The Taught Dance By Justin Torres

1600 WordsJul 28, 20167 Pages
The Taught “Dance” of Generations For many, the relationship they form with their parents establishes the standard for how the majority of their other connections will cultivate in their life. According to psychologist Sigmund Freud, these relationships -whether positive or negative- have a tremendous impact on how people comport themselves with others later in life. Additionally, the relationships maintained with ones’ parental figures become somewhat of a mirror of how one will act themselves in their adult life, any sort of trauma experienced during childhood can compromise your behavior. This Freudian analysis is apparent in the novel, We the Animals by Justin Torres. “Paps” as his own children tenderly refer him, is suggested to have experienced parental abuse as a child. In turn, although he undoubtedly loves his children for continuing to be a part of their lives for so long when he has had the opportunity to leave, he evidently persists with the abuse he has faced as his mannerisms display a strong id and superego. He also passes it down to his own children, unconsciously. His two eldest sons, Manny and Joel begin to display more violent tendencies as the novel progresses and are seemingly on their way towards acting like their father, the cycle of abuse repeating itself. In the novel it is suggested that the way the father treats his own children might be learned behavior. In one of the few truly contented moments in the novel, Paps dances along with his three boys

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