How Does Festen Covey Family Denial?

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Throughout Festen the element of family denial is clearly highlighted through the events that occur within the play and the way that each character deals with the events that have taken place or the issues that have been discussed. The denial seems to badly affect the family and create some distance in each of their relationship’s with each other. Firstly, there is the prominent issue that the whole family has hidden away their memory of Helge took his ‘baths’. This is a clear insight into the fact that Helge raped his children so often when they were young. The denial shines through in the form of the reaction from the family. The lack of surprise or reaction from the guests or other members of the family suggests that they all already know and have decided to bury these feelings or emotions away. This family denial is further emphasised by the private exchange between Helge and Christina in which Christian apologises for what he had previously said. Helge suggests that ‘you (Christian) ought to call the police’ yet Christian says ‘it’s nothing. Just forget it.’ This denial following a serious accusation shows the extent to which the family members have denied the past situation. This denial is a prime example of the twisted way in which the family goes about this issue. Helge suggests that Christian he contacts the police to report his father, yet Christian turns it down and instead keeps says that it should be forgotten. Family denial is also conveyed in the form of Else who clearly sides with her husband over the issue. Having been accused of knowing about the events since Christians states that she ‘saw your (her) husband without his trousers on’ and ‘that you saw your child on his knees’. Although she plainly saw what happened with her own eyes she decides to deny all of this and instead say that she ‘would like to thank my (her) husband. For the way

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