More Whale…


When the parents’ unity is sundered, when they are no longer one entity for the children, each child clings to a different parent. But because the right relationship has been severed, each child develops an unhealthy attachment to the parent they favor. Walt attempts to become the Lothario his father never was, and even tries to hate his mother for the pain she’s caused Dad. Frank, who sides with Mom, can’t try to imitate her – she’s a woman. He can’t even look like her – he’s got Dad’s bone structure, and it makes him miserable to hear it. So he starts seeking another kind of unity with her: sexual. It starts with masturbating to the torn-out photograph, but by the end, he’s laying out her underwear on the bed… Both kids are like little wounded animals. It’s heartbreaking.

Another great aspect – none of the breaks are clean. Frank still plays ping-pong with Dad, even though he doesn’t want to. Walt eventually admits to missing Mom – she’s his happy memory. Mom keeps Dad’s books on the shelf, and calls Dad’s father. Dad drags Mom down every chance he gets, but still aches for reconciliation.

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