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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Mary Dream Theory (SPOILERS)

Missing since: 31 Mar 2006
Notes left: 14
This theory is a simple interpretation of the story, but one I'm feeling very strongly about.

Mary and James went to Silent Hill at one point, perhaps for their honeymoon or earlier in their marriage. Later, Mary wanted to go back but James hasn't taken her.

In the opening, she herself says "In my restless dreams, I see that town. Silent Hill. You promised you’d take me there again someday, but you never did."

So I think the entire story is a dream of Mary's. The central theme in her dream is James searching for Mary, because she feels unneeded by him at this point in their marriage. She also wonders if James has found another woman, which is why in her dream Angela's character accuses him of such. Mary is feeling very vulnerable at this point, so her subconscious creates a representation of vulnerability in Angela's character. Mary also exaggerates in her dream aspects she suspects of James, which is why Angela and Eddie both suggest that they and James are alike.

The woman Mary wonders if James has found is represented in Maria, someone that looks like Mary but more sexual, so as to compensate for what she thinks James may feels is lacking. And finally this representation, Maria, acts out and tries to punish and kill James, in what may be purely a desire for love. The monsters would fit here because they're somewhat glaring examples of how dreaming often produces morphed forms of familiar things, like people. The sometimes sexual behavior of the monsters would be indicative of Mary's desire for intimacy with her withdrawn husband. Laura would represent the daughter Mary has dreamed of having, or maybe only adopting, as she mentions in the letter, possibly because she isn't able to reproduce (which would form a reason James isn't giving her as much attention, as was posited above).

I came up with this suddenly because I realized the whole Silent Hill story seems to me so saturated with what is possible in the situations in our lives, what is created through an individual's imagination, and what is behind the complexities of our individual mental states. Thus, all a dream for us to play in...


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Last seen at: In the anals of forum history
I can't dismiss it out of hand, but if it were all just a dream, that would effectively take all of the emotional investment I had in the game.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 08 Apr 2006
Notes left: 126
Last seen at: Red Lion, Pennsylvania
alone in the town wrote:
I can't dismiss it out of hand, but if it were all just a dream, that would effectively take all of the emotional investment I had in the game.


Which is similar to how I feel when people tell me the SH movie is a ghost story..

I think this theory is very possible. Good thinking..

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 02 Aug 2006
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Oh I like that theory very much, don't often like "dream" theories as they tend to take away from the overall feeling of the game but still good theory...

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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I don't think Mary is anywhere near THAT creative, or that she could have dreams that capture the psyches of perfect strangers, along with the history and metaphysical nature of a town she's only visited once, perfectly.

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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
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Last seen at: Traversing the Portals of Reality
You can't dismiss it right off, the mind is a powerful entity. Still, this presents a new perspective on the game. I like it very much, I'd have to disagree with some aspects. I also feel the same as alone in the town, it would take away some of the emotional aspect of the story.

There's a couple of questions though...

What if it were all a colossal premonition? As if she's seeing it all before it happens.

Would Pyramid Head then, represent Mary lashing out at James' due to her suspicions and vulnerability? That would change the whole way we look at him, but in the same way, it may not account for the way he treats the other monsters. It would however, account for the way PH constantly stalks Maria. This would represent Mary's suspicions and jealousy toward the "other woman".

Thoughts anyone?

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My Bestsellers Clerk
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
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Last seen at: XY (0,0)
Well, I don't know... I don't really like it when people say that the Silent Hill games are just dreams. Manly because of this: if it's all just a dream, then why did Harry, James, Heather, and Henry all see some of the same things? They all had the same bad dream about zombie nurses? All had bad dreams of monsters in the SAME town? A bit unlikely to me, but that's just me. And it also kinda just defeats the purpose of the games does it not?

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Yeah, don't get me wrong; the theory is presented well, even if I disagree with it.

It's the implications that I do not like. If the entire story were anyone's dream, it would be cheapened immensely. Taking a tale that requires such strong emotional investment and making it just a dream makes it all a cop-out, and most often, I end up quite disappointed with such endings.

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My Bestsellers Clerk
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
Notes left: 305
Last seen at: XY (0,0)
alone in the town wrote:
Yeah, don't get me wrong; the theory is presented well, even if I disagree with it.

