Books and Movies Reviews

Literary Analysis of Catharsis

In the film What Dreams May Come, the director blends together life, death, and imagination to create a film full of emotional hardships. The film presents a family that is torn apart by death and ultimately locked in a nightmare about Heaven and Hell. An adventure, involving suffering and great loss, is embarked on to reunite two soul mates.
In the film, Chris and Annie Nielson are married with two children. The couple is actually more than just husband and wife they are also soul mates. Chris and Annie Nielson's children are both killed in a dreaded traffic accident and the family is torn apart. A few years later, after stepping out of his car to help some victims of another traffic accident, Chris is hit by an oncoming vehicle. Chris soon passes away and goes to heaven where Albert, who is an angel of explanation and of comfort, welcomes Chris to his new and supposable eternal home. The situation worsens when Chris finds out that his wife has committed suicide and has gone to Hell. Refusing to accept her fate, Chris learns that he can go to the farthest depths of Hell to bring her back. The Tracker, who helps to aid Chris' journey, takes him on a long tour of Hell in search of his wife. Finally, after enduring many hardships, Chris finds in his wife in Hell sadden from death. Once again they are reunited as husband and wife and as soul mates.
The many representations of suffering and death, including the emotions of pity and sorrow, in the film "What Dreams May Come" are some examples of catharsis. All throughout the film elements of sorrow, suffering, and death builds on up to keep the viewers awaiting some type of purging. The death of the children and later the death of Chris, leaves Annie in such severe suffering that she commits suicide and goes to Hell. This is an example of the pity and suffering leading up to the purging of catharsis.
The purging does not take place right away. On the contrary…

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