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Tales of the "Fatherson": The Son's Rejection and Renewal of the Father in American Narrative
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Futurehealth Plenary Talk by Al Collins I will discuss an archetypal pattern in American fiction and film, that of the son who rebels against his father, often shaming or even killing the old man but potentially also redeeming the father and giving him new life. In Nicholas Ray's 1950s cult film classic, "Rebel without a Cause" and in Mark Twain's great novel, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" we see this archetype fully realized, but its structure can be found in most American fiction (as well as American religion, philosophy, and other aspects of culture).
America has from the beginning been a culture ambivalent about the patriarchy. Rebelling against King George was only one episode in the antiauthoritarian genesis of New World social attitudes and practices. From Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Walt Whitman down to the Beats and Hippies of postwar years, the anti-patriarch has been a dominant hero figure in American writing. In film, two of the most important American genres--Westerns and detective stories--center on men who reject and rebel against--but at times rejuvenate--the world of the "fathers." I will discuss one film--Nicholas Ray's "Rebel without a Cause" and one novel, Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" to illustrate how sons reject their fathers and father figures, but can sometimes also redeem them, with consequences for the psyches of both individuals. The elements of the stories I will discuss are very widespread in American fiction (including music and drama as well as writing and films) and can be said to constitute an American archetype.


Author: Al Collins

Al Collins has Ph.D.s in two fields, Indian studies and clinical psychology. His professional and scholarly work involves integrating these areas. A neurofeedback practitioner for eight years, he has published widely in Indian psychology, Jungian psychology, psychoanalysis, mens' psychology, and the psychology of film.

Other Products by Al Collins

1) Mindfulness and Neurofeedback: Integral Treatment of ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression
2) Quantum Yoga & Neurophysiology of Freedom
3) The Alpha Self: Where am I in the Field of the Brain
4) Buddhism, the Yogic Self, and Neurofeedback
5) The Big Bang: Enlightment and the Brain.

MP3 (20 mins)   $7.00
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