It's the implications that I do not like. If the entire story were anyone's dream, it would be cheapened immensely. Taking a tale that requires such strong emotional investment and making it just a dream makes it all a cop-out, and most often, I end up quite disappointed with such endings.


Like the ending in Identity, I mean the fact that all of it turned out just to me someones split personaltys pissed me off so much.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 05 Sep 2006
Notes left: 11
Last seen at: Grapevine,Texas
wow this is a very good thought but same as everyone else i would be pretty mad if that was really it.Not that i don't like what you said it is beliveable but, that would mean i went to through all that stuff for no really big reason which makes me very sad :(

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 31 Mar 2006
Notes left: 14
First, I understand that people feel deceived by an experience turning out as a dream, but I decided to post this anyway because I believe there is nothing deceiving about a dream story. A dream is something so purely of the mind, of the very source that creates all things in our society, a subconcious painting of our smallest thoughts. There's something about this I think is also represented in the game, which is that you have to believe in the genuine creation of the mind if you are to follow this story meaningfully. Whether the story is a dream or not, what meaning can you place in either circumstance? What is there to be deceived about? Personally, I play a game because of the experience, and in a traditional sense, whether you realize it or not, that is all you take from a game.

AuraTwilight, you may be forgetting that this is a game. The many, many details would be there to give the game, and the story, substance. Every story in any environment needs substance and support. Also, many people's dreams vaguely cover detailed information, whether it's known by the dreamer or not. The effect though is very powerful, as though you know the person very well, even if the person is no one in particular you know. There is no familiarity required for deep thoughts in a dream, as there is in general interaction, because the thoughts are immediate recollections of past feeling.

I really don't think it's colossal premonition though. Are there particular reasons you'd think this? However, I think the idea of Mary as Pyramid Head fits perfectly here. Her own part in the dream where she acts as a force of intimidation over her husand, but subconciously masked so as to maintain the scenario.

Spartan 117, I have thought about this and I admit I cannot think of how that would tie in. Possible ideas I have about that are..

1. The series is focused on dreams by a particular person in each game, and the dreams are similar because it revolves around the one town, the history of that one town, etc. Afterall, dreams are mostly similar for all people in some sense, only specific to particular details/information in each person.

2. Each game in the series is it's own theme. Meaning, SH2 could be about the character Mary and her dream about Silent Hill. Whereas other games are about the particular people, and in a different sense than a dream... or maybe they're all dreams.

As I said above, I think it certainly doesn't defeat any purpose of the experience. "alone in the town", please consider what I have said about that. Anything people talk or think about has equal capacity for emotional involvement, and a dream is an incredibly significant materialization of thought, emotion, and the possibility of different circumstances. A story is a story, there is no degree of such... because the individual is where the meaning lies.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 29 May 2006
Notes left: 1096
Last seen at: Mormons HQ
then its time to snap out of it 8)


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 24 Apr 2006
Notes left: 193
It doesn't explain one thing...

Silent Hill 4 Spoiler: [spoiler]The superintendent is James Sunderlands, father, and from him we knew that James and his Wife went missing.[/spoiler]

Theory or not... your theory has a beginning, a middle, but it doesn't have an end, there is no outcome? Do we see anyone get out of bed at the end of the dream, or any impression at all of it? Don't give me the "it fades to black after the end credits and leaves you open to the idea that the person is waking up" kinda thing. Not all peoples dreams have a made up dream ending and then ending credits.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Last seen at: In the anals of forum history
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As I said above, I think it certainly doesn't defeat any purpose of the experience. "alone in the town", please consider what I have said about that. Anything people talk or think about has equal capacity for emotional involvement, and a dream is an incredibly significant materialization of thought, emotion, and the possibility of different circumstances. A story is a story, there is no degree of such... because the individual is where the meaning lies.


I understand that, but my point stands. If indeed this story is indeed the figment of Mary's imagination, why is James the focal point? Furthermore, if the events of the game aren't even real in their own fictional context, then it is not possible to feel the same emotional attachment. Undoubtedly, the most pivotal moment in the game, if not the entire series, is James being forcibly reminded that he killed his own wife. The enormity of that act, and all of its resultant consequences, mean absolutely nothing if the whole thing were just one of Mary's sleepy-time fantasies.

