Incest in popular culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Incest is a popular topic in English erotic fiction; there are entire collections and websites devoted solely to this incest, and there exists an entire genre of pornographic pulp fiction known as "incest novels". Incest is sometimes mentioned or described in mainstream, non-erotic fiction. Connotations can be negative, positive, or neutral.

Contents

Literature[edit]

Incestuous families in fiction[edit]

  • The 120 Days of Sodom (1785), Philosophy in the Bedroom (1795), and Juliette (1797) by the Marquis de Sade are all replete with detailed descriptions of incest.[1]
  • Samuel R. Delany's novel Hogg, written in 1969, is also replete with detailed descriptions of incest. According to Paul Di Filippo, Delany sought to push the boundaries of heteronormative sex.[2]
  • In Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) there are several cases of sex between more or less close relatives, including that which occurs between a nephew and aunt.[3] Other works of literature show consequences not so grave, such as Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, in which fraternal twins share a cathartic sexual experience.[4]
  • Vladimir Nabokov's novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (1969) deals very heavily with the incestuous relationships in the intricate family tree of the main character Van Veen. There are explicit moments of sexual relations primarily between Van and his sister, Ada, as well as between Ada and her younger sister, Lucette. Nabokov does not necessarily deal with any complexities or consequences, social or otherwise, which may be inherent to incestuous relationships—outside of the strictly practical concerns of having to hide the taboo relationships from others.[5] Incest in Ada seems mainly to be a sexual manifestation of the characters' intellectual incestuousness, and operates on a similar plane as do other instances of "sexual transgression" in Nabokov's novels of this period, such as pedophilia in Lolita and homosexuality in Pale Fire.
  • In Robert Heinlein's Time Enough for Love (1973) and To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987), characters make pro-incest arguments that reflect Heinlein's libertarian political beliefs.[6]
  • Incest and inbreeding is a frequent theme in the works of V. C. Andrews. Lizzy Goodman of The Guardian cites the incest, among other dark themes, as "a shocking but necessary" way to explore the darker aspects of life.[7]
  • Anne Rice's Mayfair trilogy (1990–94) deals with a family of witches who are heavily inbred. Amid controversy, Rice stated that her novels recognized the agency of young women and their freedom to choose lovers.[8] One character fathers children with his sister, daughter, and granddaughter.
  • Incest plays an influential role in George R. R. Martin's bestselling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (from 1996). The television adaptation, Game of Thrones, controversially adapted several scenes to be non-consensual, which led some critics to label the changes as overly exploitative and an attempt to court controversy. [9] The TV show shows Cersei Lannister having sex with her twin brother Jaime Lannister, and they had children together while Cersei Lannister was queen.

Sibling incest in fiction[edit]

Fantasy fiction[edit]

  • In Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (1813–83), the hero Siegfried is the son of the incestuous relationship between Siegmund and Sieglinde.
  • In The Mists of Avalon (1983) by Marion Zimmer Bradley, half siblings Arthur and Morgaine engage in sexual intercourse during a religious ritual and then again the morning afterwards, which leads to the conception of Mordred. After Morgaine finds out that they are siblings, she is repulsed and immediately draws away from him. However, Arthur continues to have feelings for Morgaine. Arthur and Morgaine's mother Igraine notices that during Arthur's wedding ceremony to Gwenhwyfar, that Gwenhwyfar is looking at Lancelet while Arthur is looking at Morgaine. Gwenhwyfar is also raped at one point by a man who claimed to have the same father as her. Morgaine has an unrequited love for Lancelet, her half-first cousin (their mothers are half-sisters) and the two share an intimate moment. Morgaine also has an affair with her stepson Accolon and is almost raped by Accolon's older brother. It is also strongly implied that Lancelet harbors homosexual feelings for Arthur, which he believes may be the reason for his attraction to Arthur's wife. The three of them even share an intimate moment.
  • The historical fantasy novel Teito Monogatari (1985–89) by Hiroshi Aramata features a subplot involving incest. The minister of finance copulates with his sister, producing a daughter; an act which foils the efforts of the protagonist Yasunori Kato.
  • In the Elenium trilogy (1989–92) by David Eddings, Queen Ehlana's widowed father Aldreas carried on an incestuous affair with his sister, Princess Arissa. She had initially seduced him in their youth with the intent of getting him to marry her, as one of the advisors had found an obscure law which would permit it, but was thwarted by the hero's father. The affair resumed after the death of Ehlana's mother and continued until the King's death, at which time Arissa was confined to a convent.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Children of Húrin (2007), the characters Túrin and Nienor, who are brother and sister, unwittingly enter into an incestuous marriage when they meet for the first time while Nienor is suffering from amnesia. This is a development of the story explored more briefly in Tolkien's The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and Book of Lost Tales, all of which included versions of the tale.

Science-fiction[edit]

Historic fiction[edit]

  • Thomas Mann's The Holy Sinner (1951) explores the spiritual consequences of unintentional incest. His short story "The Blood of the Walsungs" also depicts brother-sister incest, drawing explicitly on Wagner's Siegmund and Sieglinde.
  • Carolyn Slaughter's 1976 novel The Story of the Weasel (also known as Relations in the US) concerns an incestuous relationship between the protagonist, Cathy, and her older brother Christopher, during the 1880s.
  • The novel Aztec (1980) by Gary Jennings contains a subplot that portrays the sexual relationship between the main character Mixtli and his older sister Tzitzitlini, which they manage to keep secret from their parents and the rest of their society- that would have punished them with death- for years, since their late childhood until their adolescence, when circumstances separate them and cause her death. He pines for her for many years afterwards. He later fathers a daughter with his wife and, after the deaths of both his wife and child, he reveals during sexual intercourse with the character Malinche, that his attraction to her was caused by her physical resemblance to his own late daughter, who would have been the same age as Malinche at that point of the story.
  • In two books of Philippa Gregory's Wideacre Trilogy, Wideacre (1987) and The Favored Child (1989), the central female character of "Wideacre", Beatrice, commits incest with her brother, Harry, and her two children, Julia and Richard, were fathered by Harry. In The Favored Child, Richard rapes Julia and forces her to marry him when she discovers that she is pregnant with his child, Sarah (or Meridon). Philippa Gregory also insinuates incest between siblings in her novel The Other Boleyn Girl. It seems that George Boleyn has had some level of a sexual relationship with both of his sisters, Anne and Mary.
  • At the end of A. S. Byatt's novella Morpho Eugenia (1992), a Victorian naturalist—recently married into an aristocratic family—discovers the ongoing affair between his languid, alluring wife and her brother.
  • Ken Follett's 1989 novel The Pillars of the Earth and the eventual mini-series with the same title both depict the incestuous relationship between Lady Regan and her son William Hamleigh.

