Freud's Theories Applied in Inception

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Freud's Theories Applied in Inception

By | May 2012
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In every great piece of art there is usually an inspiration of some sort that gave the artist influence on their production. In contemporary society, we often see modern artists use influences from past theories, ideas, designs, etc. Inception, the 2010 sci-fi action film, is a movie about illegal spying by entering the minds of certain individuals by sharing dreams. Dom Cobb and his partner, Arthur, use this tactic to extract or plant desired information from or into their unconscious. Mr. Saito, an exceedingly wealthy business owner, asks Cobb and Arthur to perform “Inception” (imbedding an idea inside a person’s mind without them recognizing) on his only remaining business competitor, Maurice Fischer. Saito wants Cobb to implant the idea of breaking up his father’s empire into Fischer’s mind, so that Saito will have complete domination in his business domain. Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, uses Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis to help originate this movie. Although at times the concepts are a little farfetched, Freud’s theories of defense mechanisms as well as his concept of dreams are both applied in this film.

The term psychoanalysis is used to discuss to the numerous parts of Freud’s work and studies. Freud believed the mind is divided into two main parts, the conscious and unconscious mind. “The Unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences” (Cherry, 1). This part of the mind is primarily what the movie Inception deals with throughout the entire film. It is Cobb and Arthur’s job to instill this idea of breaking up his father’s empire into Fischer’s unconscious, so that he takes that thought and brings...

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