War And Psyche: An Examination Of Psychoanalytic Theory In The Movies “Jojo Rabbit” And “Dunkirk”

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Shamy Sobha Pillai, Parvathi M Kurup, B. Sonia Chellarian


War, the intense conflict between kingdoms, nations, and countries often results in extreme losses to both sides, if not more. These losses can be political, economical or social when observed at a macro level, that is, from a national point of view. On a closer observation, at the micro level or the level of the individual, there is the greatest loss of all, the loss of human life. Life on the front for the soldiers is harsh and fraught with dangers. They endure extreme weather conditions and live in constant worry of unexpected attacks. It is often found that the soldiers who make it back home from the war find it difficult to resume life as normal individual. The psychological impact of war came into prominence soon after World War 1, when the old notion of war as a glorious event was broken by the severe disillusionment the soldiers felt and the everyday horrors people endured.

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in his revolutionary works described the human psyche as being composed of three parts; the primitive and instinctual part called ‘id’, the moral conscience called the ‘superego’ and the balancing, realistic part called the ‘ego’. According to Freud, these parts together contribute to the overall personality and behavior, at the same time they exhibit unique characteristics of their own.

This paper seeks to prove that each part of an individual’s psyche comes into play at different situations in life. The materials under study are two war-based movies,

“Dunkirk” (2017) by Christopher Nolan and “Jojo Rabbit” (2019) by Taika Waititi. While

“Dunkirk” analyses the different stages of an adult individual’s psyche, “Jojo Rabbit” explores the way a child’s mind works.

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Shamy Sobha Pillai, Parvathi M Kurup, B. Sonia Chellarian. (2021). War And Psyche: An Examination Of Psychoanalytic Theory In The Movies “Jojo Rabbit” And “Dunkirk” . Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, 17692–17697. Retrieved from https://www.annalsofrscb.ro/index.php/journal/article/view/7862