1                                  In the Mind of an Assassin: Lee Harvey Oswald        This paper reviews the existing li...
2                                 in raising kids. According to Bugliosi, Lee Oswald’s brother                            ...
3Ekdahl, an engineer who brought the family out of economic hardship. In the beginning, itlooked as though Ekdahl was a su...
4seven traits of Oswald the Marxist--secretiveness, gullibility, deviousness, ability to plan indetail, monstrous self-est...
5Gus Russo and Stephen Molton argue in “Did Castro OK the Kennedy Assassination?” that LeeOswald’s dedication to Castro an...
6instability led to a constant paranoia where he felt society was against him. Lee Oswald’strouble making in school, run-i...
7of every need presents itself as the most enticing method of conducting one’s life, but it meansputting enjoyment before ...
8revolt will be produced in him or a neurosis, or he will be made unhappy.”39 Even though thecultural super ego gives safe...
9through messages of democracy and progress, which kept Americans oblivious to thegovernment’s real intentions.         Fr...
10other people’s written testimonies and opinions and goes deeper into the mind of Oswaldhimself, into the mind of the ass...
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In The Mind Of The Assassin

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A literature review on the existing academic works about Lee Harvey Oswald and also a Freudian psychoanalytical look into his childhood and adolescence.

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In The Mind Of The Assassin

  1. 1. 1 In the Mind of an Assassin: Lee Harvey Oswald This paper reviews the existing literature on the life Lee Harvey Oswald, the allegedassassin of President John F. Kennedy, leading up to the assassination in Dallas. Although therehave been numerous books written about Lee Oswald, the ones that will be reviewed haveresearched deeply into the main, credible sources. These sources include Lee Oswald’s diariesand extensive writing and the Warren Commission, made up almost entirely of closed sessioninterviews with the people closest to Lee Oswald. The books that will be reviewed give adetailed background of the life of Lee Oswald, investigating aspects of his life that turned himinto the young adult he was. The existing literature focuses on four different topics: his parentalrelationships during his childhood, disillusionment with the U.S. government, his commitment toMarxism, and mental disease. The events that took place in each stage of Lee Oswald’s lifechanged him as a person, and many of the authors attribute these events to the personality andcharacteristics that would ultimately lead to the assassination of an U.S. president. Authors focus on many different reasons as to why Lee Oswald allegedly killed JFK,some claiming his commitment to Marxism, some blaming a tumultuous childhood, and othersconsidering mental disease. Today, as authors and historians research deeper into Lee Oswald’sdiaries and testimonies from the people closest to him, there is evidence of all three. The twogroundbreaking, brilliantly comprehensive books about Lee Oswald leading up to theassassination are Vincent Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F.Kennedy and Norman Mailer’s Oswald’s Tale. Bugliosi’s 1,600 page behemoth presents acomprehensive look at Lee Oswald’s entire life, including every detail of his childhood, time inRussia, and return to the U.S.. Mailer mixes interviews, testimony, and analysis to “greatlysurprise readers who have thought of Oswald as a hapless loner: socially awkward, inarticulate,and an unremarkable loser.”1 Of the many books written about Lee Harvey Oswald’s life, eachauthor analyzes different stages and events throughout his life and how those may have moldedhim into an alleged assassin. I recognize there are many other works concerning whetherOswald actually did kill Kennedy or if he was apart of a larger conspiracy, but the purpose of thispaper is to review the existing literature on Oswald and his life leading up to November 22,1963, that may have led to his alleged assassination of Kennedy. I. Parental Relationships Bugliosi cites a New York social worker who was assigned to a young Lee Oswald,summing up what many authors see as one of Lee Oswald’s main problems faced as a child -- therelationship with his mother Marguerite. Evenlyn Strickman concluded that Lee Oswald’sdifficulties stemmed from his relationship with his mother. She said that Marguerite alwayscared for his material needs, she never was very involved with him or concerned with whathappened to him.2 The relationship between Lee Oswald and Marguerite was a tumultuous one. When LeeOswald was three, Marguerite turned to the Bethlehem Children’s Home that aided single parents1 Norman Mailer, Oswalds Tale (New York: Random House, 1995), 1.2 Vincent Bugliosi, Reclaiming History (New York: Norton, 2007), 533.
