Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Writing and Rhetoric

Reader 1

Kimberly Drake

Reader 2

Glenn Simshaw

Reader 3

Carmen Sanjuan-Pastor

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© 2023 Annika C Johnson


After growing up with an abusive, alcoholic, narcissist for a father, I did not realize how abnormal my perception of family was until I studied abroad in Spain at age 19. The healthy family dynamics of my hosts–a Sevillan family of five who mirrored the structure of my childhood family unit of Mom, Dad, my sister, brother, and me–challenged my notion of home as a place of survival and of paternal figures as monsters. This experience led me to the questions: Do patriarchal societies inherently create monsters that we have to face or are the monsters the exception? How do paternal figures become monstrous? And in the end, does that mean they deserve forgiveness?

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