Contemporary fiction[edit]

  • Liza and Ludwig Pursewarden in Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet (1957–60) are sister and brother. They have a long sexual relationship until she marries a man called David Mountolive.
  • In Ian McEwan's 1978 novel The Cement Garden, the tension between the protagonist Jack and his older sister Julie culminates in incest. Also, Donna Tartt's The Secret History contains incest between the twins Charles and Camilla, which is not revealed until the final chapters of the book.
  • John Irving's 1981 novel The Hotel New Hampshire chronicles the lives of the Berry family. Two of the Berry siblings, John and Franny, share a closeness that develops into an incestuous encounter when they are adults.
  • In Penelope Lively's 1987 novel Moon Tiger, the main character Claudia Hampton reveals to the reader that she had an incestuous relationship with her brother Gordon while both were in their late teens.
  • In Banana Yoshimoto's 1990 novel NP, there are present multiple incestuous relationships. The narrator and protagonist, Kazami, attempts to translate into Japanese a series of many stories written in English by the writer Sarao Takase, who commits suicide after finishing the ninety-eight story of his volume, after her boyfriend Shouji himself commits suicide for trying to translate the last story himself. Kazami meets the twins brother and sister Otohiko and Saki and their acquaintance Sui. Upon reaching the last story, Kazami discovers that Sui was actually Takase's daughter with a prostitute and he has sexual relations with her, thing which determines him to kill himself. Kazami also discovers that Sui has an incestuous relationship with her step-brother Otohiko, all the while finding Kazami herself irresistibly attracted to Sui.
  • The Josephine Hart 1991 novel Damage (and 1992 Louis Malle film) has an implicit depiction of incest. The character Anna (portrayed by Juliette Binoche) alludes to having had an incestuous relationship with her brother, who commits suicide because of his desire for her.
  • In James Ellroy's 1992 novel White Jazz, the main character David Klein has an incestuous relationship with his sister Meg.
  • Helen Dunmore's A Spell of Winter (1995) centers around the story of orphans Catherine and Rob Allen, who grow up in the bleak, desolate environment of their grandfather's country manor and whose relationship eventually evolves into a sexual one.
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafón's best-selling novel The Shadow of the Wind (2001) features main characters Julián Carax and Penélope Aldaya who are siblings and also lovers. After a sexual encounter it is revealed that Penelope produces a child later named David. She is left to die by her father and mother whilst giving birth to her son due to her parents disgust and shame.
  • The intersex narrator of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex (2002) traces his condition to a rare recessive gene which he inherited from his grandparents, a brother and sister who fled Greece for Detroit, Michigan when the Turkish army invaded in 1922.
Non-consensual incest[edit]

Young-adult fiction[edit]

  • In Sonya Hartnett's Sleeping Dogs (1995), a brother and sister's incest is only one symptom of the family's degradation.
  • Francesca Lia Block's Wasteland (2003) features the incestuous relationship of a teenage brother and sister.
  • In the young-adult series "Blue Bloods" (from 2006) by Melissa de la Cruz, which features vampires reincarnated every lifetime and couples who are "bonded" and find each other every lifetime, two of the semi-main characters, who are a bonded couple, are twins.

Parent-children incest in fiction[edit]

  • The 1959 novel The Manchurian Candidate (and less explicitly in the two film adaptations based upon it) portrays incest between Eleanor Iselin and her son Raymond and refers to earlier incest between Eleanor and her own father.

Father/daughter incest[edit]

Sexual abuse[edit]
  • In Sidney Sheldon's Tell Me Your Dreams(1998), the central character, Ashley Patterson, had been sexually abused by her father, because of which she develops multiple personality disorder.
  • Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (1970) echoes Ellison's work in its portrayal of father-daughter incest, which, like in Invisible Man, is portrayed not as consensual incest but as child molestation.
  • Jessie is the central character in Stephen King's 1992 novel Gerald's Game. She is sexually abused by her father at the age of 10.
  • In Sapphire's debut novel Push (1996), the main character, Precious, has two children with her own father. She is also sexually abused by her mother.
  • In Sharon M. Draper's 1997 novel Forged By Fire, a character, Angel, is constantly molested by her father, who is also Gerald's stepfather. Gerald and Angel's mother refuses to listen to them, as she pays more attention to Jordan than her children.
  • Edith Wharton's draft for an unpublished short story Beatrice Palmato (c 1919) is an explicitly pornographic account of a father's rape of his daughter.[10]

Father/son incest[edit]

Mother/son incest[edit]

  • Incest is a major element of the Sophocles play Oedipus the King, based on the story from Greek mythology, in which the title character unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother. This act came to great prominence in the 20th century with Freud's analysis of the Oedipus complex as lying beneath the psychology of all men. Its female counterpart is called the Electra complex. Incest also plays a major role in the sequel to Oedipus, Antigone, which revolves around the lives of the four children produced by Oedipus and his mother. The main figure is their oldest daughter, Antigone, who believes she and her siblings are cursed because of their parents. Also, Antigone is engaged to her first cousin, once removed, Haemon (which was, however, not considered incestuous in the culture of the time nor is today in other parts of the world).
  • My Mother (1966) by George Bataille is a coming-of-age story leading to a mother/son relationship. Christophe Honore's Ma Mère movie is loosely based on the book.
  • In Chthon, a Nebula and Hugo nominated 1967 sci-fi novel by Piers Anthony, the main character Aton Five falls for and eventually wins the love of Malice, a woman he discovers to be his mother only after she first seduces him, but before they become an item.
  • In The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2001) by JT LeRoy, five-year-old Jeremiah is physically and sexually abused by his prostitute mother.
  • In Incendies, a 2010 French-Canadian film about twin siblings travelling to Lebanon to find their brother and father in obedience to their late mother's will, the twins discover that they are the product of incest between their mother and a son she had in 1970, who raped her aged 18 when she was in prison for murder of a Christian far-right militant. They then give the two envelopes their mother has prepared (labelled "to the father" and "to the son" in French) to the same man after finding him in their own country under an assumed identity.

