the oral retentive smokes them; the anal retentive shreds them

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
His small pink fingers plucked at the thin cigarette paper, spilling out neat little cones of golden-brown tobacco.
<…>
Better to let the imagination run on a free rein while this boredom went on. He was trying to give up smoking. The oral retentive smokes them; the anal retentive shreds them.
Source: Firestarter by Stephen King
Context: This scene is taking place at the lecture hall in Harrison’s combined Psychology/ Sociology building. The described character is Dr Wanless. Andrew is bored with all the questions. He is letting his imagination run on a free rein about Dr Wanless’s bizarre habit of breaking up cigarettes.

What does the lexical cluster in bold actually mean in simple language?

Glossary:

retentive: have the ability to remember.

a·nal-re·ten·tive
adj. Psychology
Indicating personality traits, such as meticulousness, avarice, and obstinacy, originating in habits, attitudes, or values associated with infantile pleasure in retention of feces.

Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    As you understand each word, this is more a question about Freudian Psychoanalysis than language:
    Oral stage - Wikipedia
    Theoretically, oral-stage fixations are manifested as garrulousness (talkativeness), smoking, continual oral stimulus (eating, chewing objects), and alcoholism. Psychologically, the symptoms include a sarcastic, oral sadistic personality, nail biting, oral sexual practices (fellatio, cunnilingus, analingus, irrumatio), et cetera.[citation needed].
     
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