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Flowers in the Attic is a novel by V. C. Andrews first published in 1979 and adapted into a film in 1987.
It is a gruesome story of lies, secrets, betrayal and triumph. Flowers In The Attic is the story of Cathy Dollinganger and her brothers and sister Christopher, Cory and Carrie. Following the death of their father, their mother takes them to live with their rich grandparents, who had disowned her and written her out of the will of her dying father. The Grandmother, a mean-spirited, overly-zealous Catholic woman, reveals the shocking truth about their mother's disinheritance, and that they must remain quiet and out of sight if they do not wish to be punished simply for being alive. As time goes by, the four kids are finally moved to the attic; locked up, abandoned and left to die by a selfish mother and a hateful grandmother.
Provides Examples Of:
- A Taste of the Lash: Corrine is whipped to atone for her time spent "living in sin."
- Abusive Parents: And Grandparent. First, the grandmother is this to both Corrine and her four grandchildren. Then, it's not long at all before Corrine herself to start acting this way towards them.
- Alliterative Family: The man's name is Christopher, with his wife Corrine and there four children; Christopher Jr., Cathy, and twins Cory and Carrie.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Carrie after Cory is killed by poison.
- Big Fancy House: Foxworth Hall.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Not really that big, but definitely screwed up.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Shown with Chris and Cathy. The four children themselves are from this kind of union; Their parents were at first said to be half-uncle and half-niece, but the final book in the series revealed that they were actually half-siblings.
- Daddy's Girl: Cathy. Corrine aspires to become this again.
- Dawson Casting: This was one of the problems with the film adaptation. The actors playing the elder children are the size of full-grown adults but *act* as though they're relatively young children. This even breaks the plot - the male lead is large enough to physically overpower the abusive grandmother, which would make escaping from the large, empty mansion trivial.
- Different As Night and Day: Cory is quiet, polite and gentle. Carrie is loud, adamant and forceful.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Grandmother punishes severely for the most minor infractions, including simply existing as the products of incest.
- Don't Split Us Up: The main reason Cathy, Chris and Carrie don't go to the authorities after escaping the attic is the fear of this.
- Evil Matriarch: The Grandmother.
- Hypocrite: Of the super-religious type. The Grandmother takes the incestuous relationship her daughter had committed, and used it as an excuse to starve, abuse, lie, blackmail, dehumanize children,and commit outright murder, among other things. Also, it is mentioned once that the grandfather feels like he is entitled to act however he wants and do whatever he wants because he funded a church.
- Hulk Speak: Cory and Carrie don't speak good "'cause Momma don't like them no more."
- In the Blood: The Grandmother believes incest runs in the Dollinganger family.
- Insufferable Genius: Christopher wants to be a doctor, which apparently involves knowing everything there is to know about everything in the world. It gets to the point where Cathy snaps and screams at him for it.
- It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It: Chris and Cathy.
- Karma Houdini: None of the people responsible for the children's imprisonment and Cory's death receive any punishment. In the film, Corrine is exposed and killed on her wedding day, making The Grandmother's and her accomplices' escape from justice all the more baffling.
- Loser Kids Of Loser Parents: The grandmother thinks that the kids, especially Chris and Cathy, are somehow incestuous by nature because they were inbred.
- Mama Bear: Averted with Corrine, who doesn’t give a rat's crap about her kids. Played Straight with Cathy, who is a surrogate mother to her little brother and sister.
- Offing the Offspring: With arsenic laced deserts.
- Parental Abandonment: Their father is dead and their mother just flat out abandoned them.
- Perfect Poison: The children are slowly fed arsenic to get rid of them.
- Promotion to Parent: Chris and Cathy become surrogate parents for their much younger twin siblings Cory and Carrie. They called it a game, with Chris as the daddy, Cathy as the mommy and Cory and Carrie as the children. It becomes more serious when it is made clear that their real mother doesn’t seem to want them any more.
- Rich Bitch: Corrine becomes one.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Chris and Cathy's incestuous love. The Grandmother wanted to prevent such a thing, but she actually pushed them together by locking them up for years, isolated from the rest of the world and other kids. One of the most primal instincts of human nature is to find a suitable mate for reproduction. Since Chris and Cathy were the only members of the opposite gender nearing sexual maturity, cooped up together for years, they naturally gravitated toward each other, siblings or not. It did not help that they had to play the roles of parents for their little brother and sister and that the Grandmother never seemed to leave them alone about it.
- Spoiled Brat: Corrine quickly becomes this when she gets a taste of the good life again.
- Team Pet: Mickey the mouse is Cory's pet.
- The Unfavorite: Even before the imprisonment, Corrine was harsh on Cathy.
- Unnamed Parent: The grandparents are only known as The Grandmother and The Grandfather. In the film, the father's name is never given.
- Traumatic Haircut: Cathy gets this as punishment for preening in a mirror.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: The four children all have Blue Eyes and Hair of Gold.