Search FAQ

Login | Register


All times are UTC [ DST ]


It is currently 31 Oct 2020




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 60 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Eros and Thanatos
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 02 Jun 2007
Notes left: 291
Last seen at: Texas
At first I thought this idea of mine was a bit far fetched. Then, I read another poster say that the "heavy metal" song which plays in...In the Water, I believe?... is called "Angel's Thanatos," and now I'm not so sure that I was far fetched in the least.

Without getting all textbook and mumbo-jumbo, my theory basically goes something like this: James, regardless of whether we get the "In the Water" ending or not, has the thought of suicide on his mind throughout the course of the story. He knows, deep down, that he killed Mary, and subconsciously wants to die because of it. Hence, Pyramid Head and the bevy of monsters representing his darkest fears and repressions, manifested by the town for the sole purpose of killing him. "Suicide by monster," if you will.

Now, here is where things get a little trickier. Freud theorized that there are two diametrically opposed drives in humans: Eros and Thanatos. Eros is the "life urge." The urge to screw, on a primal level of explanation, but more elaborately, the urge to go on living, to propogate life. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Thanatos, the death urge. This is the drive of the suicidal; the urge to return to a state of pre-existance, nothingness.

I believe that there is no coincidence that, of the three primary female characters in the story, the two that are directly linked to Mary are of completely opposite and opposing personalities and, depending on James' affiliation with them, story outcomes. I am speaking, of course, about Maria and Laura.

As we all know by now, the ending linked to Laura is the "good" ending. James receives a degree of absolution, adopts Laura (seemingly), and goes on living. Endings linked to Maria are "bad" endings, wherein James either kills himself or apparently enters some sort of nightmarish time loop; having learned nothing from the past, he will be doomed to repeat it--and, as an old proverb tells us, Hell is repetition.

Therefore, the ending linked with Laura is an ending of life, whereas an ending linked with Maria is an ending of death--and, perhaps even worse, Hell (the idea that James will burn in Hell for his sins is alluded to in the Otherworld version of the tavern: "You might be heading to a different place than Mary, James." If this isn't a tacit implication that Mary went to Heaven and that James is going to Hell, I don't know what would be).

Therefore, I proposition that Laura and Maria are physical manifestations of James' opposing urges: Thanatos (Maria) and Eros (Laura). James, initially, desires death, and Silent Hill gives him an object embodying this desire: Maria, who time and again leads him into dangerous situations, dies herself, and three times out of four, turns into a demon and tries to kill James.

However, Silent Hill also allows James to see Laura. This is something that occurred to me not terribly long ago. Many agree that Silent Hill isn't REALLY abandoned and decaying; that is merely a facet of the town, a fog-world inhabited by the damned and those who have some tangential connection to it. So while James prowls those lonely streets, there are other people there, "above" him, working, shopping, living. Yet the town permits Laura to "slip in" to the fog world; it allows James to see her and interact with her. It is providing him with his Eros--Laura, a final, pure link to Mary, a will to live.

( It is interesting to note that, of the two, Laura, life, is the real one, whereas Maria, death, is the byproduct of a disturbed mind and a demon infested devil town).

Edited to add: I'm reminded, there's another reference to James going to Hell. In the anonymous letter James finds in the Otherworld park, the writer references the fate of his immortal soul.


Last edited by MisterGrey on 04 Jun 2007, edited 1 time in total.

Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Well... I don't know what to say besides "Kudos, muthafucka" because this is INCREDIBLY intelligent and thought-provoking. Though it doesn't provide a "new twist" on something, as in distorting the potential meaning behind the game and its players, it instead sheds an interesting, and albeit logical, theory on what it could mean.

Interesting that what Maria promises - a new beginning, a rekindle of lust and of sexual appetite - is almost a sham of Eros. She promises these things, yes, but James seems reluctant to accept, as if he knows she's bastardizing a true urge for life. And surprising how Laura, representative of the urge to live, is so brash and at times cruel to James.

