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Inception viewed from Freudian perspective

Looking at nolans reality of dreams through a freudian lense

Emily Dee

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Inception viewed from Freudian perspective

Freudian theory /Inception
If you were able to delve directly into the uncertain state of the dream world, and transverse from one level of conscious to another; could your decisions and motives be affected depending on the depth of your dreaming. Throughout the thought provoking film Inception directed by Christopher Nolan we are shown a future where this idea can be explored.
The Physiology of a dream
For the neurologist Sigmund Freud many of his key ideas were based around the philosophy that there are three main levels of conscious the id, super ego, and ego. Each of these affecting us depending on how deeply connected we are with either one.
Sigmund Freud s philosophy
The conscious the id, and the super ego,
Freudian theory and its relation to the sociology displayed in Inception.
The different states of a Dream
During the courses of inception the different states of consciousness that are entered by the characters, reality, the dream world and limbo, could be perceived through Freudian theory as a visual interpretation of the egos, each being represented by the dream layer; The decisions and morals that guide the key protagonist Cobb being influenced from these levels.
Each level of conscious visited can be seen as a virtual representation of Freud’s id, super ego, and ego, each dream state as a way of solidifying the levels and giving them a form and body so as to be better interpreted by the viewer.
The representation 0f the Layers
The Decision making which is now present within these can also be observed as being influenced by the different dream layers the protagonist was present in at the time.
Based on Freud’s psychoanalysis it is believed the mind exists divided equally into two main parts, the conscious and unconscious mind.
It is therefore interesting to apply the different alter egos to the protagonist, as he is now conscious within the surreal bounds of the unconscious mind. With the exception at the point of limbo, where there is less of a connection to reality, due to the id directly influencing the unconscious.
Nolan as a Therapist
Nolan as a director combines Freud’s method of by using talk theory to bring Cobb’s problems out into the open, with a visual interpretation of the feelings and emotions developed from this process.
Directors influence
Using the paradox of the dream Nolan as the therapist has created for Cobb, his own maize complete with obstacles, in the fake reality that he must overcome in order to find forgiveness for himself.
Nolan's Dream Therapy
The dream world acts on Cobb's thoughts and gives them to the emotional obstacles a shape in the image of his deceased wife Mal constructed from Cobb’s imagination, and made real through the dream world.
An over the shoulder shot of Mal’s darkened figure, taken from Cobb’s perspective and therefore his mind. Expresses Both her shadowy figure and the depicting loose shot of her character, effectively working together to show the mystery surrounding her identity and her affiliation with Cobb.
The effects of Dream Therapy
Satisfaction of self
However, I feel that since he was acting out of his id, it is more probable that his actions were not for the good of his children, but was more so for the satisfaction for him self, however temporary that may be. his id making the real decisions likewise as each level has done making the dream levels of inception a visual interpretation of freuds philosophical ego, super ego & id.
Mal displays Cobb's anger towards himself
As she is just an illusion of the former Mal, one constructed from Cobb’s imagination, and made real through the dream world. She fails to display the personality of the real Mal.
Within the Dream
Once within the dream state on the first level Cobb is shown to be influenced by his superego and ego, confessing to his fellow dreamers the dangers of going deeper into the three dream layers. Showing he still feels the needs to justify his decisions and thus treat others equally and with respect for honestly even if it costs him their trust.
Limbo a visual representation of cobb's id
The id as limbo
Cobbs id is shown to be gaining more control as they go deeper into the layers of dreams, the seemly selfless act of preserving the life of benefactor Satio,is also influenced by the id for his own freedom.
The strong influence of id in limbo Leads to Cobb to risk his own life for that of Satio's under the guise of rescuing him, he is also rescuing himself an action influenced by his id and driven by its primeval survival instincts.
Nolan's landscape
The surroundings which are expressed down below in limbo help to show the influence of the emerging id, by the increased strangeness of the landscape which is defined down there in the raw uncultured conscious.
This visual interpretation of the protagonists emotions, is juxtaposed against the meteorological to further represent the emotions felt by the id ruled unconscious awareness, within the dream sector.
Dreams visual interpretation of Emotions
The congregation of the storms progression into a hurricane shows the pieces coming together of Cobb’s forgiveness towards of himself. It can be observed here that while previously ruled by his social conformism rather than his natural and egotistical instincts he was not able to forgive himself for Mal’s suicide.
Dreams from a Freudian perspective.
From the analysis of the confound realm of the dream, from within the film inception from a Freudian perspective, it can be seen that nearly all human desires can be seen from a Freudian point of view as being based in limbo, the dream state of deep sleep.
Cleansing the Dreamer
the storm cleanses and deconstructs the reality so that it may be reconstructed. Thus how the mood and emotions felt within that scene are communicated to their landscape and surrounding weather.
The vortex of emotions created by the hurricane is symbolic as it is evolves solely around Cobb and the optical aura of Mal showing his self-centered thinking.
The storm cleanses and deconstructs the reality so that it may be reconstructed. Thus how the mood and emotions felt within that scene are communicated to their landscape and surrounding weather.
Deconstruction for Reconstruction, the storms purpose.
The purpose of the id
Decision making in Limbo
During this last phase of the dream state the decision making becomes particularly impulsive and the actions become further removed from present day morals.
The Decision to Forgive
Forgiveness through id
During this level of enigma that Dom finds it within himself to forgive himself for implanting the idea that killed his wife and removed himself from their children.
Stealing the Cookie
“If something is going to bring satisfaction however temporary the id will seek to obtain it” with no considerations of morals or boundaries but instead is operating on more primeval animal urges.
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