  2. 2. 2 in raising kids. According to Bugliosi, Lee Oswald’s brother Robert thought Marguerite considered all of her boys a tribulation to her; “certainly by age three he had sense that, you know, we were a burden.”3 Marguerite’s neglect of Lee Oswald continued through his youth, which led to many major warning signals of the type of person Lee Oswald was beginning to become. Bugliosi tells the anecdote of a neighbor of Marguerite, Otis R. Carlton, who visited the Oswald house when Lee Oswald was twelve and an incident that happened between Lee and his brother John. According to Carlton, “He was chasing John through the kitchen door brandishing a long butcher knife. He threw the knife at John but missed, hitting the wall. Marguerite passed it off by saying, ‘They have these little scuffles all the time...Don’t worry about it.’”4 Lee Harvey Oswald in 1952 According to Mailer, Lee Oswald also witnessed the tempestuous relationship between Marguerite and her two husbands. Marguerite’sattitude towards Lee Oswald changed many differenttimes depending on the family’s economic security,especially bad when Marguerite’s marriages would fallapart.5 According to John, “There’s no doubt theturmoil in the household had its effect on LeeOswald.”6 Both Mailer and Bugliosi see Marguerite asan important person is the molding of Lee Oswald.Her relationship with him and the way she raised him,sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentionalmade his childhood a roller coaster. His childhood,being raised by a forgetful, single mother is summedup in a diary entry written by Lee Oswald himself:“The son of a Insurance Salesman whose early deathleft a far mean streak of independence brought on byneglect.”7 Bugliosi and Mailer also attribute LeeOswald’s childhood problems with his paternalrelationships. Lee Oswald’s father died two monthsbefore Lee Oswald was born, leaving him without afather figure for the first five years of his life. Duringthis time, the family faced economic difficulties, withMarguerite living off life insurance money for years.8When Lee Oswald was six, Marguerite married Edwin Edwin Ekdahl and Marguerite Oswald in 19573 Ibid., 513.4 Ibid., 523.5 Mailer, 358.6 Bugliosi, 521.7 Ibid., 515.8 Ibid.
  3. 3. 3Ekdahl, an engineer who brought the family out of economic hardship. In the beginning, itlooked as though Ekdahl was a sufficient father figure for a young Lee Oswald. John said, “Ithink Lee Oswald found in him the father he never had. He had treated us real good and I amsure that Lee Oswald felt the same way.”9 A short time later, Marguerite separated from Ekdahlafter finding out he was in an affair. Again, Lee Oswald was left without a father in his life. The psychological report done by Dr. Renatus Hartogs in 1953 sheds light on aprofessional’s assessment of Lee Oswald’s childhood. Hartogs recommended that, “he should beplaced on probation under the condition that he should be treated by a male psychiatrist whocould substitute for the lack of a father figure.”10 Bugliosi argues that lack of a father figureimpacted Lee Oswald through its “existing emotional isolation and deprivation, lack of affection,and absence of family life.”11 According to both Bugliosi and Mailer, the lack of a strong,consistent father figure made Lee Oswald’s childhood a lost, neglected one, lacking the guidancehe needed to cope with all the family problems he faced throughout his youth. II. Disillusionment with U.S. Government Lee Oswald’s protest against the U.S. government began in 1953 when he received apamphlet to free the convicted Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. According to one of histeachers: “he has consistently refused to salute the flag during early morning exercises,” which isthought by many authors to be the beginning of Lee Oswald’s opposition to the U.S. andtransformation into a Marxist.12 Although the previous authors argued Lee Oswald’s childhoodas a cause of the person he would become, most authors have argued that Lee Oswald’sdisillusionment with the U.S. government is the reason he assassinated Kennedy. In The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: The Reasons Why, Albert Newman argues thatLee Oswald’s commitment to the USSR and anti-U.S. views motivated him to assassinateKennedy. Newman makes the argument that, “as a Marxist, he believed in the historicalinevitability of communism’s triumph,” where the communist movement would eventually bevictorious after a global revolution. 13 With Lee Oswald’s commitment to this idea, Newmanargues “as a would-be activist, he felt an urge to find a place in the history of the ‘struggle’ forthat victory,” where Lee Oswald’s role in the revolution would be to assassinate Kennedy, whohe saw as a threat to the revolution.14 Newman also argues many different characteristics of Lee Oswald that made him verysusceptible to communist ideas and are responsible for his anti-U.S. beliefs. Newman says thatLee Oswald was extremely gullible, “believing every word of Marx and the Communistpropaganda he devoured.”15 Newman also argues that Lee Oswald had a “pridefulignorance...considering himself an expert in fields of knowledge in which he did not even knowenough to realize the extent of his ignorance.”16 Lee Oswald was stubborn and set in his ways,never questioning his own beliefs. Newman sums up his view by arguing “I submit that these9 Mailer, 358.10 Bugliosi, 535.11 Ibid.12 Albert Newman, The Reasons Why (New York: Crown Publishers, 1970), 15.13 Newman, 175.14 Ibid.15 Ibid., 188.16 Ibid., 189.