I really liked this. A lot. Bravissimo. Sehr gut, mein Freund.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


Top
   
 

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 02 Jun 2007
Notes left: 291
Last seen at: Texas
Interesting obervations that you add, Krist. An elaboration upon nothing being what it seems in Silent Hill: God is a demon, death looks like sex, and life comes in the form of an annoying child.

The only kink, so to speak, comes with the Rebirth ending. I haven't read anything on Freud's ideas of what would happen if there were a perfect equilibrium between Eros and Thanatos, if such a state could exist, but I believe this is what would be occurring in the Rebirth ending: James' desire for life, coming out of death (Mary's corpse) and, to a certain degree, the unholy/Hellish (resurrecting a corpse).

It's certainly the most chilling ending; you just KNOW that whatever were to come to life out on the water would be just as terrifying as anything James has encountered thus far, and perhaps the fact that we're not allowed to see it is an indicator that it was so horrible that showing it to us would only downplay it. It's scarier to let us come up with what abomination awoke in Mary's body, and what became of James Sunderland on those fog-washed shores.


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
I don't think there's meant to be a unification of Eros and Thanatos - like the Apollonian and Dionysian creative urges, they're meant to be in opposition, tugging at either end, never joining as one.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


Top
   
 

SHH Cult Subscriber
SHH Cult Subscriber
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 26 Oct 2006
Notes left: 921
Last seen at: Southern WI
Wow.

In four posts, you've made more intelligent contributions to these forums than some people do in 1,000.

I really can't argue or critique this in any way, it's marvelously thought out.


Top
   
 

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 02 Jun 2007
Notes left: 291
Last seen at: Texas
Krist. wrote:
I don't think there's meant to be a unification of Eros and Thanatos - like the Apollonian and Dionysian creative urges, they're meant to be in opposition, tugging at either end, never joining as one.


Actually, this makes sense within the scope of my theory. It creates a paradox--something which can be seen to be ultimately destructive. I have read before, though I cannot recall the exact details, that some cultures believed that meeting one's own doppelganger would result in something catastrophic ranging from both of their deaths to the end of the entire world. "Meeting yourself" can certainly be seen to be a paradox of sorts.

Therefore, I would venture that a paradox of drives--the death and life drives existing in a state of total equilibrium--would result in chaos; which, I believe, is what happens to James after the camera stops rolling on "Rebirth."


Top
   
 

Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 25 Apr 2006
Notes left: 865
Last seen at: Seattle, WA
The madness of someone who has suicidal tendencies yet knows they must go on with life anyway... I can definitely understand that. Well thought out!


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 May 2006
Notes left: 1881
Last seen at: in the branches that blow
MisterGrey wrote:
Krist. wrote:
I don't think there's meant to be a unification of Eros and Thanatos - like the Apollonian and Dionysian creative urges, they're meant to be in opposition, tugging at either end, never joining as one.


Actually, this makes sense within the scope of my theory. It creates a paradox--something which can be seen to be ultimately destructive. I have read before, though I cannot recall the exact details, that some cultures believed that meeting one's own doppelganger would result in something catastrophic ranging from both of their deaths to the end of the entire world. "Meeting yourself" can certainly be seen to be a paradox of sorts.

Therefore, I would venture that a paradox of drives--the death and life drives existing in a state of total equilibrium--would result in chaos; which, I believe, is what happens to James after the camera stops rolling on "Rebirth."


What youre saying in this is that if the two worlds/will for life/death connect there would be chaos? I believe that myself but how are you explaining that in the rebirth ending? Your ideas are good and I think it fits offering an interesting perspective! I wouldnt put all your stock in Freud's ideas though.

_________________
Image


Top
   
 

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 02 Jun 2007
Notes left: 291
Last seen at: Texas
starsail1929 wrote:
MisterGrey wrote:
Krist. wrote:
I don't think there's meant to be a unification of Eros and Thanatos - like the Apollonian and Dionysian creative urges, they're meant to be in opposition, tugging at either end, never joining as one.


