Select Page

Wild Children, Wild Language Theories: Lacan’s View of the Signifier through an Analysis of Kaspar Hauser and Victor of Aveyron

This article illustrates Lacan’s theory of language and the signifier using the story of two feral children. It is first argued that the failure to educate Victor of Aveyron to become a subject is related to the inaccuracy of his educator’s theory of language. The function of language is not to communicate one’s needs, nor is it the signifier’s function to refer to an object. The signifier only refers to other signifiers and it signifies absence. It is in that way that it raises an infant to be a cultural being. It was this process that guaran¬teed the socializing and subjectification of the second feral child, Kaspar Hauser.