Other adult/child incest in fiction[edit]

  • One of the main plots of Chuck Palahniuk's novel Rant features the possibility of time travel combined with incest. By replacing one's own father, grandfather and great-grandfather by the means of time travel, one might purify one's own genetic material to a great extent. The main character, who is assumably the product of such a process, has for example, a largely extended ability to smell, increased perception and has also an increased ability to deal with pain and poisoning.
  • Time for the Stars in which Tom returns from his travels to marry his great grand niece, having known her telepathically since she was a baby. Glory Road in which a mother and her daughters (18 and 13 years old) offer their sexual favors to the protagonist—the more of them he accepts, by their cultural standards, the more he honors them—but, bound by his own Earthly inhibitions, he does them the dishonor of refusing their offer.

Grandparent incest[edit]

Comic books[edit]

Japanese manga and anime[edit]

Incest has been a recurring subject in Japanese manga such as Osamu Tezuka's Ayako (1972–1973). Incest has also been a subject in Japanese anime, dating all the way back to one of the medium's earliest pornographic titles, Cream Lemon. Sibling incest is the most common manifestation.

Sibling incest[edit]

Certain anime programs, such as Koi Kaze and Please Twins!, are serious, even sympathetic, studies of the characters as they struggle with their emotions and societal taboos. In Please Twins! this is because both girls fell in love with the protagonist, despite knowing that either of them could be his biological twin sister.

In shojo manga Boku wa Imōto ni Koi o Suru, Yori and Iku are twin brother and sister who have been extremely close all their lives and who now begin to fall in love with each other and have to face the consequences of it. It is later revealed that they are half-twins due to them being the product of a heteropaternal superfecundation (they have different fathers). At the end, Yori attempts to separate from her for 10 years but when he and Iku reunite, he says that he still loves her and it is hinted that they have resumed their relationship.

Shojo manga author Kaori Yuki has used this theme twice. In Godchild, the protagonist, Cain Hargreaves, is the product of the incestuous union of his father and his father's older sister, inheriting gold-green eyes and the curse of being unable to love anyone who was not blood related to him. Cain also has a love interest in his half-sister/cousin who doesn't return his feelings. Later, in Angel Sanctuary, she uses incest as a necessary plot device. Setsuna Mudo is in love with his sister, Sara, who returns his feelings. As it turns out, Setsuna is the reincarnation of the angel Alexiel, who long ago was punished to be reincarnated as a human, while Sara is in fact Jibril, the Angel of Water. They are so determined to stay together that they willingly abandon their family and future without a second thought and Setsuna searches relentlessly in Hell for Sara's soul.

In Yosuga no Sora, Sora has feelings for her twin brother, Haru, ever since they were kids. After their parents passed away, they moved back to the old house and Sora has been keeping her feelings suppressed while she fantasizes being with him. In episode 11 and 12, they had opened themselves to their feelings and decide to abandon their friends and home to be together. in the manga sequel called Haruka na Sora the twins are living together in Scandinavia and is revealed they got married and are expecting their first child.

In the manga series The Flowers of Evil, Se-Joon has loved his twin sister, Se-Wan, ever since childhood. They eventually make forbidden love one night, which Se-Joon regrets. They attempt to redeem themselves by running away, during which Se-Wan dies. At the end, despaired over the loss of his beloved sister, Se-Joon commits suicide with a photo of him and her in his arms.

In anime and manga Vampire Knight, pureblooded vampires often marry siblings to keep their bloodline pure – Yuki Cross's parents were siblings, and it was stated that she was "born" to be Kaname's (her older brother) wife. In Tenchi Muyo!, the character of Ayeka was once engaged to her half-brother, Yosho. On Ayeka's planet, such a thing is not considered bad. She is later shown to have feelings for Yosho's grandson Tenchi, who is technically her nephew.

In Maze, Mei and her brother, Akira, had an incestuous encounter when they were young and this led him to being viewed as an outcast by their parents. However, they are still in love with each other and remain together, despite their love being a taboo.

Cousin couples[edit]

In anime and manga, cousin coupling is very common, this because cousin marriages are not considered incestuous, but actually have been desirable in Japan.[11]

In the anime and manga series Elfen Lied, Kohta and his first cousin, Yuka, had been extremely close as children and eventually develop a romantic relationship as teenagers. At the end, they marry and have a daughter, Nyu, who was named after Kohta's first love.

Parental incest[edit]

In Black Butler anime series, Alois Trancy was sexually abused by his father during his childhood.

In the series Kaze to Ki no Uta, Gilbert is physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by his father, Auguste, who poses as his uncle. Auguste, who is interested in making Gilbert as his own personal pet, can be kind to Gilbert at one time and then be cruel in another. His influence is so strong that Gilbert actually believes they are in love.

In the manga Aki Sora, Aki is in love with her little brother, Sora, and is later able to persuade him into a sexual relationship, though he often considers breaking it off due to the fact he cannot see a future with this relationship. In the final chapter, they compromise and end their forbidden relationship. Later on in the manga he is repeatedly forced to have sex with his twin sister Nami. It is later discovered that their parents had been brother and sister.

In the series Sakura Diaries, the lead female Urara Kasuga is in love with her cousin, Touma Inaba. She would make a number of attempts to playfully seduce him by wearing skimpy to little clothing, affectionately referring to him as "Tonma-chan" and making sexual innuendoes in order to "cheer him up." Touma often feels aroused by her actions, but claims to love another girl named Mieko Yotsuba. He, however, does not object to the idea of using his cousin as practice for future sexual relations with other girls or Mieko and both cousins would like to lose their virginities to each other.

