The Seventh Laughter Symbolism

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Register to read the introduction…These symbols are powerfully involved with the experiences and emotions of the characters, the thematic impressions inculcated by the director and the impressions and expressions of the spectators. In the films of Bergman, there is a repetitive use of certain distinct symbols. In Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), The Seventh Seal (1957), Shame (1968) the island is a very important symbol conveying isolation, emotional destitution, a sense of sterility and the whole idea of being distant from life, love and convictions. Similarly, in The Silence the train can be interpreted as a constant image of movement and alteration that eventually settle in human relationships. The unnamed city, the language, the strange waiter whom Anna seduced at the bar are all symbolic of alienation and insecurity. Ester’s sickness and her means of intoxicating herself to relieve her suffering is symbolic of existential fear and suffering that is there in the core of human life and the desperate futile means that we implement to transmute them. Anna’s use of cosmetics, her appropriate dress, her hair and her shoes are all symbols to accentuate her sensuality and paradoxically suggestive of her yearning for love and togetherness, however limited only by the physical gratification of her self. Johan on the other hand is a central symbol that perceives and records the details that he witnesses throughout the film. He can be considered to be Bergman himself, feeling and capturing the unfamiliar landscapes of the emotional turmoil of the adult world. The empty corridors of the hotel, in the film, reminds us of the dark eccentric house tossed in the mind of the painter Johan Borg (played by Max Von Sydow), followed by his collapse in Hour of The Wolf and the dream fabric world of hallucinated sadomasochism in the bitter imagination of Severine…show more content…
She is completely devastated by this spectacle of the couples, making passionate love against the backdrop of a soothing plaintive music, which for that moment becomes deranged and erratic for Anna and she had to escape. Her apparent fear of witnessing the spectacle can be interpreted as flashing a torch light on herself. Her dependence on the body to attract others, can never be consummated with the compactness of love. In the theatre, when she actually saw the couple it was this realization which not only shocked her with disbelief but she was also overcome by a tremendous need to prove herself wrong. It was this illusion of love that she tried to sustain till the very end when she confronts her sister after engaging herself in a similar instance of physical love, with the waiter. She confides to the waiter in the hotel room - “how nice that we do not understand each other”. It is the utter silence of language that she confuses desolation with affection. Though it can be mentioned that this scene is quite similar to a particular sequence in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s No End (1985), where Ulla (played by Grazyna Szapolowska) is involved in a physical act with an American (played by Danny Webb), who did not speak polish. It is a similar situation of non verbal gesture of physical love, its degradation and the silence of connection between the two
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