CriticaLink | Lacan: The Mirror Stage | Terms


In German, Innenwelt refers to the "inner world"; in Lacan's usage, it contrasts with the Umwelt--"environment" or "surroundings"-- to suggest the mental experience of "interiority" that accompanies the "I" formed in the mirror stage. This Innenwelt sometimes manifests itself in dreams through images of fortresses and other protected, enclosed spaces. It is related to the concepts of the imago, which provides its imaginary boundaries, and of the fragmented body, which constitutes a perpetual threat to the vulnerable interior space of the body the "I" occupies.