.. Dad was an rapide man, any display of weakness produced him squirm. Mom smiled at his words of criticism although rarely contradicted, not speedy or daring enough, to complement wits with him” (77).
Another representational illustration of suppression within Oates’ relatives in “We were” is definitely the apparent discord that Bim experiences to get his father. He tries to suppress both love and hate intended for his daddy, for conveying love would mean “weakness” about Bim’s component, not to mention his fear of becoming rejected when he shows his love intended for his father. Bim’s hate is also covered up mainly for anxiety about retribution from his dad. It is apparent that since a child, Bim is restricted to express his feelings – thus, reductions operates as his method of not acknowledging and concealing the existence of thoughts of love and hate, which, at the same time, defends him from feelings of hurt and embarrassment.
Oates illustrates these types of suppressions of affection and hate through the image of a black stallion as well as the hitchhikers that the family got, for numerous times, did not accommodate inside their Packard. The black stallion is Bim’s ‘medium’ through which he programs his aggravation in life, particularly in a difficult that he was going through as a thirteen-year-old: “… Bim saw so vividly a magnificent black stallion galloping by the roadside… he previously to crunch himself to appreciate the stallion was not true; and no one particular else… may see it” (78-9). Hitchhikers also have a emblematic meaning inside the story, seeing that these hitchhikers represent the subjugated family, wherein every single rejection implies Dad’s neglect for his family’s sentiments and thoughts. The family’s eventual patterns against hitchhikers is an after-effect of Dad’s forget, wherein shift takes place, wherein hate in the family is redirected towards all their aversion to and elimination of the hitchhikers.
In the second phase, two defense mechanisms come out in Bim’s personality. Reaction formation takes place as Bim learns to convert his love to get his daddy to hate, thereby resulting to the prominent feeling of hate for Dad. This is symbolically illustrated by the changes of power that occur inside the family. The control of the Packard coming from Dad to Mom to Bim shows the power over the relatives from the daddy and eventually to Bim, where the former sooner or later shows his weak figure as Bim’s personality and resistance towards his father becomes better. Thus, through reaction development, Bim got finally accomplished resistance simply by showing not caring to his father, signifying his hate and overlook for him, in retaliation to his father’s insensitive ways toward his relatives, when he was still being a young and dominant man.
Displacement turns into Bim’s ultimate “release” from all the suppression he had knowledgeable as a child in the family. The implied eradicating of a hitchhiker at the last part of the account demonstrates amount of resistance turned into actions, a demonstration against his Dad’s prominence. Implied inside the act of killing the hitchhiker is a “killing” from the oppression that Bim believed as a child in the family. Oates demonstrates Bim’s ‘power’ by simply showing him in control of a car (“borrowed by a roommate”), rejecting an approaching hitchhiker, and eventually (though accidentally) kills, and deserts him (the hitchhiker). In cases like this, Bim redirects his anger and hate from his father to the hitchhiker, a finality that had satisfied Bim’s wants, yet leaving him with a feeling of question and anxiety with the ‘accomplishment’ of this ‘desire’ (i. at the., to get back and vengeance against his father).