Distinct differentiation on certain concepts under one household can cause a child to be confused and torn between two worlds. Equus depicts the state of mind of Alan Strang and how the conflicting beliefs of his parent's set his development as a teenager and a troubled boy.
"Class". Few have it, many desire it, and then there are those who like to believe they obtain it. Dora Strang, Alan's mother, happens to be one of these people. She perceives herself as "upper class", when in reality she is a schoolteacher who clearly does not come from the upper class. Due to her self-proclaimed social role, Dora believes that she married beneath herself and her husband is aware of this matter. While one of Alan's parent's wishes to believe what isn't true, his father is well aware of his blue-collar life style. Dora feels that her rules and methods prove much more effective and superior than her husband's, hence making her feel like the dominant one in the household.
Another controversial topic in the Strang household would be religion. While Alan's mother is extremely religious and can be looked at as a fundamentalist, Alan's father, Frank despises the teachings of religion - maintaining his atheism. His despise for religion can be understood when he tears off the religious poster in Alan's room and replaces it with a picture of a horse. Even though Frank does not favor horses, he prefers it to any religious sentiment. Considering the amount of religious preaching offered by Alan's mother, the boy constructs a personal theology. Confused, Alan starts to see the horses as a representation of God and confuses his "adoration" of God with a sexual attraction.