Parental Influence in Sharp Objects and The Silent Patient


  • Amuthavalli S VIT University
  • Saradha Rajkumar VIT University



parenting, traumas, psychosocial, social influences


This article employs Erikson's theory of psychosocial development to explore parental involvement through personality development in select novels. Parent-child relationships pose the most important need for a child's development. Children learn to understand the world around them only through parenting / care. Gillian Flynn’s The Sharp Objects and Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient are one of the modern thrillers of the current period. Here, both the authors paid the utmost attention in creating the characters with the postmodern details that makes the readers grasp the trauma faced by the characters. The female protagonists in the novels are found to face trauma created by their own parents. Here it brings out the importance of the parents guiding their children in order to appear as a better version in the eyes of the society and to self. Parents/caretakers become the anchor of every child out here. It also emphasises the value of a developmental systems perspective, in which parents and caregivers are structurally and functionally fused in a multidimensional system that includes biological, social, and historical areas of organisation. As the protagonist's horrific experiences demonstrate, diversity is a major substantive element of parenting behaviour.

Author Biographies

Amuthavalli S, VIT University

School of Social Sciences and Languages

Saradha Rajkumar, VIT University

School of Social Sciences and Languages


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