Papa to Kiss in the Dark centers around a 15-year-old boy having an incestuous relationship with his father, who is later revealed to be his uncle.

Film[edit]

Incestuous families[edit]

Sibling incest[edit]

Historical films[edit]

  • Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), when Anne Boleyn is on trial for treason by adultery, her own brother (among many others) is accused of being her lover. This theme is also used in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), where Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman), in pure desperation to be with child, asks her own brother George (Jim Sturgess) to have sex with her. At first, George agrees for the sake of Anne's safety, but as they prepare, they both realize they cannot go through with it. They are both later charged with incest, and although innocent, they are both sentenced to death.
  • Incest is also a main plot device in the movie Caligula (1979), in which the title character (Malcolm McDowell) has sexual relations with his sisters.

Fantasy and horror films[edit]

  • In Excalibur (1981) Mordred is Arthur's illegitimate son born by his half-sister Morgause.
  • In the 2006 film The Hamiltons, Wendell and his twin sister, Darlene, have an incestuous relationship and share it openly.
  • In Black Christmas (2006), A mother, realizing her new boyfriend is impotent, rapes her son in order to conceive a child.

Other films[edit]

  • In the film adaptation of The Hotel New Hampshire (1984), John (Rob Lowe) feels intense sexual desire for his sister, Franny (Jodie Foster). Franny succumbs and, after spending an entire day having sex, they move on to a strictly platonic relationship.
  • In the Channel 4 film Close My Eyes (1991), a brother and sister (Clive Owen and Saskia Reeves) embark on a passionate but incestuous love affair. In this film there are a few sexual scenes between the siblings.
  • The Cement Garden (1993), after the death of their mother, the siblings Jack and Julie begin an incestuous relationship.
  • In Fun (1994), Hilary reveals to Bonnie that her father is in prison for having an affair with her and Bonnie recounts of how joking around with her brother turned into intercourse, and that she has kept it to herself.
  • In Angels & Insects (1996), the hero discovers that his wife has been participating in an incestuous affair with her brother which began when they were young, and that all of his children are in fact not his own, but rather the product of the incestuous union.
  • Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) stars Julien (Ewen Bremner) and his disturbing life and family. Toward the end of the film it is revealed that his sister Pearl (Chloë Sevigny) is pregnant as a result of an incestuous act between the two of them.
  • In L.I.E (2001) One of Howie Blitzer's friends also his age, Kevin, has an incestuous relationship with his sister during a time when they are all discovering their sexuality. He clearly states that "she won't fuck anyone else."
  • The comedy Blades of Glory (2007) features a pair of brother-sister figure skaters who are revealed to be lovers. They were played by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler, who were married in real life at the time.
  • In the film Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) when Harold and Kumar are hiding from the FBI since they are accused to have been terrorists, they hide with a couple who turns out to be brother and sister and they tell Harold and Kumar to stay in the basement with their kid. But the guys get scared when they see that the kid is one-eyed.
  • In the film That's My Boy (2012) Jamie is caught having intercourse with her brother Chad by her finance's father Bobby, and blackmailed at her wedding. After the siblings announce their relationship to their family, they are chastised but continue their affair. The film was panned because of this.[12]
  • In the film Edge of Madness, a young girl who is mistreated by her husband develops an affection to his younger brother, and the two, being at almost the same age, begin a sexual relationship. However, later the girl begins to repent what they did and loses her mental balance.

Incest between twins[edit]

  • The film The House of Yes (1997), based on the play by Wendy McLeod, is about the ongoing consensual incestuous relationship of a pair of fraternal twins (played by Josh Hamilton and Parker Posey).
  • In Beautiful Kate, a writer returns home with his fiance to see his dying father on a farm in the Australian outback. Returning home brings up memories of his love affair with his fraternal twin sister, and his own tragic role in her death.

Incest between half-siblings[edit]

  • In The Crow (1994), Top Dollar, the main antagonist, and his half sister, Myca, are also lovers which is revealed in the scene when Top Dollar holds a meeting with his associates where they discuss new plans for their Devil's Night criminal activities.

Incest between same-sex siblings[edit]

  • A case of consensual incest between adult sisters Christine and Lea (Joely Richardson and Jodhi May) is portrayed in the English film Sister My Sister (1994), which is based on a true story.
  • In the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine, the singer, Curt Wilde, allegedly had an incestuous relationship with his older brother when he was 13. His parents had Wilde start shock treatments to "fry the fairy clean out of him".
  • Harry + Max (2004) features an incestuous relationship between two teen idol brothers.
  • In Starcrossed (2005), Darren (J. B. Ghuman, Jr.) and Connor (Marshall Allman) are two brothers who, as teenagers, realize that the feelings they have for each other are not just those of brothers.
  • In From Beginning to End (2009), features an incestuous relationship between two half-brothers.

Relationship unknown to the characters[edit]

Sometimes, two characters do not know about their blood relationship when they enter a sexual or romantic relationship, or one of them knows while the other does not.

  • At the end of the 1996 film Lone Star, Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) and his high school sweetheart and current lover Pilar Cruz (Elizabeth Peña) both learn they have the same father, Pilar's mother having been Sam's father's mistress.
  • In the 2005 film The King, the main character has a sexual relationship with his pastor's daughter and gets her pregnant. He knows, though she does not, that the pastor is also his father and uncle, who had an affair with his mother.
  • In Curse of the Golden Flower (2006), a prince and his half-sister unknowingly enter into an incestuous relationship. There is also an instance between a woman and her stepson.

Non-consensual incest[edit]

  • In the 2001 film The Shipping News, based on E. Annie Proulx's 1993 novel of the same name, it is revealed that Agnis Hamm was raped by her 15-year-old half-brother Guy Quoyle when she was 12 and terminated the resulting pregnancy.
  • In Murali K. Thalluri's film 2:37 (2006), High school student, Melody, is raped and impregnated by her brother, Marcus.
  • In Daniel & Ana (2009) Daniel and Ana Torres are kidnapped and forced to have sex while being videotaped. After being released they must return to their lives and family home as if nothing happened. Daniel unable to cope or speak to anyone about his feelings, and Ana going ahead with the marriage to her fiancé, culminates in Daniel raping Ana.

