In The Mosquito Coast, does Allie portray a dictatorship towards has family as they start a new life in Hondurus?
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There's no doubt that he's a dictator toward his family. He's willing to take his family to a jungle and expose them to dangers because he feels America is dead. He asks his wife and children to do difficult things, and his wife and oldest son always comply. His son, the narrator, has to convince the younger children to do what their father asks. The tyrannical nature of Allie eventually leads to his madness.
Allie Fox is a common man's tragic hero. Brilliant, often right, challenges all the ills of the world. However he will sacrifice everything to prove himself right. His family is collateral damage. He is an ironical figure - Against a consumerist society - he builds one. Against religion -he builds one. A safe world for his family - he fails them dismally. Against colonisation - he colonises. He embodies, ironically and sadly, all the ills of the culture he opposes.
Allie Fox embodies the concept of good intentions that go hopelessy wrong because of human arrogence and pride. The issues raised by Theroux, based in the sixties and seventies, are headline news today as global warminig and green issues take hold.
Allie Fox, despite the fact that he is a horror as a parent, is a dictator, is a tyrant, is still right when it comes to topical issues.
Mosuito coast is a brilliant novel on a number of fronts and well worth the effort that it takes to plough through it's many pages. The end of the novel takes forever , particularly if you are teaching it, and many a teacher and student wished that Allie had died long before the ending.
Allie Fox's parenting skills are not in doubt - but they do relate directly to broader issues of government, conialisation, commerce, business, religion, science...
Oh... and how not to be a father.
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