Actually, this makes sense within the scope of my theory. It creates a paradox--something which can be seen to be ultimately destructive. I have read before, though I cannot recall the exact details, that some cultures believed that meeting one's own doppelganger would result in something catastrophic ranging from both of their deaths to the end of the entire world. "Meeting yourself" can certainly be seen to be a paradox of sorts.

Therefore, I would venture that a paradox of drives--the death and life drives existing in a state of total equilibrium--would result in chaos; which, I believe, is what happens to James after the camera stops rolling on "Rebirth."


What youre saying in this is that if the two worlds/will for life/death connect there would be chaos? I believe that myself but how are you explaining that in the rebirth ending? Your ideas are good and I think it fits offering an interesting perspective! I wouldnt put all your stock in Freud's ideas though.


Well, in the rebirth ending, James is essentially committing an act which most would see as some sort of abomination: Namely, he is using ritualistic means to reanimate a corpse. Now if Mary has been dead for, say, three days, unless he's had her in a meat locker, she's probably getting pretty ripe. Even if she's only been dead a day, rigor mortis has set in, the body cools down to about 72 degrees, the blood begins to pool in the part of the body closest to the ground (around her backbone, assuming he had her on her back, or in the vicinity of her ribcage, if he had her on her side), and the skin starts the process of shriveling up as moisture is gradually lost (the reason why corpses appear to "grow" hair and nails; it's actually the skin retracting). Now assuming that Mary's been dead at least three days, she's gonna look--and smell--pretty gnarly by the time James gets her out onto that lake.

Here then we have a philosophical "meeting of the minds" between eros and thanatos--the desire to bring life from a state of nothingness from a man who craves nothingness yet seeks to bring about life. James, rather than committ the act he came to do--kill himself--will instead, to put it bluntly, fuck with God and try and bring the dead back to life. James has learned nothing; he thinks he can make up for one heinous act by committing another. Surely the thought must have crossed his mind, "Gee, I'm in a town where diseased, rotting carcases stalk me and spit acid at me, and which manifests a giant, musclebound butcher to hack me up and a stripper that looked like my ex wife but turned into a grasshopper and tried to strangle me. Maybe using stuff I found here to bring back my murdered wife isn't such a good idea!" We've all seen or read some variant on "The Monkey's Paw." Either that or "Pet Semetary."

It's for this reason that I set aside the Rebirth ending as neither eros or thanatos but an unholy, chaotic melding of the two which results in a horror so awful that we do not see it.

Look at it this way:

In the Water--James dies--Thanatos
Leave--James goes on to live his life--Eros
Maria--James apparently enters some sort of loop with the implication that he will end up back in Silent Hill--Thanatos

The three endings are fairly clear cut, with the possible exception of Maria; James may not end up back in Silent Hill, but he sure as hell hasn't learned anything, and there's a pretty good implication that he's going to, at the very least, end up right back where he started. He's in a living Hell.

Rebirth, however, in addition to being open ended and ambiguous, carries with it far darker connotations. There's nothing terribly supernatural inherant in the other three endings. Rebirth, however, turns James from a fucked up guy thrust into insane circumstances to a man who's now about to perform a ritual of the black arts in the middle of a haunted lake to resurrect his dead wife's corpse.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 24 May 2007
Notes left: 99
Last seen at: The American Empire
This has been something that I have been itching to know since forever. Did the attempt to revive Mary work? I know it's purposely ambiguous, but I get the feeling that in a place like Silent Hill, it just might have.

_________________
ಠ_ಠ


Top
   
 

Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 02 Jun 2007
Notes left: 291
Last seen at: Texas
Oh, I have no doubt it worked. Mary's body came to life on that lake. But it was not Mary, and it did not end well. I imagine it was something along the lines of Cybil from Silent Hill 1; what I'm not sure of is whether James was given the dignity of dying quickly, or if he was sucked into a nightmarish Otherworld in which he spent the final, horrific moments of his life.