  4. 4. 4seven traits of Oswald the Marxist--secretiveness, gullibility, deviousness, ability to plan indetail, monstrous self-esteem, opportunism, and fanaticism are accurately what formed thebackground of the assassin’s capacity to risk all in cruel and irresponsible actions.”17 Lastly, Newman looks at the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and connects it to theassassination a year later. Anti-U.S. and Kennedy propaganda was a fallout from the crisis,which in Lee Oswald’s eyes, convinced him that Kennedy was a main threat. Lee Oswald was asupporter of Castro’s Revolutionary government, and after the U.S. quarantine and the Soviets’removal of their equipment, Lee Oswald saw this as a major blow to his beliefs and thecommunist revolution.18 In Not In Your Lifetime, Anthony Summers argues that Lee Oswald developed his distrustin the U.S. government while working as a radar operator in Japan in 1957. During this time,Summers says, “Oswald lived literally in the shadow of American intelligence operations.”19Due to Lee Oswald’s “secret” security clearance, which included knowledge of many U.S.intelligence gathering missions, Lee Oswald saw how the U.S. was operating against the USSR.Summers argues that this had an impact on Lee Oswald, causing him to develop a distrust of theU.S. government and the things they were doing behind the backs of the American public.During this time, Lee Oswald began to “openly flaunt Marxist convictions and Russophilia,”emphasizing his loyalty to the USSR.20 In the article “Castro’s Avenger,” journalist Daniel Schorr argues that Lee Oswaldassassinated Kennedy in retaliation to U.S. government plans to kill Fidel Castro. Schorr’sargument is based on Lee Oswald’s disillusionment with the U.S. government, but specificallylooks at one instance that may have actually motivated him to kill Kennedy. Seeing Castro as“an extended Soviet arm in the West,” the U.S. supported many different schemes to assassinateCastro, including enlisting the mafia by the CIA, poisoning Castro’s cigars, and recruiting rankedCuban officers as double agents.21 Schorrspecifically refers to an Associated Pressinterview with Castro, where he said, “ifU.S. leaders do not stop their attempts tokill Cuban leaders, they themselves willnot be safe.”22 Schorr’s conclusion is thatLee Oswald “may have read that interview,and when he shot Kennedy, he did it as theself-appointed avenger of his hero, FidelCastro.”23 Schorr is not the only writer whoclaims that Lee Oswald’s support of Castro Oswald handing out pro-Castro pamphlets in 1963motivated him to assassinate Kennedy.17 Ibid., 190.18 Ibid., 300.19 Anthony Summers, Not In Your Lifetime (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1998), 101.20 Ibid., 102.21 Daniel Schorr, “Castro’s Avenger,” New Leader 91, no. 1 (Jan/Feb 2008): 5.22 Ibid.23 Ibid.
  5. 5. 5Gus Russo and Stephen Molton argue in “Did Castro OK the Kennedy Assassination?” that LeeOswald’s dedication to Castro and his revolution motivated him to kill Kennedy. Russo andMolton cite a senior Cuban spy who went by “Oscar Marino,” who had known Lee Oswald andhad corroborated on the Cuban link to Oswald. In 2005, Marino said, “Oswald volunteered tokill Kennedy. He was so full of hatred that it gave him the idea. He wanted it himself [because]he hated his country. He was a solider of the revolution.”24 Basing their argument off ofMarino’s claim, Russo and Molton say that Oswald wanted to relieve the pressure on Castro and“end the secret war against the Castro brothers.”25 III. Mental Disease Lee Oswald’s mental stability is a topic that is often overlooked by authors due to thelack of evidence on the subject. In Accessories After The Fact, Sylvia Meagher looks at the waysthe Warren Commission avoided any conclusions on Lee Oswald’s mental health and whether itmay have contributed to his decision to assassinate Kennedy. Meagher criticizes the WarrenCommission “for failing to seek expert testimony from psychiatrists and for indulging inunqualified pronouncements about Oswald’smental balance and emotional problems.”26Meagher disagrees with the testimonies ofthe people closest to Lee Oswald; his wife,neighbors, coworkers, and fellow marines,that Lee Oswald was mentally stable and hadno potential for violence. Instead she claimsthat, because “he was not irrational,disturbed, or psychotic” and “without apersonal or political motive for assassinatingthe President,” then there is no way to claimhe killed Kennedy.27 Meagher goes againstthe other authors and says that Lee Oswaldmust have had some case of emotionalproblems and that his mental stabilitycontributed to the assassination. In The Oswald Affair, Léo Sauvagedescribes Lee Oswald as a “persecutedpsychopath,” who lived “in a constantatmosphere of hatred and suspicion, distrustand concealment.”28 Sauvage looks at boththe characteristics Lee Oswald displayed andhis actions and is able to label him as a Oswald in 1963 with his mail-order riflepersecuted psychopath. His mental24 Gus Russo and Stephen Molton, “Did Castro OK the Kennedy Assassination?,” American Heritage 58, no. 6 (Winter 2009): 27.25 Ibid., 28.26 Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1967), 243.27 Ibid., 246.28 Léo Sauvage, The Oswald Affair (New York: The World Publishing Company, 1966), 268.