Siblings with no blood relation[edit]

  • In the film The Royal Tenenbaums, (2001), Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson) has a lifelong secret love for his adopted sister, Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), who eventually returns his affections.
  • In the film Mr. Nobody (2009), young Nemo starts a romantic teenage relationship with Anna, a daughter of his mother's boyfriend.

Parent/children incest[edit]

Father/daughter incest[edit]

  • A notable example of censorship in this area surfaces in Kings Row (1942). While the relationship is explicit in Henry Bellamann's best-selling 1940 novel of the same name, Joseph Breen, director of the Production Code Authority and his superior, Will H. Hays, first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America forbade clearly showing that Dr. Tower (Claude Rains) commits incest with his daughter Cassandra (Betty Field) in the film.
  • Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) features father-daughter incest, resulting in the daughter giving birth to her own half-sister.
  • In the Mexican film Angel de Fuego (1992), after his mother left her circus-born Alma starts an affair with her father, has sex with him and becomes impregnated by him.
  • In Butterfly (Matt Cimber, 1982), a miner living in the Nevada desert, who has not seen his daughter for years, is confronted then seduced by his now sexy and troubling teenage child, while struggling against his own reluctance as well as the 1937 rural society.
  • In the 1997 film U Turn, Grace (Jennifer Lopez) and Jake (Nick Nolte) are initially thought to be husband and wife. In a plot twist, it is revealed that after the death of her mother, Grace married her father Jake.
  • Wicked (1998), starring Julia Stiles and William R. Moses, features an incestuous father-daughter relationship.
  • The 1999 film The Cider House Rules depicts a father-daughter incestuous relationship that results in the daughter's pregnancy.
  • Tim Roth's 1999 film The War Zone explores the effect of father-daughter incest on a family.
  • In Girl, Interrupted (2000), a recently released patient of the mental institution, Daisy Randone (Brittany Murphy), is well known to have had an incestuous relationship with her father. Being taunted over this eventually leads her to commit suicide.
  • In Madeinusa (2006), the Mayor of an indigenous community lusts after his 14-year-old daughter and has off screen sex with her in the days between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the days when his village believes God is dead and cannot see what is happening in the world.
Sexual abuse[edit]

Father/son incest[edit]

  • A subplot of 2000 film The Gift, involves a mentally unstable man being abused by his father.
  • In 2002 film Ken Park, Claude's drunk father attempts to give him oral sex while he's sleeping.

Mother/son incest[edit]

  • In the political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the character Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) has an incestuous relationship with his mother (who had an incestuous affair with her father) while in his hypnotized state. One of the film's most notable scenes is one which involves the two of them sharing a passionate kiss. Their relationship is shown more explicitly in the 2004 remake.
  • In the movie The Damned (1969), by Luchino Visconti, the deviant young character of Martin (played by Helmut Berger) besides having paedophilian tendencies, forces his mother Sophie (played by Ingrid Thulin) into having sexual intercourse with him.
  • My Lover My Son (1970), by John Newland, in which the main character (played by Romy Schneider) falls in love with her son (played by Dennis Waterman, who was only 10 years younger).
  • Murmur of the Heart (French: Le souffle au cœur) (1971) by Louis Malle that tells a coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy who is growing up in bourgeois surroundings in Dijon, France. The various adventures of the boy lead to an incestuous relationship with his mother.
  • In Bernardo Bertolucci's film La Luna (aka Luna) (1979), Jill Clayburgh plays an opera singer on tour in Italy whose desperate attempts to detoxicate her drug-addicted son from drugs result in an incestuous relationship with the boy.
  • In the 1992 horror film Sleepwalkers, the energy vampires, Charles (Brian Krause) and his mother Mary(Alice Krige), maintain an incestuous relationship.
  • The Australian film Bad Boy Bubby (1993) depicts an incestuous relationship between a mother and her adult son, who has never been outside his mother's house in his life.
  • The film Spanking the Monkey (1994) depicts a situation in which mother-son incest takes place, leading the latter to attempt suicide.
  • The French film Sitcom (1998), by François Ozon, depicts a mother seducing her son in an attempt to "cure" him of his homosexuality.
  • The French film La Petite Lili (2005) portrays a fictional case of incipient consensual mother-son incest between independent adults.
  • In the 2006 remake of Black Christmas, Billy's mother, desperate to have a child, goes up into Billy's attic and has sex with him, resulting in her giving birth to her daughter and Billy's daughter/half-sister, Agnes.
  • Savage Grace was released in 2007. Fact-based, it was modeled on the true story of the dysfunctional, incestuous relationship between heiress Barbara Daly Baekeland and her son Antony.
  • Womb is a literary science fiction film released in 2011. After the death of her lover, a woman decides to clone him, and carry him inside her, eventually giving birth to him. They continue their sexual relationship with each other throughout the film.

Stepparents/stepchildren incest[edit]

  • In 1962's Lolita (and its 1997 remake), a man and his stepdaughter have a sexual relationship.
  • In the French film Beau-père (1981) after the sudden death of his wife, Remy (Patrick Dewaere), is forced to take care of his 14-year-old stepdaughter (Ariel Besse) who, unbeknownst to him, has fallen in love with him. He finally succumbs to the girls insinuations, move out of town and start living as a couple.
  • The 2006 film Mini's First Time features a sexual relationship between the main character, Mini, and her stepfather, Martin.
  • In the 2008 film Hallam Foe Hallam (Jamie Bell) suspects his stepmother Verity (Claire Forlani) is responsible for his mother's death. When Verity confronts him about his suspicions, she discovers he secretly fantasises about her. They end up having sex which leads to Hallam running away from home.
  • Carl Th. Dreyer's 1943 film Day of Wrath deals with a stepmother-stepson romantic relationship.

