Essay about A Struggle for Identity in Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

809 Words 4 Pages
In the beginning of Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane, Teddy Daniels believes he is a U.S. Marshal sent to Shutter Island with his partner, Chuck, to investigate the case of an escaped patient, Rachel Solando. Rachel Solando is said to be a very dangerous patient who murdered her three children. She had somehow escaped her cell in the mental ward and is somewhere on the island. As soon as Teddy and Chuck hop of the ferry and onto the desolate island, they’re greeted with aloofness and suspicion. None of the employees seem to give them any real evidence of the missing patient and their answers seem scripted. The guards, warden and doctors always seem to be keeping an eye out for them. When they meet with the head psychologist, Dr. Cawley, …show more content…
The strange employees and patients lead him to believe that Shutter Island is a government mind-control conspiracy that works for the Soviets. Not only is Teddy here to find Rachel, he is here to find Andrew Laeddis, a man he believes is started the apartment fire that killed his beloved wife, Dolores Chanal.
Teddy has a conflict with himself throughout the whole novel. The conflict Teddy faces within himself under the pretense of having the conflict of the missing patient. During the exposition and rising action, the conflict is presumed to be that Teddy is trying to find Rachel, because it is told from Teddy’s point of view. Teddy genuinely believes he is on a case to find Rachel. However, the true conflict of the story is revealed during the climax, when Teddy heads to the lighthouse to prove that Ashecliffe is performing illegal experiments on patients. He finds it to be empty, only Dr. Cawley sitting there waiting for him. He learns that he is Andrew Laeddis, the sixty-seventh patient in the hospital and he murdered his own wife. The conflict objectively is Andrew is so deep in denial that he create an entirely different conflict inside his mind. Rather than the conflict being man versus man, Teddy versus the doctors that he believes are keeping them there to perform lobotomies on him, it is really man vs himself. An internal struggle that Teddy faces to find his real identity. Teddy is constantly haunted by memories of his beloved wife, Dolores Chanel. He is always

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