Mommie Dearest Character Analysis

Beyond the absurd appearance that often corresponds to mentally ill characters, oftentimes those with mental illnesses are demonstrated as acting nonsensical and with behaviors that border on comical. In my introduction, I described a scene from the movie Mommie Dearest, in which a mentally ill mother realizes that her daughter is using wire hangers to hang her dresses and has a mental breakdown, ripping clothing from the closet and savagely beating her daughter. Throughout the duration of this scene, all the mother can screech about is the fact that the daughter is using wire hangers. The reaction of this mother seems ridiculous, with all this fuss over a simple wire hanger, and this sort of outrageous response makes people shake their heads …show more content…
Throughout the film Donnie is accompanied constantly by a figure dressed in a disfigured rabbit suit, whom he names Frank. Although Frank is a figment of Donnie’s imagination, Donnie believes that Frank controls him, forcing him to speak outlandishly in school and even attending Donnie’s date with him. The dialogue between the two characters is similar to one between two friends, however, no other person in the film can see Frank, so it appears as if Donnie converses, and even argues, with himself. With Donnie seeming to bicker with the empty space next to him, frequently talking about an imaginary friend, and saying that a man in a bunny suit is following him, he appears quite ridiculous. The concept of a person being stalked by a grown man in a bunny suit is laughable in itself, but when it is coupled with the fact that the bunny is a figment of Donnie’s own imagination and he lets it tell him what to do, the whole scenario produces quite an entertaining picture. On the other hand, when a mental illness is depicted in this outlandish way, the struggle of the person dealing with the mental illness is overshadowed by the comedy used to represent the disorder, and the behavior is more accurately related to a comedy act than it is to an actual representation of the disease. When the behaviors of people with mental disorders in film includes this type of nonsense, it is, unfortunately, perceived merely as bizarre behavior that is meant to be laughed

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