Mixed[edit]

  • In Pedro Almodóvar's 2006 film Volver, a man lusts after his stepdaughter, who is in fact the product of incest between her mother and her mother's father.

Cousin incest[edit]

The practice of cousin incest remains legal in many US states today as well as many countries, where cousin marriage is allowed.

  • In Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (published 1814), Fanny ends up marrying her first cousin, Edmund, the son of her mother's sister, with whom she has been in love since he befriended her as a child. This relationship is explicit in the novel and in several adaptations of it, a BBC series starring Sylvestra Le Touzel in 1983, a 1999 film starring Frances O'Connor, a television adaptation in 2007 starring Billie Piper and a chamber opera commissioned and produced by Heritage Opera in July–August 2011, although there is no sexual component to it until they are married.
  • In The Godfather (1972), two first cousins marry. A subplot in The Godfather Part III (1990) features Mary Corleone falling in love with her first cousin; the Godfather's heir, Vincent Mancini.
  • The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Isabel Archer (Nicole Kidman) and her cousin, Ralph (Martin Donovan) share a close friendship until, upon Ralph's deathbed, they each admit to being in love with the other (although this may not have been considered incest at the time the film is set). One the films most memorable scenes is an interpolated dream sequence in which Isabel has an erotic fantasy involving her cousin.
  • Kissing Cousins (2008), starring Samrat Chakrabarti and Rebecca Hazlewood, A "relatively" romantic comedy about a professional heartbreaker (and cynical bachelor) who teams up with his attractive cousin from the UK in order to fool his friends into believing he is capable of a relationship.
  • In The Blue Lagoon (1980), two cousins grow up as lovers and have a child after being marooned on an island for many years.
  • In Jude (1996), starring Kate Winslet and Christopher Eccleston, based upon the Thomas Hardy novel Jude the Obscure, Cousins Jude Fawley and Sue Bridehead burn for one another, but for various reasons the love is unrequited until Sue breaks down one evening and professes her love for Jude and they begin to live together. Only when Jude's estranged wife reenters his life does Sue finally give herself sexually to Jude and they have several children together.

Aunt/uncle incest[edit]

  • In the 2003 Chilean film Sexo con Amor, a man has sex with his niece on top of a washing machine.
  • In the Korean film Old Boy, a man has sex with woman who turns out to be his daughter, whom he has not seen in years. Elsewhere, another character had an incestuous relationship with his sister, who committed suicide when she suspected she was pregnant and the relationship was accidentally publicized.

Television[edit]

Several kinds of incest on the same show[edit]

The 1980s American soap opera Dynasty featured a storyline whereby Fallon Colby and Adam Carrington become attracted to one another, eventually sharing a kiss, not realising that they were in fact sister and brother. Fallon would also go on to marry and divorce two of her cousins, Myles and Jeff Colby.

The FOX television drama House featured two young patients, a husband and wife, who share the same symptoms. Later it is revealed that they are agnate half-siblings and they suffer from hereditary angioedema inherited from their father. (Episode 3x05, Fools for Love). In the episode 2x13, Skin Deep; a teenage supermodel confesses to having an incestuous relationship with her father simply to get what she wants.

In The Simpsons, Springfield's rival town Shelbyville was founded specifically to allow men to marry their cousins because, according to Shelbyville Manhattan, the founder of the city, "they're so attractive". There was also the relationship between Cletus Spuckler and his wife Brandine, who may be siblings, cousins, mother and son, or even father and daughter.

In HBO's Rome, Octavia seduces her brother Octavian in the hopes of learning some of his secrets during pillow-talk, and Octavian is once accused of having an affair with his great uncle, Julius Caesar.

Incestuous families[edit]

The FOX television drama The X-Files featured an episode, "Home", in which a family in the real Pennsylvania town of Home had pursued incestuous relationships for several generations and, as a result, developed genetic deformities.

Sibling incest[edit]

British shows[edit]

I, Claudius was a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves's I, Claudius and Claudius the God. In it, the sordid lives of the Caesars are detailed, including the historical incestuous relationship between Caligula and his sister Drusilla.

The British soap opera Brookside ran a controversial storyline featuring consensual incestuous sex between the two sibling characters, Nat and Georgia Simpson, in the 1990s.[14]

In "The Killings at Badger's Drift", an episode of the British television series Midsomer Murders, an old woman discovers a brother and sister in an incestuous relationship.

The British soap Family Affairs featured a storyline involving Gavin and Polly Arnold, a brother and sister in a consensual incestuous relationship.

In the Coming Up series for the UK's Channel 4, a woman who is obsessed with breaking social taboos seduces her brother during the 7 July 2005 London bombings. They eventually part ways as they realize they cannot be a normal couple.

American shows[edit]

The television series Prison Break (2005) portrays the character Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell (Robert Knepper) as the product of incestuous rape, specifically that of his Down syndrome-afflicted aunt by his father; he was also molested by his father. Siblings President Caroline Reynolds and Terrence Steadman were also incestuous lovers.

In the finale episode of the third season of FX Network's television drama Nip/Tuck, Quentin Costa (Bruno Campos) and Kit McGraw (Rhona Mitra) are exposed as incestuous lovers, of likewise incestuous parents. This discovery comes soon after Quentin is unmasked as the serial killer The Carver, the main antagonist of the third season, along with his accomplice, Kit. In the sixth season, it is Matt Macnamara who has incestuous intercourse with a girl who turns out to be his half-sister.

Half-siblings incest[edit]

A recent Hollyoaks plot has dealt with incest between two members of the Ashworth family, Rhys Ashworth and his half-sister Beth Clement. They did not know they were half brother and sister when they began seeing each other; upon finding out they were related when their dad died, they tried to halt the relationship, but in the end could not stay away despite Rhys moving into a relationship with Mercedes McQueen and Beth moving into a relationship with Rhys' best friend, Gilly Roach. When Beth is planning to be married to Gilly, they decide they must leave Hollyoaks, as they cannot end their relationship and see no other way to be together.

In British soap opera Emmerdale, characters Ryan and Maisie were in a romantic and sexual relationship until it was revealed that they shared the same father.

