Psychological Analysis of Black Swan

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Abstract The movie 'Black Swan’ follows the story of Nina, a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica, who lives vicariously through Nina and zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. Nina is selected by the artistic director, Thomas Leroy, as prima ballerina for the opening production of the new season, Swan Lake. Nina has competition in a new dancer, Lily, who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As they…show more content…
Cartwright believes that dreams allow people to engage in creative thinking about pressing personal issues because dreams are not restrained by logic or realism. On one level, the act of making out with Lily is totally unreal to Nina. On another level, Nina’s dream is her solution to unlock her sexuality in order to being a better black swan. After all, Nina lacks the courage to be a more sensual person in reality and time is running out for her to improve as the black swan. This frustrates her and her dream allows her to circumvent this problem, albeit not in real life. Through problem solving and dealing with emotions via dreaming, Cartwright maintains dreams are essential for our emotional health. This was especially important for Nina who was suffering from schizophrenia. Nina’s dream can be analysed using both of these theories. In Rosalind Cartwright’s theory, the pressing personal issues that bothers Nina would be the tough time she is experiencing trying to encompass the character and personality of the black swan. This causes her to think that by becoming a more sexually liberated person, she would be able to unlock the black swan inside of her. Besides being a literary motif in the film, the white and black duality also affects how Nina behaves. In Elliot and Maier’s (2007) model of color and psychological functioning, “colour typically exerts its influence on psychological functioning in an automatic fashion; the full process from evaluation

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