have existed since childhood. Fanon objects to the idea that neuroses caused by colonialism pre-exist colonialism itself. He declares that “society is racist or is not,”... (full context)
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Desire, Aspiration, and Competition Theme Icon
...hate and look down on one another. Fanon emphasizes that people’s individual desires, fears, and neuroses are influenced and even created by the society in which they live. It is wrong... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Black Man and Psychopathology
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
...they encounter white society. Fanon includes several passages by Freud in which Freud argues that neuroses are normally the result of not one but multiple traumas. Freud also explains that people... (full context)
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Desire, Aspiration, and Competition Theme Icon
...racism, they do repress the issue of race. It is easy to feel as if neuroses are an inevitable part of human existence, but this is actually not true. Fanon argues... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Black Man and Recognition
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Self-Image and Self-Hatred Theme Icon
Desire, Aspiration, and Competition Theme Icon
Fanon includes a quotation by Alfred Adler arguing that neuroses are shaped around a “fictitious goal” which dictates the behavior of the sufferer. Fanon wishes... (full context)
Colonialism, Diaspora, and Alienation Theme Icon
Material vs. Psychological Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Self-Image and Self-Hatred Theme Icon
Desire, Aspiration, and Competition Theme Icon
...is insufficient to describe the situation of Antilleans. The whole of the Antilles is “a neurotic society, a comparison society.” Fanon argues that the idea of “overcompensation” can be applied to... (full context)