In the CBS horror series Harper's Island, it is revealed in the last episode that main characters Abby Mills and Henry Dunn are half siblings, sharing the same mother even though the mother gave Henry up for adoption. Henry learned of this from his biological father and is still in love with Abby. However, when Abby finds out, she calls him sick and wants to leave him.

In the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, Jenna Marshall forced her half-brother Toby Cavanaugh to have sex with her.

In the FOX Television series Two and a Half Men, Charlie Harper has a one-night stand with a woman named Gloria, who is revealed to be his and Alan's half sister from when their mother's husband had an affair with another woman.

In the FX original series Sons Of Anarchy, Protagonist Jax Teller and Irish IRA family member Trinity Ashby were developing romantic interest towards each other while Jax and SAMCRO were in Belfast, Ireland. Before they had sex, both of their mothers walked in and were forced to tell them that they are paternal half siblings as a result of an affair between Jax's father and Trinity's mother.

Siblings with no blood relation[edit]

The ABC television drama Lost features two step-siblings, Boone and Shannon, who engaged in an incestuous encounter.

In the 2009 remake of Melrose Place, there was a storyline of Violet (Ashlee Simpson) having a relationship with her stepbrother, Levi. Both adopted into the same family, they had a romance during high school and had plans to run away together. However, Violet left their family, stealing money as well, and ended their relationship.

Parent/children incest[edit]

Father/daughter incest[edit]

In the 2006 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit named "Taboo", a young woman seduces and is impregnated by her father. The franchise touched again the issue in the 2009 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent named "Family Values". Paul Devildis develops an incestuous attraction towards his daughter Kathy, which due to his deep religious beliefs makes him believe everyone else as well is attracted to her in a lustful way and therefore sinners. In turn he goes on a killing spree under the belief he is doing god's work.

In Twin Peaks, David Lynch's 1990–91 cult hit, seventeen year-old Laura Palmer, whose brutal murder causes the events depicted in the series to unfold, has been sexually abused on a regular basis by a demonic entity referred to as Bob, who has taken possession of her father Leland.

In CBS's Numb3rs, episode 12 of season 3 ("Nine Wives") features the discovery of incest in a polygamist fundamentalist cult. A teenage victim, Josephine Kirtland learns that her mother, Emmanueline (played by Anne Dudek) is also her half-sister.

Mother/son incest[edit]

The British comedy Green Wing features a mother and son, Joanna and Guy, sleeping together, albeit unknowingly as Guy was abandoned by Joanna as a baby.

In Boardwalk Empire, Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol) was a dancer who was raped at the age of 13 and gave birth to Jimmy Darmody, (Michael Pitt). Their relationship is unusually close and a flashback in the second season episode "Under God's Power She Flourishes" reveals that Gillian had seduced Jimmy when he was a student at Princeton, leading to him dropping out and enlisting to fight in World War I.

In the FX series, "American Horror Story: Coven", Kyle has an incestious relationship with his mother, shown when he is brought home after being resurrected. It is not revealed if the relationship is consented on Kyle's part, and it seems that his mother is incredibly in love with him

Cousin incest[edit]

A recent storyline in the BBC soap EastEnders involves a romance between cousins Lauren and Joey Branning.

Other kinds of incest[edit]

EastEnders also featured a storyline between Zoe Slater, Kat Slater and Harry Slater. Zoe discovered Kat who she thought was her sister is actually her mother who had been sexually abused by her uncle Harry resulting in her becoming pregnant with Zoe.

In the Futurama episode "Roswell that Ends Well", the crew is sent back in time to the 1940s while watching a supernova occur. With the loss of all guidance systems, their ship crash lands at Roswell, where Philip J. Fry meets his grandfather, Enos. Professor Farnsworth then warns Fry not to interfere with anything lest he disrupt his own timeline. In an attempt to prevent his grandfather's death, however, Fry locks him in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere – which unknown to him is a nuclear test zone (resulting in his grandfather's death). Soon afterward, he quickly becomes entangled in his young grandmother's emotional despair and ends up sleeping with her. He justifies this by thinking that, since he still exists, the people he thought were his grandparents must not have been. The Professor, after discovering the two, then informs Fry that he is his own grandfather. This is a reference to the famous Grandfather Paradox of time travel. A later episode("The Day the Earth Stood Stupid") cites this scenario as the cause for Fry's lack of a cognitive function called the Delta Brain Wave, enabling him to be immune to an invasion of intelligence-absorbing flying Brains.

Popular music[edit]

One of the first incest lines was a song called "The End" by psychedelic rock band The Doors, in which Jim Morrison sings, "Father/ Yes son?/ I want to kill you/ Mother, I want to... (fuck you)."

British musician Kate Bush's song "The Kick Inside" from her 1978 album of the same name depicts an incestuous relationship, pregnancy and suicide involving a brother and sister.

The German metal band Rammstein touches on incest in "Spiel mit mir", ("Play with me"), featuring an incestuous relationship between brothers. In "Spiel mit mir", the older brother apparently forces himself on his younger brother for sex so he will be able to sleep. Rammstein has written other songs dealing with incest including "Laichzeit" ("Spawn time") and "Tier" ("Animal").

The so-called "Mamasan Trilogy" by Seattle rockers Pearl Jam tells the story of a man's incestuous relationship with his mother and the subsequent unfolding events. The trilogy begins with Alive, which singer Eddie Vedder explains as being part autobiographical and part fiction. When Eddie was a teenager, his mother revealed to him that the man he thought was his father was actually his stepfather, and his biological father was dead. It is the first piece to a trilogy of songs: "Alive", "Once" and "Footsteps." "Alive" tells a story of incest, which leads to the murderous killing spree described in "Once", and eventually looking back from a prison cell in "Footsteps".

The song "This Love is Fucking Right" by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is about a consensual romantic relationship between a brother and sister.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut features the song "Uncle Fucka", in which accusations of incest are levelled by Terrance and Phillip.

