The Collector

This novel initially interested me in the way it was written as well as the psychological character of Clegg. It seems as though his perspective of the story is written in a completely subjective perspective, unable to grasp reality in any way. At the start of the story, he seems almost normal but as the story goes on his madness becomes more and more apparent. His perception of Miranda and his plan to capture her intrigue me in that his logic, or lack thereof, is greatly skewed. This aspect of his character almost took me by surprise; the story took many twists and turns I failed to anticipate.

As a psychology major, it took the story of Clegg almost as a challenge to analyze. After his madness became apparent, I became motivated to figure out what made him that way. Looking back at his description of his childhood and what had happened to his parents, I was able to put together a theory. Because his dad died when he was young and his mother abandoned him, his desire to capture Miranda and refuse to let her go makes sense. He feels as though he has to tightly grasp onto the things he loves so that he will never lose them. However, I feel that he does not have a correct understanding of love; his love is more like a fascination or infatuation with something he finds mysteriously beautiful.

I feel as though Miranda’s death was a quite significant part of the story. It interested me that Clegg barely felt remorse toward her dying and barely did anything to stop it. I felt as though if he wanted to keep her for his own selfish desires, he would at least try to keep her alive for himself. The fact that he didn’t do anything shows that he failed to connect with her in any real human way. At the finish, Clegg begins to wonder about another girl he sees on the street while moving Miranda’s body. It’s almost as if he does not see the girls as people but as beautiful objects that he believes will fill his empty heart if he captures them for himself.

I have questions regarding Clegg’s sexual desires toward Miranda. In the part of the story in which Miranda attempts to get in bed with Clegg, it almost seems as though Clegg is not sexually interested in her, which I find strange. When she kisses him and undresses herself, he feels too uncomfortable and does not enjoy it. It seems as though he enjoys her sexually when he takes nude pictures of her, but will not actually act upon it. I want to further explore and figure out the core of his desires with Miranda, because they are not very clear in the story.

I plan to research the various references within the text that Clegg and Miranda allude to such as The Tempest and Shakespeare. I feel that these aspects of the story will give me greater insight to the story and will allow me to further analyze the psychological aspects of each character. I also want to look at different psychological theorists such as Freud and Jung again. Then, I can form a network of different ideas as I did in the last project Cinematic Inquiry and develop deeper analysis of the book.

A New Way of Thinking

In forming my Cinematic Inquiry Prezi presentation, I found myself making connections and forming a network of ideas different than how I usually do for a research project. As a psychology major, most of my papers consist of researching certain articles to support or reject a specific hypothesis (usually to support it). This is a difficult way of researching in that instead of being able to form an argument based on what I find, I have to find data based on my argument. This technique of research was definitely a more satisfying way of creating my argument for Being John Malkovich. I chose to explore several theorists that we have examined in class, and based on what I found, I chose which theories to use to analyze the main themes of the film. I explored the Internet as well as different pieces of material that we’ve read in class. Upon gathering information about theories of Freud and Jung, as well as Sartre, I was able to decide how I could connect these to the film and be able to analyze the film with the information that I had found.

Prezi was also an interesting tool to use in forming my research-based argument. It allowed me to display my ideas in an abstract, visual way, which I am not used to. Throughout my education, I have only been taught to display my ideas or arguments in a linear structure- paragraph/essay form. Because I have been stuck writing essays and papers my whole life, using Prezi was quite an adventure for me. It was almost difficult for me to network my ideas based on the flow of my thoughts and ideas, since I have been trained to display them so linearly in the past. As you can see in my Prezi, the flow of ideas is still very linear, rather than an abstract flow of thought; 3 distinct lines of connecting of ideas of Freud, Jung, and Sartre. This way of thinking and presenting information is very new to me.  After doing this project, I am excited and motivated to try to think and display my thoughts in a less-linear fashion, specifically for the final project.

Cinematic Inquiry

By using Prezi, I created a visual network of ideas related to the movie Being John Malkovich. I related themes in the movie to psychologist Sigmund Freud’s concept of the id, ego, and superego and explain the characters desires in terms of these. I also explore Carl Jung’s idea of the unconscious and the process of individuation that occurs in each character. Finally, I present Sartre’s existentialism to different aspects of the movie in his idea of existence and essence. Enjoy the Portal into the Mind.