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Who’s Your Daddy?: Father Trumps Fate in Supernatural

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Supernatural, Humanity, and the Soul

Abstract

From the beginning, Supernatural has clearly been rooted in family, specifically in a male-only family. In the series pilot, the brief glimpse viewers have of the Winchesters as an intact household is quickly replaced by that of a family ravaged by the death of a beloved mother and wife. Following Mary’s (Samantha Smith) death, the family becomes less like kin and more like an elite fighting squad with John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as the stern general. John’s shift from loving, nurturing father to disciplinarian will have far-reaching effects on Dean and Sam and the men that they will ultimately become. Yet their experiences with John as father are vastly different from one another. In Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, the father or father figure is beloved and hated, admired and feared. This duality can be confusing for children, especially those whose fathers are frequently absent and cannot offset the negative emotions that this delicate balance needs. This chapter examines the characters using several psychological indicators of present/absent fathers: the father hunger scale designed by Paul. B. Perrin et al. and the schemas developed by several other father-focused theorists. These indicators will help explain the motivations that drive Dean (Jensen Ackles), Sam (Jared Padalecki), and to a lesser extent the Winchester’s family friend Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver). Based upon this exposure to fatherhood and father roles, Dean and Sam seem to be fulfilling a destiny that was decided, not by fate, but by their relationships with their father.

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Authors

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Susan A. George Regina M. Hansen

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© 2014 Susan A. George and Regina M. Hansen

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Rosen, L. (2014). Who’s Your Daddy?: Father Trumps Fate in Supernatural. In: George, S.A., Hansen, R.M. (eds) Supernatural, Humanity, and the Soul. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137412560_14

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