Parental incest in songs[edit]

A thirteen year-old boy is molested by his mother because he looks like his deceased father in the song "Alive" by Pearl Jam, from the album Ten. Similarly, The Prize Fighter Inferno released a song titled "Our Darling Daughter You Are, Little Cecillia Marie" on the album My Brother's Blood Machine, detailing a case of habitual father/daughter incest/rape, resulting in her attempted murder of her father.

"Embryo" by the Japanese band Dir En Grey is about a mother dying and the father raping the daughter. At the end of the song, the girl kills the father and discovers she is pregnant with his child.

The song Lemon Incest by Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg is a song and music video about an incestuous relationship between a father and her daughter. The single cover is a picture of the half-clothed father with his daughter lying across his chest. Considering that father/daughter was the same family tie that the singers shared it caused suspicions that the song may be autobiographical. However, the Gainsbourgs denied these allegations and the song became very popular in France.

Video games[edit]

In Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu, the Archbishop Manfloy of the Lopt Sect, attempts to revive the dark dragon lord Loptous by manipulating Duke Arvis of Velthomer and the maiden Deirdre into marrying each other. The two of them are, unbeknownst to each other, half-siblings and the only living carriers of Loptous' blood, and their union will produce a human vessel capable of hosting the consciousness of Loptous. Manfloy kidnaps Deirdre from her husband, Lord Sigurd of Chalphy, and erases her memory and manipulates Arvis into finding and falling in love with her. Arvis, who is in league with Manfloy to overthrow the Granvallean Empire but completely unaware of Manfloy's true intentions, murders Sigurd and his army under the guise of a celebration. Arvis and Deirdre marry and eventually have twins, Julius and Julia, the former becoming the host of Loptous. Julia, however, does not inherit Loptous' blood but instead inherit's the blood of Naga, Loptous' sworn enemy. Years later, after Julius becomes completely possessed by Loptous, attempts to kill his sister but Deirdre sacrifices herself and teleports Julia to safety, at the cost of her own life. Shortly before her death she regains her memories. Julia eventually reunites with her half-brother, Seliph, who is Sigurd and Deirdre's son and the leader of a resistance army against Arvis and Julius. Julia begins to harbor romantic feelings for Seliph but stops after finding out he is her half-brother. Eventually with the help of Julia, Seliph kills Arvis, Julius, and Manfloy. avenging his parents' deaths.

In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, the two "sisters" Therese and Jeanette Voerman are revealed to be the same person: Therese was the original personality, and Jeanette was a sex-obsessed personality created so that Therese did not have to consciously experience being repeatedly sexually abused by her father. One day, "their" father forced himself on her when Therese was still in control, and she murdered him with a shotgun and was sent to an asylum. There, a Malkavian turned her into a vampire. The resulting supernatural psychosis caused her personality split to worsen, each side becoming a wholly fleshed out consciousness, with "Therese" being cold and repressed, and "Jeanette" getting the hyper-sexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder.

In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the main villain, historical figure Cesare Borgia has an incestuous relationship with his younger sister Lucrezia, who it is suggested was also sexually manipulating her father, on the instructions of her brother.

Sculpture[edit]

Beatrice Cenci by Hosmer
  • The National Academy Museum presented a sculptural series by Tess O'Dwyer on the subject of incest entitled "Remnants of Violence"; the work suspended dozens of tricycle seats with bronze figures of sexually molested children and their headless abusers as a site specific work in the museum's rotunda in May 2014.[16][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schaeffer, Neil (2000). The Marquis de Sade: A Life. Harvard University Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780674003927. 
  2. ^ Di Filippo, Paul (2012-04-22). "Paul Di Filippo reviews Samuel R. Delany". Locaus. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  3. ^ Martin, Gerald (2009-05-27). "'Gabriel García Márquez: A Life'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  4. ^ Prasad, Amar Nath (2004). Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things: A Critical Appraisal. Sarup & Sons. pp. 238–239. ISBN 9788176255226. 
  5. ^ Appel, Alfred (1969-05-04). "Ada: An Erotic Masterpiece That Explores the Nature of Time". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  6. ^ Heer, Jeet (2014-06-08). "A Famous Science Fiction Writer's Descent Into Libertarian Madness". New Republic. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  7. ^ Goodman, Liz (2014-05-27). "Why VC Andrews' gothic melodramas will never lose their dark appeal". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  8. ^ Ramsland, Katherine (1996). "The Lived World of Anne Rice's Novels". In Hoppenstand, Gary; Browne, Ray Iroadus. The Gothic World of Anne Rice. Bowling Green State University Popular Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780879727086. 
  9. ^ Blake, Meredith (2014-04-22). "George R.R. Martin weighs in on 'Game of Thrones' rape controversy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  10. ^ Pierpont, Claudia Roth (2 April 2001). "A Critic at Large, 'Cries and Whispers'". The New Yorker: 66. 
  11. ^ Townsend, Susan C. (2000). Yanaihara Tadao and Japanese colonial policy: redeeming empire. Curzon studies in East Asia. Richmond: Curzon. p. 18. ISBN 0-7007-1275-5.  Ibid. p. 35, n. 5. 
  12. ^ Comedy about middle school statutory rape? Does Adam Sandler’s 'That’s My Boy' go too far?. Fox News (2012-04-30). Retrieved on 2012-08-15.
  13. ^ Cooper, Lorna. "Brookside: Trevor Jordache - Soap villains: is Karl Munro the baddest baddie?". Tv.uk.msn.com. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  14. ^ "Entertainment | Brookside's two decades of trauma". BBC News. 2002-10-10. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  15. ^ "The "Ghosting" of Incest and Female Relations in Harriet Hosmer's Beatrice Cenci". The Art Bulletin. 88, no 2: 292–309. June 2006. 
  16. ^ "Creative Mischief Pop Up Exhibition". New York Daily News. 15 May 2014. p. 15. Retrieved 15 May 2014. "In the museum's 19th century rotunda there hangs a haunting site specific installation in bronze and steel by Tess O'Dwyer on the sexual abuse of children, entitled "Remnants of Violence"." 
  17. ^ Pellegrin, Maurizio (May 2014), Creative Mischief: A Pop Up Exhibition at the National Academy, National Academy Museum, retrieved May 2014