Familial Delusions In Woodrow Wilson's Necktie '

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Familial Delusions An analysis of canon crime fiction provides evidence of a correlation between familial issues and certain forms of mental illness. These factors are often shown to work in conjunction to manifest in criminal behavior. Crime literature repeatedly connects illegal acts with delusion, based upon strange relationships between perpetrators and their mothers. These plotlines regularly leave the culpability of the crimes in question and allow for a thoughtful analysis of how society views guilt. It is apparent in “Woodrow Wilson’s Necktie,” by Highsmith, that Clive’s mental troubles are exacerbated by the actions of his mother. The first of these actions is disclosed in the family’s description, in the passage that begins, “Clive…show more content…
The passage in which this relationship is exposed begins when Colin’s mother returns home to find her son acting as the wolf. Before his mother has said anything, Colin describes the abnormality of their relationship perfectly by stating that his mother may be his “other self” (Rendell 163). This concept of multiple selves is a strange idea for a person to hold. While it is true that one’s mother may be a confidant, it is not common for a son to see his mother and he as mirror images. This personality-based delusion explains perfectly how Colin escapes into the persona of the wolf. This passage reveals that Colin may have a true problem understanding reality. The man’s inability to distinguish boundaries between himself and others eventually forms a mind that can rationalize murder as a predatory instinct. This mindset is implied to have been formed over the years that Colin lived at home with his mother. Throughout the work, supporting characters such as Moira comment on the two’s strange relationship. Its nature is truly revealed in this scene of supposed embarrassment, when instead of being shocked, Colin’s mother is warm and inviting. Even at this progressed stage in her son’s delusion, Colin’s mother has the ability to reform her son’s behavior. Instead of doing so, she encourages his abnormal behavior and asks, “Are you going all loopy” (Rendell 163)? It is this support coupled with a strange childhood that push Colin to blur the link between his human and animal
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