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A lover who is Italian might be represented by an Alfa Romeo car).Lacan says that this is the same as metonymy, the part standing for the whole.His oeuvre reveals a great influence of Parisian figures like the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss and the linguists Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson.
The mirror stage played a crucial role in the dissemination of Lacanian ideas in film and cultural studies (formations proposed by Jean Louis Baudry, Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey‘s concept of male gaze etc.).
At the “symbolic stage” (based, on which, Kristeva formulated her concept of the “semiotic”), the child enters the language system, concerned with lack and separation, since language names what is not present and substitutes a linguistic sign for it.
Further he argues that the two dreamwork mechanisms identified by Freud, condensation and displacement correspond to the basic poles of language identified by the linguist Roman Jakobson, i.e, metaphor and metonymy.
In metonymy one thing represents another by means of the part standing for the whole (For eg. In Freudian dream interpretation, an element in a dream might stand for something else by displacement (For eg.
Lacan’s foregrounding of the unconscious lends to his speculation of the mechanism whereby an individual emerges into consciousness.
Before the sense of self emerges, the young child exists in a realm, which Lacan calls the imaginary (pre-Oedipal), in which there is no distinction between the self and the other and there is an idealized identification with the mother.
The ego is essentially a terrain of conflict and discord, a site of continual struggle.
What Lacan refers to as a “lack of being” (which is considered as a cause of desire and is manipulated well by consumer capitalism) is the ontological gap (a notion critiqued by Deleuze and Guattari in their Anti Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia) or the primary loss at the very core of our subjectivity.
The ego is both formed by and takes its form from the organizing and constituting properties of the image.
Lacan insists that the ego is based on an illusory image of the wholeness and mastery (as the child in the mirror stage cannot wholly gain mastery and control over its body, in spite of its sense of bodily anatomy and in that sense still fragmented) and it is the function of the ego to maintain this illusion of coherence and mastery.