II: THE CASE STUDY OF THE ORPHAN
In order to understand the psychological impact of the Orphan, we must consider the Orphan as independent of any single narrative. The unreality of the Orphan must be augmented through a removal of the Orphan from the context of the novel or film into the context of one’s own imagination. When isolated from a narrative context, the Orphan is available for a more intimate relationship. In this process, one internalizes the agencies of the Orphan in an attempt to approximate these agencies into one’s own life. This interiority of empathic understanding by the individual for the Orphan often intensifies into an obsession. When the obsession affects growth and self-perception for the individual, it is said that the individual has become host to the agencies of the Orphan. This psychological phenomenon is termed The Agency of the Orphan.
Agency of Orphan : [ ey-juhn-see / uhv / awr-fuhn ]
noun: a common psychological process found in adults and children alike whereby a given individual develops as an individual through identification with a fictional child character lacking parents or parental models.
abbrv.: A of O (colloquial)
In its use of a fictional protagonist as the emblem of a psychological condition the A of O follows the traditions of psychoanalytic theoretical classifications like the Oedipal and Electra Complexes. However, the Agency of the Orphan is a process of active pursuit rather than circumstantial reckoning. The psychological toll of the cultural obsession with the Orphan manifests in the individual exclusively through a process of deliberate action and conscious change.
The Agency of the Orphan should be considered as a process of human development. Unlike puberty or dementia, it does not take place in a logical course of linear time. Nor is the A of O an inevitable stage of growth that will be felt by all people. For the millions of people who have been host to the A of O, the experience of identification with the Orphan manifests intermittently throughout an entire lifetime.