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Frustration is, preeminently, the realm of the demand or claim, except that there can never be any possibility of obtaining satisfaction. Indeed, in the case of frustration the lack takes the form of imaginary harm. The object of the frustration, however, is itself entirely real. The penis is the prototype of such an object, and it is certainly with frustration that the little girl ex-periences its absence. More generally, the child experiences the mother's lack of a penis as a frustration.
In privation, on the other hand, it is the lack that is real. Lacan designates this type of lack as a hole in the real. But the object of privation is a symbolic object.
Finally, in castration, the lack involved is symbolic, since it concerns the incest taboo, the symbolic reference par excellence. It is this that makes the paternal function operative in governing the child's access to the symbolic order. The lack signified by castration is above all, as Lacan puts it, a symbolic debt. But in castration the object that is lacking is radically imaginary and can never be a real object. This imaginary object of castration is, of course, the phallus.
The word frustration, now in common usage, refers to the state of someone who denies himself, or who is denied, drive satisfaction.
* ——. (1977).Écrits: A selection (Alan Sheridan, Trans.). New York: Norton.
* ——. (1994). Le seminaire. Book 4: La relation d'objet (1956-1957). Paris: Seuil.
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[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]

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