Symbolism In 'The Babadook'

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‘The Babadook’ is a film written and directed by Jennifer Kent. It follows the life of Amelia (Essie Davis) and her 6 year old son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman). Amelia struggles to find love for Samuel, as he is uncontrollable. Little to Amelia’s knowledge, Samuel is mentally plagued by a storybook monster known as The Babadook. When ‘The Babadook’ storybook is found in Samuel’s room, and is read to Samuel by Amelia, she starts to glimpse the horrifying monster for herself. Kent uses brilliant cinematography to bring feelings such as dread, grief, depression and fear to life. As well as losing her husband the year Samuel was born, Amelia’s struggle to control Samuel takes a very real toll on her, with outbursts of anger and sadness affecting her social life. As all of her friends abandon her, her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Kent’s style of…show more content…
It is intriguing for the audience because Samuel may see the Babadook before the story is even read to him by Amelia, as he talks about the monsters he sees beforehand. The audience can interpret Samuel’s lines however they want, but this is chilling for all audience members. Kent uses semantic syllepsis within the main words spoken in the storybook “Let Me In”; which has both a literal and figurative meaning. The literal meaning has already been fulfilled by Amelia, which is letting the book inside her house and reading it to Samuel, causing distress in the both of them. The figurative meaning can be seen later in the film, when Amelia’s mental health has deteriorated completely and the Babadook has gained enough power take control of Amelia’s mind. As another line in the storybook says, “The more you deny, the stronger I get”, relating to how Amelia believes that the Babadook is not real, and in turn making the Babadook
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