There are some stories in which such a twist would be acceptable, usually in cases where the 'dream' itself exhibits a personality of its own and it proves to perhaps be the main obstacle to the character. Jacob's Ladder is such an example. Silent Hill 2's impact requires the player to believe in what they're seeing, though. You have to believe James did what he did. Otherwise, there goes 99% of the appeal. If it were all just a dream, then there would be no shock. No one would care why James killed his wife, no one would care about why he made himself forget about it, because if it didn't really happen, what difference does it make?

Also, the fact that the first and third games are completely contiguous while featuring different protagonists makes me believe that the first and third games are considerably more than merely vivid nightmares.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2005
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Not that I don't think this theory is possible - but how would you explain the Born from a Wish scenario? Is that also a dream of Mary as well?

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 31 Mar 2006
Notes left: 14
Figurine, I don't think your point is relevant here because if it were tied up as a dream at the end then the story wouldn't be open to anyone's theory as it is. The story is important in any game with a significant story, but because it's a game it needs endings. Because of the different endings available here, perhaps they represent ways different people would dream at the end. Also, you need to relax a little...

I have not played SH4 through though (very put off by the first fight in the first hallway outside of the apartment), nor have I played SH1, so I go only on what I've read (which I think is most of the story). But because of the nature of 2, how open to interpretation it is, I'm content to create theories on this one. The experience for everyone is different, their own, and I feel very good about this one (I'm not trying to be blind to story elements in the other games though).

alone in the town, like I said in the topic post, the theme of Mary's dream is James searching for her because she feels unneeded by him in their relationship, possibly because they have to adopt instead of have their own child (if this is the case). But the point you bring up about attachment is a good one, because I realize I may look at things like this more loosely, and I'm not bothered by wondering things that contrast to my original, most deeply-felt experience. I suppose whether this makes someone care less about what they thought/experienced depends on the person.

I also haven't considered the Born from a Wish scenario. Maybe it doesn't fit here because it wasn't originally a part of SH2, or maybe it was in some earlier development plan.

EDIT: I forgot to originally post that at the end, James says "It's time to end this nightmare.", which I thought may have hinted at my theory, because in the dream James would think that he no longer needs Maria, as he says, and thus wants to 'come back' to Mary in a sense and give her the attention he used to. Also you see a floating bed from the hotel window, which could hint again or just represent Mary being bed-ridden.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 24 Apr 2006
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So, my point is not relevant, and you give me a derogatory comment? :shock: Thats friendly. And something about seeing Silent Hill 2 as a stand alone series and ignore all the other ones which means we can't tie it in with what was a supposed to be a friendly debate on theories?
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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 31 Mar 2006
Notes left: 14
I thought you were being needlessly hostile, but it wasn't an insult of any kind. I enjoy discussion here, but felt you were somehow angered by this theory being posed.

As for SH2 by itself, I was emphasizing that each person's experience is their own, and open to their own interpretation, which I think follows the series' environment well since most of it is about delusions, dreams, symobolism, etc. I think my theory settles well and is meaningful... to me. Obviously, it's connections to the other games is either impossible or unexplained, but that doesn't make it nonsensical. From my experience, this theory feels very true, very meaningful, and very consequential.


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Missing since: 21 May 2006
Notes left: 369
Last seen at: Italy
I think it's an interesting interpretation, a good (new) point of view, but that doesn't fit so much as a theory.
I mean, like other people already said, there is SH4 and there is Born from a Wish.
All the story follows James' trip to the Abyss, to the Truth, and it's an important and evident theme.
Also the roles of the characters fit better if we focus on James. For instance, we don't see James being too cute with Maria.
And I can't find evidence of a "dream of Mary's" anywhere in the game...


>I forgot to originally post that at the end, James says "It's time to end this nightmare.",

If you're talking about the scene with Maria and the 2 PHs, he says "It's time to end this", without "nightmare". In that speaking he also describes the role of PH, and talks about his sins and his discovery of the truth.

I mean, all the plot is about why James needs to be punished, and a dream theory would mean that his "sin" never existed in reality, and it doesn't make much sense to me.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 31 Mar 2006
Notes left: 14
The time he said that I was referring to was on the hotel roof with Maria.

And, I do realize it goes against a lot of what's been established as likely ideas behind the game.


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