  6. 6. 6instability led to a constant paranoia where he felt society was against him. Lee Oswald’strouble making in school, run-ins with opposition to his views, problems in the Marines, andfrustration with the U.S. may have led to this feeling that society was against him. Thus,Sauvage argues that the assassination was Lee Oswald’s desire to “kill someone who representsthat society to avenge themselves.”29 Sauvage mixes the argument that Lee Oswald had becomedisillusioned with American society with mental instability to show why Lee Oswald allegedlykilled Kennedy. The debate over why Lee Oswald allegedly assassinated Kennedy is still widely debated,some arguing different reasons he developed throughout his youth and young adult life, othersblaming outside forces. Microhistory and psychoanalysis are two of the many ways historiansand authors have studied Lee Oswald’s life, but a clear answer as to why Lee Oswald killedKennedy is up to interpretation of the events. The important part of the study of Lee Oswald isto understand how someone can develop the desire to assassinate the President and stress theimportance of recognizing the warning signs of a child. A fragment from the writings of LeeOswald emphasize his views developed throughout his life right up to the day of theassassination: “We have lived into a dark generation of tension and fear. I seek an alternative tothose systems which have brought them misery. I intend to put forward just such analternative.”30 IV. Freudian Theory Despite the extensive historical literature on Lee Harvey Oswald, historians have yet toapply the perspectives provided by the theoretical writings of Sigmund Freud to this topic. Freudwas a psychologist was interested in why people exhibited neurotic behaviors. To do so, Freudstudied the structure of the human mind, specifically the intangible structures, to try to betterunderstand why people exhibit neurotic behavior. This included the subconscious, what washappening in the unconscious mind. Throughout his Civilization and Its Discontents, Freudtakes a closer look at civilization and its relationship with the individual. Freud also looksclosely the individual’s relationship with himself, focusing on instincts and the conflictsindividuals face in their own minds. Freud’s idea of the Id, Ego, and Super Ego is his way to explain the individual’s strugglewith himself and explains why individuals are torn between their desires and their morals.Freud’s psychoanalysis looks at this and concludes that the Id channels one’s sexual anddestructive instincts along with its desires without identifying morals, ethics, or social norms. Tocounter this Id, the Super Ego is the right vs. wrong, ethical force. The Id is always makingdemands while the Super Ego opposes those demands, with the Ego stuck in the middle. ThatEgo represents the individual, one who is repeatedly forced to decide between desires andrestrictions. This theory explains why it is hard for the individual to decide between what theirinstinctual desire is telling them to do, in some cases putting their morals or their society’s socialnorm aside to do it. Freud is warning the individual of their own Id, making them aware of theirdesires that could be harmful to themselves or others when he states “an unrestricted satisfaction29 Ibid.30 Newman, 223.
