Never Mind (Patrick Melrose) Themes & Motifs

Aubyn, Edward St.
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Never Mind.
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Familial Abuse

One of the most prominent aspects of the Melrose family is the presence of patriarchal abuse, and the novel repeatedly explores the idea that such abuse is perpetuated through a generational cycle, with each victim later transforming into an aggressor. For example, David Melrose is portrayed as generally sadistic and abusive, especially towards his family. While the novel never excuses or justifies his behavior, it does provide some insights into possible origins of David’s abusive personality. The novel gives a heavy emphasis on David’s relationship with his own father, an army general who apparently abhorred all forms of gentleness. In General Melrose’s mind, “Shooting men and animals were the occupations of a gentleman” (6), and he hated David’s interest in piano. General Melrose even disinherited David. The reader may infer that David was abused, at least emotionally, by his father, and this...

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This section contains 2,416 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Never Mind (Patrick Melrose) Study Guide
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