Bad News (Patrick Melrose) Symbols & Objects

Aubyn, Edward St.
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Drugs

Drugs symbolize Patrick’s simultaneous desires to cause himself harm and to distract himself from emotional pain. Patrick’s drug addictions appear to have resulted in part from the emotional damage wrought by years of abuse from his father. Over the course of the novel, Patrick recklessly uses drugs as a way of reliving himself of emotional pain and indulging his self-destructive urges.

David’s Remains

David’s remains symbolize Patrick’s turbulent and unresolved emotions towards his father. After Patrick learns of his father’s death, he struggles with all of the painful, conflicting, unresolved emotions he has regarding his father. David’s remains serve as a reminder of the possibility that Patrick will never be able to reconcile with his father and thus may never be able to resolve these feelings.

Eye Patch

Patrick’s eye patch symbolizes Patrick’s attempts to hide the...

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This section contains 708 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bad News (Patrick Melrose) Study Guide
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