Psychological Analysis of Black Swan

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 453
  • Published: June 26, 2012
Read full document
Text Preview
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 expand their rivalry into a contorted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. This causes her to enter a downward spiral of hallucinations and anxiety disorders. The Black Swan thus cuts deep into the psychology of Nina. This essay seeks to apply several psychological themes to the movie and discusses how: dream theory based on an explicit dream, how colours, specifically white and black, affect Nina’s behaviour, how the dancer brain functions in executing dance routines, and the increasingly abnormal psychology she exhibits as the movie progresses.

In the ballet, Swan Lake, the antagonist black swan seduces the prince from the white swan. Thus, the role of the evil black swan requires the dancer to exhibit sensuality and seductiveness, foreign concepts to Nina who was raised in a conservative family. Despite Thomas’s (the company director) sexual advances upon her as a means for her to unlock her sexual inhibitions, Nina ultimately resists and is unable to ‘lose herself’. 
In one part of the movie, Nina is seen having a ‘dream’ of Lily and her where the two are engaging in sexual activity. They start kissing passionately and move over to...
tracking img