The Father as a Dominant Figure in John McGahern’s The Dark

Sabrya H. Albalawi


The aim of this article is to investigate the role of the father figure in John McGahern’s novel, The Dark. Accordingly, the researcher attempts to examine the relationships between fathers and sons, and the psychological impact of dominant father figures on their children. For the theoretical framework of the study, the researcher draws on the father/ child Relationship in psychology. The analytical approach is employed to analyse the father’s actions and attitudes towards his family members. Through a close reading of the text, the researcher reaches the conclusion that the father figure in the novel is portrayed as a dominant and oppressive force, leading to the protagonist’s psychological and emotional struggles.

The concepts of dominant and oppressive forces are often discussed in various fields, including sociology, politics, and cultural studies. These terms are used to describe power dynamics and the ways in which certain individuals, groups, or institutions exert control over others. The presence of a dominant father figure can significantly shape the identity and development of the characters, especially if the narrative unfolds within a family context. The expectations, values, and behaviours imposed by the dominant father can influence how individuals perceive themselves and their roles in the world. This impact might lead to internal conflicts and struggles for autonomy. Psychological abuse has been linked with negative outcomes such as impaired emotional, social, and cognitive development, including helplessness, aggression, emotional unresponsiveness and neuroticism.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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