Analysis Of The Movie Awakenings

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Awakenings: The Power of Relationships

Despite being a major form of entertainment, movies also serve the purposes of recounting a story and transmitting a deeper message. The movie Awakenings accomplishes all these tasks. Based on the true story of Oliver Sacks, a British neurologist who is notable for his accomplishments in temporarily waking up catatonic patients who suffered from the encephalitis epidemic in the early 1900s. In the movie, Oliver Sacks is portrayed as an American doctor named Malcolm Sayer, who is played by the actor Robin Williams. Also, this film conveys deeper messages about human psychology, which greatly appeals to its audiences, who immediately get absorbed into the emotional plot and timeless lesson. In the movie
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Since he was a little child, Leonard has remained in a vegetable-like state. Nurses and other hospital staff are assigned to provide him with food and drinks. Otherwise, Leonard spends the rest of the day in total silence. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Leonard’s needs are only met at the first level. Then, when Dr. Sayer comes onto the scene with the L-Dopa drug, a cure for Parkinson’s disease, he succeeds in awakening the post-encephalitis patients from their coma state. Subsequently, Leonard is now free to move around on his own and take care of himself. This is when Leonard notices an intense feeling of loneliness and a desire to accomplish Maslow’s higher levels of needs, the necessity form intimate relationships. Leonard then develops a deep and meaningful relationship with Dr. Sayer, respecting him as a doctor and adult, but also turning toward him for companionship. Furthermore, Leonard also seeks a more intimate and rewarding relationship with Paula, a young girl he meets in the hospital waiting room. This also stems from his strong internal desire for a lasting, loving…show more content…
Sayer also learns an important lesson regarding wholesome relationships and the need to belong. In the beginning, the doctor is seen as an extremely shy and reserved individual, who lives on his own and devotes his life entirely to science. He spends a great deal of time tending to his plants, and rarely spends time with other people. Although his physiological needs are taken care of, he too lacks the necessity of human relationships to provide him with a sense of belonging. As the plot progresses and Dr. Sayer is exposed to many more people in the hospital, and eventually starts caring for his patients and their respective families, he emerges from his own shell and starts to develop a rapport with Eleanor, the nurse on duty in the ward. While Eleanor had previously made a few attempts to speak with Dr. Sayer and invite him out, Dr. Sayer had been too shy to accept. After learning from Leonard the importance of love and relationships in life, he is able to muster up the courage to invite Nurse Eleanor out for coffee.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs All humans have an innate drive to seek relationships to satisfy their need to feel loved. Nobody wants to remain alone, so they will naturally reach out to others to satisfy this need. As John Donne, a famous American novelist and poet, eloquently explains, “No man is an Island” (Donne). Each individual yearns to belong to a group and be apart of a relationship with someone else, the more intimate and

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