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Duality; Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller “Black Swan” which follows the protagonist, Nina Sayers’ metamorphosis from a ‘white swan’ into to her darker counterpart. The auteur

establishes the dual personae initially as two separate characters, Nina and Lily, symbolising

yin and yang through their respective colours white and black acting as motifs throughout

the film

Duality; Black Swan • Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller “Black Swan” which follows the protagonist, Nina Sayers’

Likewise, in Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, initially establishes the dual personalities as two separate humans.

Hyde, the malevolent persona is described as “a really damnable man” and through the use of imagery, Stevenson portrays his appearance as “something displeasing, something downright detestable” from which a “strong feeling of deformity” was exhibited.

Jekyll however is characterized as “A large, well made, smooth faced man” with “every mark of capacity and kindness” thus clearly illustrating him as a morally pure being, the binary opposite of Hyde.

Stevenson portrays Jekyll seeking to separate his good side from his darker alter ego. Jekyll discovers a way to temporarily morph into a malformed beast that is free of conscience, known as Mr Hyde. Initially Jekyll revelled in the prospect of becoming Hyde and enjoyed the moral freedom that he

possessed

Nina’s gradual change is showcased through the changes in her clothing,

from the pure white to darker colours before finally settling with black

implying that she has embraced her darker side

• Nina’s gradual change is showcased through the changes in her clothing, from the pure white

While chasing after the desire to “be perfect” and developing the ability to “embody both swans”, Nina experiences mental instability which is portrayed through shots of hallucinations of injuries and of Lily. These demonstrate the black swan slowly taking control.

• While chasing after the desire to “be perfect” and developing the ability to “embody both

Similarly, In Jekyll and Hyde, the evil counterpart ( Dr Hyde) is shown to begin dominating their

relationship when Jekyll involuntarily begins transforming into Mr Hyde. This is showcased through

imagery in

But I was still cursed with my duality of purposeAnd at the very moment of that vainglorious thought, a

qualm came over me, a horrid nausea and the most deadly

shuddering. . . .

I began to be aware of a change

in the temper of my thoughts, a greater boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of

obligation. I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and hairy. I was once more Edward Hyde.”

In The Black Swan, This torment is further emphasized via intimate close up shots of the protagonist while capturing the physical manifestation of the black swan breaking

out of her skin. Nina’s transformation demonstrates the black swans physical and inner empowerment implying its supremacy and the control it holds. Through it she achieves her idea of perfection, successfully merging the polarities together temporarily, while revelling in the beauty of her performance “I felt it. Perfect. It was perfect

• In The Black Swan , This torment is further emphasized via intimate close up shots