American Beauty: Analysis of Lester Burnham Essay

Decent Essays

Introduction to the Analysis of Lester Burnham When I was told to choose a movie to perform a psychoanalysis on a character. I did not know what movie to choose. After watching the two hour long film on the multiple characters that seemed to be struggling to find their inner happiness: American Beauty. I knew that I should not look any further. One character that especially stood out was, Lester Burnham. A forty-two year old father with a mid-life crisis. In the film, American Beauty Lester Burnham is portrayed as an ordinary man, with a perfect life, but of course that is far from the truth. From the outside, Lester seems to have a perfect salary, and a perfect family who lives in a perfect neighborhood. In reality, things are not …show more content…

Persons who are depressed have feelings of sadness, loneliness, irritability, worthlessness, hopelessness, agitation, and guilt that may be accompanied by an array of physical symptoms. A diagnosis of major depression requires that symptoms be present for two weeks or longer…Targeted screening in high-risk patients such as those with chronic diseases, pain, unexplained symptoms, stressful home environments, or social isolation, and those who are postnatal or elderly may provide an alternative approach to identifying patients with depression” The main characters loneliness and sense of worthlessness has become more evident when his neurotic wife no longer wants to engage in sexual activities with him. And his fourteen year job as a writer for a media magazine has come to an end. In addition, what seems to throw him over the edge is the lack of communication he has with his daughter. Although she wants nothing to do with him, he still longs for her happiness. A Person who is also depressed shows a sign that life is not worth living for them. The character of Lester Burnham didn’t hesitate to express this within the first minute of the movie. He narrates “My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood. This is my street. my life. I'm forty-two years old. In less than a year, I'll be dead…Of course, I don't know that yet…And in a way, I'm dead already.”(Cohen, & Mendes,

Get Access