  7. 7. 7of every need presents itself as the most enticing method of conducting one’s life, but it meansputting enjoyment before caution, and soon brings its own punishment.”31 This “enjoymentbefore caution” is Freud’s warning of the Id’s demands, putting the individual’s instincts beforeits safety. When somebody is trying to deal with their desires that may be against their society orown ethics and morals, it can be mentally harmful to them. Freud points out that this strugglebetween desire and restriction will always exist, but it shouldn’t make life meaningless. He saysthat there are “many paths which may lead to happiness as is attainible by men, but there is nonwhich does so for certain.”32 Even though Freud has a very gloomy view of nature and theexternal world, he offers a postive view on how to cope with this mental dillemna. He states that“we shall never completely master nature” and “we cannot remove all suffering” but “we canremove some, and we can mitigate some.”33 One way humans can cope with the pains of theworld is through love, both sexual and nonsexual. Love “creates new bonds with people whobefore were strangers,” bonds that help humans deal with the pains the reality principle brings. 34Freud offers another way to cope with the desires of their Id, through sublimation. People canuse their instinctive Id energy and redirect it to be innovative in cultural activity. To deal withthe pressures, Freud argues that people can “shift the instinctual aims in such a way that theycannot come up against frustration of the external world”, where they can use art, science, orfantasy through this creative energy.35 He states that some people do not possess this ability, butthey can still appreciate this art or science to deal with the frustrations. This temporarywithdrawl is effective for the individual in dealing with the reality principle. Freud alsointroduces the idea of “attemping to control our instinctual life”, meaning control the Id and itsdesires.36 By controlling these instincts, Freud means to protect against suffering by taming bothone’s ego and the effect of not satisfying their desires. When the ego is tamed, failure to satisfydesire is less painful because there is less reliance on being satisfied. By doing this, one can“master the internal sources of our needs” by “killing off the instincts”, ultimatly controlling theid’s desires.37 Freud also shows the problems of civilization by claiming even though a civilizationoffers protection from a threatening external world, there are many additional costs for thatprotection. Individuals have to give up personal freedoms and moral values when joining asociety. Once one is part of a society, that society puts moral commandments and rules based onthe good of the whole upon the individual. Freud calls this the Cultural Super Ego, somethingthat applies individual tactics on civilization and “issues a command and does not ask whether itis possible for people to obey it” while assuming he has “unlimited mastery over his id.”38 Freudsees this cultural super ego as a detriment to the individual because it demands too much fromthe individual. Freud states that too much demand from the authority of the cultural super ego “a31 Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (New York: Norton, 1961), 26-27.32 Ibid., 36.33 Ibid., 37.34 Ibid., 58.35 Ibid., 29.36 Ibid.37 Ibid., 28.38 Ibid., 108-109.
  8. 8. 8revolt will be produced in him or a neurosis, or he will be made unhappy.”39 Even though thecultural super ego gives safety and order to society, it has too much authority over thatcivilization, restricting its subjects to moral and ethical restrictions that thay individual may notbelieve in. Although this cultural super ego can control the individual’s agression in the form ofethical commands, these ethical commands are based on universal moral laws that may not applyto every individual equally. Lastly, Freud argues that agression and violence are instinctual components of who weare, fundamental to human nature. Freud views humans as originally animals, so theseanimalistic instincts still fuel the individual’s desires. Freud specifically looks at the relationshipbetween Eros, the desire for humans to create and sustain life, and Thanatos, a human’s instinctfor death and destruction. Part of human nature is the struggle between these two instincts. Theunconscious tells humans that they may have this death drive, convincing them that agressionand destructive acts are a way to escape the pressures of the world. Because of this agression,civilization finds a way to alter these animalistic natural forms of agression and control theseimpulses. According to Freud, “civilization obtains mastery over the individual’s dangerousdesire for aggression by weakening and disarming it.”40 Civilization controls the each individualto control the society as a whole. V. A Freudian Psychoanalytical Approach to Oswald How, then, might one apply Freud’s theories to the subject of Lee Harvey Oswald’smotives for assassinating President Kennedy? Using Freud’s ideas of the individual’s strugglewith both society and himself, human’s instinctual aggression, and the individual’s desire tobreak away from a restricting, dictating civilization, I propose that Oswald dealt with thesedifferent theories throughout his life, motivating him to assassinate Kennedy. Freud discussed the way society restricts its individuals to establish control over them.He argued that to be part of a society, individuals must give up certain rights and freedoms.Living as a supporter of Marxism in the U.S. during his life was not tolerated by the majority ofAmericans. In the mind of Oswald, American society was always against him. The heavilypublicized democratic, patriotic ideals that he saw as propaganda throughout the 1950s and 60srestricted Oswald of expressing his Marxist ideas. Oswald may have saw American society asthis dictating force that restricted him from expressing his views. To Oswald, this dictating forceand everything it represented was led by President Kennedy. To escape this restriction, Oswaldhad to remove the source of its power, Kennedy himself. Oswald was frustrated by the limitations forced upon him by American society, using hiswritings to vent this frustration. In many of his writings, Oswald expressed his anger with theU.S. government and American society, saying that he would much rather live in a place freefrom the American propaganda. Oswald’s view of the U.S.’s false identity paralleled Freud’sview of a powerful society, one that creates a masked illusion. To hold on to its power, thissociety presents itself as a free and progressive society, where its real intentions are notrecognized consciously. To Oswald, the U.S. masked its imperialistic motives and exploitation39 Ibid., 109.40 Ibid., 84.
