Psychoanalytic Theory Represents the Unconscious Realm

Psychoanalytic theory represents the unconscious realm of the artist’s mind. It explains their real motives and objects from conscious mind. The movie Black swan revolves around Nina. She was obsessed with her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. She wanted to be perfectionist. In order to achieve her dream she should be able to play the role of both white and black swan. She was able to do the role of white swan really well because the white swan represents childhood, innocence and purity,this is because she was innocent and pure as she was still like an innocent child, whereas black swan represents evil darkness and adulthood, so Nina was not able to do that part well.

But in order to be a perfectionist she should be able to perform both of the roles. She wanted to prove herself to the world stage but she feared that she was not good enough.

In addition to this, her mother wanted her to be perfect and she continuously pressures her to perform better.

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Due to constant pressure and stress she becomes a victim of mental disorder which contributes to illusions. She becomes depressed and starts experiencing eating disorders which was seen in the movie when her mother brought her a sugary cake, she immediately refused to eat it. This disorder begins to drive her insane, she started seeing hallucinations. As a dancer she has been always surrounded by mirrors as shown in the movie that she had a bunch of mirrors in her room.

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Whenever she is at dance class she’s surrounded by mirrors. In short wherever she goes she was being enclosed by mirrors. And everytime she looks in the mirror she feels bad about herself that she’s not perfect.

“Kovel finds in Freud’s Interpretations of Dreams that “people are terrified of their inner selves,” hence drawn to a fantasy whose unreality they disguise, from themselves and from others, as normal behavior”]She goes so crazy that she started seeing an “anti-Nina” in the mirrors. She sees inanimate objects, such as soft toys and her mother paintings making fun of her for not being perfect. At the beginning of the movie, when she performed ballet dance for the first time, she thought she was a perfectionist, but her instructor asked her to practice harder. Her teacher even sexually harassed her but that didn’t affect her as she was so into her dance, which shows that dance was basically her life. She was living for dance and wanted to become a perfectionist.

The extreme juxtaposition of the roles she’s trying to fit cause her to start overworking herself. She cut her toenails in order to be perfect,she peeled off her skin in order to look like a black swan. She was so obsessed with black swan that started believing that she is physically transformed into a black swan,she continuously scratches one part of her back hoping that she will grow black wings and will be able to play the role of black swan perfectly. Since,black swan represented freedom and adulthood, so the moment Nina became a black swan she lost all innocence and childhood and became an adult. Now she was able to perform the part of black swan perfectly but she couldn’t perform the role of white swan as she had lost that innocence. Her visions drive her crazy due to which she fails to differentiate between what is real and what is not.

Lilly played the role of black swan really well because she represented evil and darkness. Nina was jealous of her and she wanted to become like her. Lilly was so into her mind that she started thinking that she’s after her. Nina started to see her faces and shadows in other people. She started seeing lilly in herself due to which she stabs herself with a broken piece of glass assuming that she has stabbed lilly. Nina has to cost her life in order to achieve perfection.

Camera angle was really amazing as two mirrors were shown at the same time. Wherever she goes camera moves with her, as she was dancing and spinning camera movement was according to her movement. At the beginning of the movie,the scene opens as her dancing on her toes,close up shot of that was taken which showed her determination and dedication towards dance. Dance was basically her life.

Background sound plays an important role too as whenever she is tense or nervous,the background sound of loud breaths can be heard, which helps to build a better connection between the audience and the character to understand the feelings of the characters in a better way

Lights plays an important role as whenever she dances the lights were dimmed and spot light fell on her in order for the audience to focus on her dancing style and to admire her efforts in order to achieve perfection.

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Psychoanalytic Theory Represents the Unconscious Realm. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

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