Ambiguity in La familia de Pascual Duarte has caused critics to construe it in many different and often contradictory ways. This article analyses the interplay between sex, family and death and explains how it holds the key to understanding the main character’s psychology and also his guilt. An examination of the protagonist’s acts of aggression will show that he relates sex to death and has come to experience violence and murder as allegories of sex. Pascual’s social and personal background is crucial to determining that the violence he infringes upon others results from an inferiority complex developed due to his father’s sexual impotence and his mother’s promiscuity. This complex is further aggravated by his low social background. This paper also analyses how Pascual equates sex to violence, and how he fosters an obsession with procreation. This conception of sex is best exemplified in his comparing Lola’s ecstasy with the dying mare and leads to Pascual’s murdering his mother as an allegorical form of rape. This analysis thus provides a new interpretation of the mother’s murder and completes Pascual’s psychological picture.