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Qianqi Feng

Humanities 202 Y1
Professor Fash
14 February 2016
Girl, Interrupted Movie Reflection
Movie Girl, Interrupted was about a depressed girl who was diagnosed with Borderline
Personality Disorder and her life in Claymoore Asylum. The plot was carefully constructed
according to the concepts of Sigmund Freud.
The concept of the Death Instinct is seen in many parts of the movie. In Freuds work
Civilization and Its Discontents, he mentioned the idea of the components of Id. Id,
according to Freud, contains Eros and Thanatos. Thanatos represents the aggressive
impulses of human nature, and the Death Instinct is categorized under Thanatos. As Freud
explained, the Death Instinct is an aggression towards oneself, reliving bad memories,
reflecting past trauma, and most importantly, achieving the ultimate goal of every organism:
death. For example, towards the end of the movie, Daisy committed suicide after Lisa
heartlessly insulted her. The insults of Lisa reminded Daisy of her past traumas of her been
sexually assaulted by her father. Because of the insults, Daisy expressed aggression towards
herself. Daisy cut her wrists and hung herself. The insults had directly caused Daisy to
proceed quickly to her ultimate goal. Today, numerous news reports inform the public of
soldiers who have been sent back home from the frontline are experiencing extreme
difficulties in life due to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, many end up committing suicide. The
evidence is clear that the traumatic memories can significantly disturb and alter peoples
mentality, and in some cases trigger the Death Instinct.
Moreover, the movie also reflects Freuds point about how Eros is the enemy of the
civilized society. According to Freud, Eros is an important factor that contributed to the
formation of family. The sexual desires of men and the need of women for protection defines
the primitive family. Once a civilization is created, Eros becomes an enemy since people
cannot satisfy their sexual desires towards others all the time: it threatens the stableness of the
structure of society. Even though the Id struggles to get the instinctual sexual desires satisfied
without considering the consequences, the society would not tolerate such actions. In the case
of Susanna, she had an affair with a man who was already married. Because of the scandalous
affair, Susanna later confronted the angry wife of the man. Susanna and the man satisfied
their instinctual desires and followed their Id; however, they now would have to face the
regulations of the society and be condemned guilty of committing adultery. A civilized
society would never allow people to follow their Ids and Eros freely.
Girl, Interrupted is a movie that greatly represents the Freudian ideas. Even though
Freud was writing his concepts during the beginning of the 20th Century, many of his points
are still applicable today. What the movie represents is not exclusive to Freuds time.
Nowadays, many people in society are still struggling to maintain a balance between their
desires and their rationality; also, many people are attempting to end their lives prematurely
through committing suicide and self-harming. Perhaps Freuds statement about civilization is
correct: as long as civilization exists, people will have endless battles between the
instinctual desires and the moral regulations of societies.