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11387
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
MisterGrey, I believe I speak for everyone when I say you are a genius.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

RESPECT
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
Notes left: 19439
Last seen at: #lfk
This actually has been brought up before. I thought there was a thread--maybe by Amphreded--but it may've been lost in the hack. I do remember it though.

_________________
This post is the property of its author and is not to be used elsewhere without explicit permission from the author.

. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 21 Feb 2007
Notes left: 111
Last seen at: Here
AuraTwilight wrote:
MisterGrey, I believe I speak for everyone when I say you are a genius.


Yes; yes you do.


So Rebirth being considered to be "Eros and Thanatos connected," I see it as though this is why it is not one of the main endings.

MisterGrey wrote:
In the Water--James dies--Thanatos
Leave--James goes on to live his life--Eros
Maria--James apparently enters some sort of loop with the implication that he will end up back in Silent Hill--Thanatos

_________________
Image
You know, I don't have an excuse for this one. The lock isn't broken, I just really don't want to go in there.


Top
   
 

Just Passing Through
 Post subject:

Missing since: 21 Jan 2007
Notes left: 66
Nice ideas. Very nice. While I'm not sure where this fits into your model, you might want to remember that thanatos is not only suicidal but destructive in general (ultimately self-destructive, of course).


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 20 Jul 2005
Notes left: 3898
I remember writing something about this. Here:
http://silenthillforum.com/viewtopic.ph ... c&start=30

not exactly the same model of Laura=Eros/Maria=Thanatos, just pointing this out to Tom. My point in that thread is actually quite irrelevant to MisterGrey's strings of thoughts here.

On the topic, I like how you thought it out. One thing though, you said James is unconsciously suicidal, I'd like to add more to that. To me, amnesia is essential for James to keep himself from a total breakdown, committing suicide. Consciously or not, the fact that James represses his guilt shows that he still has the will to live. Suppression of guilts allows James not to be blind-sighted to the point where he could only resort to terminate his life. Basically James alters his own memory to suppress his Thanatos to "love" (Eros) himself more.
I also still fail to see how Laura can symbolize Eros initially because in the first half of SH2, Laura isn't significant enough to James to raise his will to live. Can you elaborate on that?

_________________
QUICKLINKS | SH1 |SH2 |SH3 | SH4 |SH:H | SH:O |SHMovie |SHGeneral |FAQs




Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 15 Jan 2005
Notes left: 7376
Last seen at: Couldn't tell you even if I tired
wow. I think I learned more about the human mind from reading this than for the $50 course at a college.

I actually did a paper comparing James' journey and the dopplerganger therory of Maria and Mary.

All James wants is his wife back, but she is dead and he can't move on, but his Eros demands that he go on this journey to try and deal with it. Anyway, I am amzed at your argument and am happy to read the human brain in such an easy fashion.

Kudos

_________________
Image
The war has begun:
Use your voice today before you no longer have one tomorrow.
World Toilet Organization
I'm like a circle, I'M TOO GOOD FOR CORNERS!!!


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11387
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Quote:
I also still fail to see how Laura can symbolize Eros initially because in the first half of SH2, Laura isn't significant enough to James to raise his will to live. Can you elaborate on that?


I interpret it as Laura representing Truth/Reality, and only through accepting Laura does he come to terms with his will to live (lawl leave ending), where he learns the Truth and accepts Reality.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


Top
   
 

Moderator
 Post subject:

Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 12254
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Fascinating.

Finally, an explanation as to what the fuck Laura was doing in the game that satisfies me.

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


Top
   
 

Historical Society Historian
 Post subject:
     
         
  User avatar  
     
     

Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
You mean the fact that she's looking for Mary left you feeling listless? Odd.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


Top
   
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 60 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: