Symbolism In The Talented Mr. Ripley

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In the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley, Tom Ripley the main character as the predominant desire of reaching a higher social class. Tom does not want to be himself because he kills Greenleaf in “self-defense” because of his infatuation with him. Ripley feels alienated and lonely and is bored with his own life. Tom’s desire is concentrated on that which he cannot be within the identity of Tom Ripley: cultured, wealthy, and socially accepted, though he is anything but. Anthony Minghella uses symbolism to probe in the subconscious of the complex characters in his 1999 film, the Talented Mr. Ripley. In the beginning of the movie, the film’s title sequence, a string of adjective alternates onscreen between The and Mr Ripley. Adjectives such as mysterious,…show more content…
Ripely feels like he is a nobody and has an overriding ambition to be somebody even if he has to fake it. Tom is insane or at least has some sort of mental disorder, in the movie after he kills Greenleaf he assumes his name, wears his clothes, cashes checks, and make phones call from the room. Ripley’s overreaching sense of belonging causes him to kill people who suspect the truth about him. Ripely want to be Greenleaf not because of Greenleaf’s personality but because of his money. The fact that Ripley kills people, shows that he knows himself that what he is doing illegal and wrong. It also proves conclusively that he knows how he is and that he tries really hard to preserve himself. Towards the end of the movie, when Ripley kills Peter, Tom Ripley’s identity also dies too in this act of self-destruction. In the last frame, the audience sees a full profile of Tom’s face, one side in light and the other side in darkness. This represents the profound theme of man’s duality - The intuitive and psychological confusing nature of mankind to be twofold. Tom Ripley is at odds with himself, the more he lies, the more he destroys his true self. He is driven obsessively to right these perceived wrongs in his life and feels justified to whatever means he deems necessary to pursue his
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