  9. 9. 9through messages of democracy and progress, which kept Americans oblivious to thegovernment’s real intentions. Freud also argued that even though these restrictions are put upon members of a society,there are still ways for the individual to deal with those limitations. In many instancesthroughout Oswald’s life, he tried to deal with restrictions, whether it be in his childhood or adultlife, but those attempts to deal with the hardships of life usually failed. One way Freud says thatindividuals can deal with the pains of the world is through love. Oswald had many meaninglessrelationships with women in both the U.S. and the USSR, but finally met his wife, Marina, whileliving in Russia. However even his love with his wife was strained. According to Oswald’sdiary, Marina was often unsatisfied with Oswald sexually, causing problems in their marriage.This meant that Oswald lacked one important way to cope with the restrictions in his life. Freud also says that fantasy is a way for the individual to escape the pains of the world.In his diary, Oswald fantasized about a better world to live in, but when he would try to makethose fantasies a reality, he would find that they weren’t what he had imagined. During histumultuous childhood, Oswald had dreamt of joining the Marine Corps, idolizing his brotherRobert who had enlisted in the Marines. Although Oswald thought the Marines would be anescape from the restraints of his childhood, he realized the secrecy of the U.S. governmentleading to more disdain for the government. Oswald also fantasized of finding a better life in theUSSR, free from the American way of life. However, soon after he arrived in Russia, it was alsonot as he had dreamt it to be. In his diary, Oswald said he had grown bored life in Russiabecause the work was boring and there was not enough entertainment. Oswald had fantasized somany times to escape the situations he was living in, but was always disappointed of the realityof those fantasies. After trying to escape and withdraw from his society through fantasy and loveand continuously failing, Oswald turned to attempt to change it, assassinating Kennedy as a stepto change American society. Freud said that aggression and violence were fundamental of human nature and thathumans had a natural instinct for destruction and death. Individuals struggle between Eros, theinstinct to create life and sustain it, and Thanatos, the instinct for destruction. When theindividual loses the struggle and becomes more inclined to Thanatos, he turns against societyand is urged to destroy it. It can be argued that with Oswald, his unconscious may have told himthat he had this death wish, wanting to escape the pressures of the world. Thanatos pushedOswald to assassinate Kennedy, the symbol of a society that was trying to control him. Oswaldhad been pushed so far that he could no longer control his natural aggressions, leading to theassassination. Freud’s theories show the struggles the individuals have with both themselves andsociety. Oswald’s personal battle with his own instincts combined with his struggle againstsociety put him in a position where he needed to relieve the pressures of a society that had turnedagainst him. To better understand the motives of Oswald, Freud’s theory on the self and societyshed light on why the individual acts the way they do in a restrictive, dictating society. In conclusion, Freud’s theories on the individual’s struggle with himself and society isvaluable because it goes into the mind of the individual to try to understand why they act the waythey do. Though it does not justify Oswald’s decisions, it adds a certain complexity to hismotives, showing that there is not just one reason for the killing. This psychoanalysis looks past
  10. 10. 10other people’s written testimonies and opinions and goes deeper into the mind of Oswaldhimself, into the mind of the assassin. BibliographyBugliosi, Vincent. Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President Kennedy. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007.Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1961.Mailer, Norman. Oswalds Tale: An American Mystery. New York: Random House, 1995.Meagher, Sylvia. Accessories After the Fact: The Warren Commission, The Authorities, and The Report. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1967.Newman, Albert H.. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: The Reasons Why. New York: Crown Publishers, 1970.Russo, Gus and Stephen Molton. “Did Castro OK the Kennedy Assassination?” American Heritage 58, no. 6 (Winter 2009): 20-29.Sauvage, Léo. The Oswald Affair: An Examination of the Contradictions and Omissions of the Warren Report. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1966.Schorr, Daniel. “Castro’s Avenger.” New Leader 91, no. 1 (Jan/Feb 2008): 5-6.Summers, Anthony. Not In Your Lifetime. New York: Marlowe & Company, 1998.

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