Negative Parent-Child Relationships

1610 Words 7 Pages
People are social beings. An individual's life is, therefore, shaped according to his or her relationships with others. A child forms his or her identity and attitude towards the world through his or her relationship with his or her parents. When these relationships are loving, encouraging and overall positive, the child will in nearly all cases grow up to be a confident person, with high self-esteem and the capacity to form healthy connections with others. However, not all family relations are warm. Negative or non-existent parent-child relationships can lead to the child's different discipline and social problems, from defiance and violent behaviour to loss of confidence and alcoholism. These problems often stay present throughout the child’s …show more content…
For example, in Long Day’s Journey into Night, Tyrone continuously tells Jamie that he has no ambition in life, that he is a horrible influence on his brother and accuses him of being lazy. Even when Jamie volunteers to help with the hedge, Tyrone unkindly turns him down, saying “You’d get it crooked, as you get everything else” (O’Neill 83). In addition, Mary blames him for his father’s drinking and his older brother’s death, which further damages the relationship between Jamie and his parents. Consequently, Jamie has lost his confidence - he has no job, no apparent plans for his future and for comfort he turns to alcohol and women. It seems as though his family has given up on him and in turn, he has given up on himself. Similar to his brother, Edmund does not believe in himself and his abilities. Mary partially blames him for her addiction and Tyrone deems money to be more important than his son’s health. Under these circumstances, Edmund has lost his spirit. He does not want to live the life he is living: “That’s what I wanted – to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself” (O’Neill 133) He even tried to commit suicide but failed. In Fences, Cory, similarly, loses faith in himself because of his father. Troy ruined his son’s opportunity to become a professional footballer when he prohibited Cory from …show more content…
Alcohol plays an important part in Long Day’s Journey into Night, as the men constantly drink. Both Jamie and Edmund show signs of alcoholism. For example, they hide their imbibing from their father by adding water to the whiskey bottle or feign that they were not drinking at all, like Edmund in Act Two, Scene One: “He grabs the bottle and pours a drink […] he hears someone coming in the front door. He puts the glass hastily on the tray and sits down again” (O’Neill 55). Tyrone is partially to blame for his children’s drinking, as he gave them whiskey as medicine when they were babies. Be that as it may, their alcoholism fully developed as a coping mechanism to forget Mary’s addiction. Jamie started consuming alcohol excessively after Edmund’s birth when his mother first came to be addicted to morphine, and Edmund makes the reason for his drinking clear to Tyrone: “Well, what’s wrong with being drunk? It’s what we’re after, isn’t it? Let’s not kid each other, Papa. Not tonight. We know what we’re trying to forget” (O’Neill 134). On the other hand, in Fences, Cory does not resort to liquor as a form of escape, but he is affected by his father’s alcoholism. When Troy drinks, he becomes violent and is easily provoked. For instance, toward the end of the play, Cory comes home to a drunken Troy sitting in front

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