As explained in my post from earlier, Damon Salvatore has a lot of issues. The girl he loves fell hard for his brother, he manages to screw everything up and has a nasty habit of killing those close to him somehow. So what does a psychoanalytical criticism have to do with it? Everything.
The whole ordeal of Psychoanalysis deals with Freud’s theories of subconscious desires, thoughts and antagonisms. “Freudian interpretation is popularly thought to be a matter of attributing sexual connotations to objects, so that towers and ladders, for instance, are seen as phallic symbols.” But it’s not just about sexual thoughts and penis jokes. Freud also argues that suppression of incidents or feelings rear their ugly heads in varying ways. ” The underlying assumption is that when some wish, fear, memory, or desire is difficult to face we may try to cope with it by repressing it, that is, eliminating it from the conscious mind. But this doesn’t make it go away: it remains alive in the unconscious, like radioactive matter buried beneath the ocean, and constantly seeks a way back into the conscious mind, always succeeding eventually.”
Damon Salvatore however, doesn’t fit the typical male statute of sexual repression within the subconscious. Instead, he falls prey to Freud’s female statute. “…women’s sexuality is based upon feelings of narcissism, masochism, and passivity, and the idea that they suffer from an innate form of inferiority complex known as ‘penis envy'”. In such, females are presented with the analysis that sexual abuse (or romantic encounters within the guidelines) are actually projections of female fantasies.
Damon Salvatore is then introduced within the framework with his relationship and interactions with Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce. Time after time he is lead on by both girls, and time after time, rejected. Either with sexual advances or romantic leads, he is shut down like blockbuster after Netflix made it big.
He projects his ideas of a fulfilling relationship and love life onto these two women through his constant pressure of sexual innuendos and persistent romantic intentions. This fantasy, that everything will work out and be merry, is the drive in which his sexual and romantic abuse takes hold.
So, all in all, Damon does have an excuse as to why he doesn’t just give up.