Bad News (Patrick Melrose) Themes & Motifs

Aubyn, Edward St.
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Emotional Trauma

Patrick’s character arc and general state of mind are heavily defined by a mixture of recent and less recent trauma; the narrative depicts the causes and effects of these traumas as both integral and destructive parts of Patrick’s life experience. The novel’s opening scenes contain allusions to both major sources of trauma in Patrick’s life, namely the abuse he suffered for years from his father, and the more recent shock of his father’s death. On one hand, Patrick hates his father due to the years of abuse that David inflicted upon Patrick. The narrative makes allusions to David’s abuse throughout the novel, and such abuse is also highly visible in Never Mind, the previous book in the series. Moreover, the narrative also emphasizes the fact that Patrick also feels some loyalty and emotional dependence towards his father, and thus...

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This section contains 2,618 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bad News (Patrick Melrose) Study Guide
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