THEMES OF AWAKENING IN MAINSTREAM FILMS: FEMALE SUBJECTS AND THE LACANIAN SYMBOLIC
Popular films sometimes feature female characters who confront the limitations of individual subjectivity in Western cultures. This thesis reviews and synthesizes a few of the competing interpretations of Lacanian psychoanalysis and reinterprets some of his work by noting its overlap with the nondualistic metaphysical traditions that he refers to in it. These reinterpretations provide a way to understand both Lacan and these popular films more clearly and completely. The thesis concludes with an application of this theoretical synthesis to two popular films: Thelma & Louise and The Piano. Both films depict female characters struggling with the limitations of individual subjectivity, the feeling of lack, and the relationship of these issues to gender in their cultures. Ultimately, The Piano more successfully conveys the situation of a symbol-using human who identifies as a woman, though neither film can yet portray a happy ending for such a person.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:lacan psychoanalysis symbolic vedanta buddhism nondualism film theory feminism femininity women thelma louise the piano popular films
Date of Publication:01/01/2005