Fatherly Absence in the Royal Tenenbaums


In many Anderson films, there is a similar theme: an absent or distant father figure. The Royal Tenenbaums is a great example of this theme. It is evident that each of the Tenenbaum children is affected by being only raised by their mother Etheline. Even in childhood, Margot and Chas were both excluded. Royal would only take Richie out on outings, and the other two were never invited. This causes a huge divide between both father and children, and the children themselves. When Royal comes back to the house to try to be apart of the lives of the children he had once abandoned, Richie is more eager to forgive him.

There is a lot of emotional tension in this film, mainly due to the fact that each child had been affected by the absence of their father. Each child was affected in different ways that caused them to emotionally disconnect, and get to the point where the audience discovers them as adults in the beginning of the film. To explore the different ways in which each child was personally affected by the absence of their father, click here. 

Not only did each Tenenbaum child become affected by their father’s absence, but they themselves experienced their own personal traumas that caused them to distance themselves from both their father and others around them. To explore the personal traumas of the children that correlate with distance from their father, click here.