Themes In Black Swan

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Mirrors and reflecting surfaces are omnipresent in the film, be it in Nina 's appartement, the subway, the ballet classrooms or the dressing rooms. There is hardly a scene without any kind of reflecting surface somewhere in the frame (cf. Christiansen 307). The world of ballet seems to be dependant on mirrors. The dancers need mirrors to apply make up and to observe their movements in order to refine their technique. With the mirror as a way to help dancers step into characters and reveal their own flaws, it becomes a medium through which identity is constructed. As such, it comes as no surprise that Nina 's psychological unravelling begins with her projecting her hallucinations onto her reflection. In various scenes Nina sees her reflection acting independently from herself, not mirroring her movements (1:16:54, 1:19.24) Nina projects her inner…show more content…
Not only does it fit the criteria of Horror Gothic and Female Gothic on and off screen, it also exhibits the typical dark atmosphere and fascination with repressed anxieties and desires as well as extreme emotional states like unstable personality and hallucinations. Most important are the Gothic themes of transformation, the double and multifaceted identity. How these themes are brought about in the film allows for a range of interpretations, be it Nina 's stress and perfectionism and the consequent insanity, Nina 's growing into a sexual being or even her losing grip on her identity through the means of an objectifying society. Not only does Nina physically morph into the black swan, she also transforms sexually and mentally. The double motif is omnipresent in the film and closely entwined with the idea of multifaceted and unstable identity. It s realized on screen through the recurring use of mirrors, the morphing of faces into other people and the introduction of a doppelgänger character in the form of
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