The Oedipal complex is an idea from Freudian psychoanalysis that male children unconsciously desire to kill their fathers and sleep with their mothers. The name “Oedipal complex” is a reference to the myth of Oedipus, immortalized in Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex. In the story, an oracle issues a prophecy that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. Although Oedipus and others take steps to try to prevent the prophecy from coming true, he ends up fulfilling it unwittingly. In Kafka on the Shore, Kafka and others, including Oshima, draw parallels between Kafka’s story and Oedipus’s because Kafka’s father delivered a prophecy that Kafka would kill his father and sleep with his mother and sister. Kafka is aware of the Oedipal story and haunted by the thought that he, too, will be unable to escape his own prophecy.
Oedipal Complex Quotes in Kafka on the Shore
The Kafka on the Shore quotes below are all either spoken by Oedipal Complex or refer to Oedipal Complex. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Kafka on the Shore published in 2006.).
Chapter 21 Quotes
“My father told me there was nothing I could to escape this fate. That prophecy is like a timing device buried inside my genes, and nothing can ever change it. I will kill my father and be with my mother and sister.”