16 Oct. 2014
The Fallacies of Domination
The father in “Cleanness”, a short by James Lasdun in his book It’s Beginning to Hurt, exhibits corruptive fatherly love. The father in this story is insecure. He depends on one of his few social relationships. That is why he adopts an excessively paternalistic and authoritarian approach when dealing with his son, including controlling the various aspects of his son’s daily live. This essay will therefore apply Erich Fromm’s notion of Authoritarian Personality to explain the controlling attribute of the father and how this results in the corruptive fatherly love that he exhibits towards his son that ultimately deters his son’s maturation process, psychologically, emotionally and socially.
Witnessing or even personally experiencing paternalism in my life cause me to get used to parent screen their children’s life. The future is what the parents are mostly concern; hence they screen their children’s life in the will of them. Imposing parental thinking to the controlled (children) makes the controlled who are asked to be independent become more dependent to the controller (parents). As the controlled mentally growing, it creates a physical isolation but mental dependence which triggers the confliction between controller and the controlled. Once the relationship between parents and children break, mostly it’s unable to be reconstructed.
The father in “Cleanness” is in reality a cipher acknowledged by Professor McMahon who’s disconnected from outside world despite he is trying to disguise himself by expressing hanyconcerns over others. But, these concerns are not genuine. These concerns are his means to control his son. The fatherly love in “Cle...
... middle of paper ...
...he inability to establish healthy social relationship, the authoritarian (the father) tries to forge symbiotic relationships by exerting control over other (e.g. the son). Nevertheless, this practice prevents the son from undergoing proper maturation. Hence that the fatherly love as exhibited in the story “Cleanness” is actually detrimental to the son Roland. In conclusion, both the controller and the controlled are beginning to hurt.
Fromm, Erich “Notion of Authoritarian Personality” Deutsche Universitatszeotung.
marxists.org. 2011. Web: 13 Oct, 2014 .
McMahon, Jeffry. “It’s Beginning to Hurt lessons”. Herculodge. 2014. Web. 13 Oct, 2014
Lasdun, James .It’s Beginning to Hurt.Picador. New York: 2009. Print.
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