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Breaking The Concept Of The Uncanny In Breaking Bad: Breaking Bad?

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“Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow” ( Auden, 1989, p.93) Based on the work by Sigmund Freud, human behaviour can be influenced by their subconscious – “the notion that human beings are motivated, even driven by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware” (Freud, 1919). As the forced reflection of what can be understood as unconscious internal conflict or the human ego, Freud (1919) argues that the human body develops defences to keep the “conflict” away from the conscious mind, namely; selective perception, selective memory, denial, displacement, protection, regression, and the fear of death. In this essay we will look at the television series breaking…show more content…
However Breaking Bad appears to be an inversion of this concept, as Walter White experienced trauma through out his life which he repressed and is now resurfacing through the acknowledgement of dying, and deals with this by acting out though Heisenberg as a means of regaining control of his life in order to feel safe. Relating back to Freud (1919), he states “what is heimlich thus comes to be unheimlich” (420) – which suggests the link between where the two words intersects and creates a paradox or conceptual opposites where as an example the more you feel safe, the more you are open to harm. In regards to Walter White; the more he feels safe or in control by creating this new persona, the more he opens himself up to the dangers or consequences of his action through…show more content…
Another instance of inversion in Breaking Bad is that the death of Walter White is in the birth of Heisenberg; the character acknowledges the power of death and is in a sense welcoming it, relating back to Rank’s (1914) theory on the relationship between the soul and death. In Literature and Myth Samuel Eisenstein (1968) argues that before “conscious memory” an individual is aware of the fact that in order to grow they must be “willing to die and be reborn”; Walter affirms this idea when he says “[...] that 's all of life […] It 's growth, then decay, then transformation" (Walter White, Breaking Bad Season 1 Episode 1). This in regards to Breaking Bad suggests that Walter White may have an unconscious need to die, or an acceptance of death which may be a mental death, and he is feeding this through allowing the embodiment of Heisenberg. As Heisenberg he removes parts of his principles and values, as a gesture of trying to control his fate – as a result of this he plays in to the ‘death
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