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Thema: meine ("gr4vitysu3") interpretation (viel zu lesen

Verfasst am: 10.06.2009, 18:46
Anmeldedatum: 10.06.2009 Beitrge: 1
hey ich hab mal ne recht lange arbeit über das thema geschrieben, und ich bekomme seltsamerweise jede woche ein paar hits auf eine grafik die damit hochgeladen habe bevor die arbeit fertig war, muss eigentlich aus diesem forum kommen

naja egal, ich cp euch einfach mal die arbeit, ist nach so langer zeit bisschen peinlich, steht viel drin was ich so niemals mehr machen würde, aber gut, ich war jung und dumm
von der interpretation her bin ich mir aber sicher das es den nagel auf den kopf trifft, und die theorie passt perfekt auf den film

kurzform: kelly kritisiert das amerikanische schulsystem, und kritisiert das leute zu schnell sozial ausgegrenzt werden

lange form (conclusion zu lesen wird den meisten reichen)

The Criticism of the School System and Social Structure in Donnie Darko

1. Introduction
This paper is an attempt to provide a valid interpretation of the movie Donnie Darko and its environment. The term Donnie Darko transcends the movie as shown in the cinemas. To follow the author’s, Richard Kelly, original intention completely it is essential to include all primary sources contributing to the reality of Donnie Darko. This includes the official web site and especially the scenes which were deleted from the original movie but reinserted in the director’s cut.
Following the generally acknowledged postmodern paradigm a great variety of interpretations is possible. Nevertheless I will attempt to establish an interpretation based upon the most prevalently cited intention of Richard Kelly:
“Ultimately the film is critical of the public school system. That’s probably me saying the public school system sucks. It does perhaps a lot of unnecessary damage to kids that it doesn’t need to do. Maybe something about suburban communities and suburban life can be suffocating. I think also trying to create a lead character [who] was an archetype for anybody who feels alienated or feels different or feels they don’t fit into the system.”
What Kelly calls alienation and differentness can scientifically be termed as sociological deviance. Therefore, in order to categorize and decode the social mechanisms that occur in Donnie Darko, it is expedient to apply a sociological theory that describes deviance. With this theory this paper attempts to point out the criticism of social structures and the school system in Donnie Darko.

2. Film synopsis and background
2.1. Background: creation and reception
Before beginning with the actual analysis, certain background information is needed to help the reader understand the creation of the movie and its impact on the audience. After severe problems “pitching” his movie due to his inexperience and young age, Richard Kelly was offered a 4.5 Million dollar budget by Flower Films and he gratefully accepted. The decision of the Flower Films owner, Drew Barrymore, was based on her personal interest to a greater extent than on the anticipation of high economic remuneration.
Tragically, the skeptics the movie had to face in its beginnings were proven correct; it flopped and “grossed a whopping $500,000 at the domestic box office” . In the audio commentary of the DVD Richard Kelly states jestingly that probably more people worked on the movie than actually saw it in the theatres . The characterizing and unique success of the movie was not immediate: “Years of midnight screenings at theaters around the country and the film's impressive success on DVD -- taking in more than $10 million to date in U.S. sales alone -- have turned what was once a confusing and oblique failure into a confusing and oblique cult hit.”
Consequently, this movie neither is a huge Hollywood production, no blockbuster that draws millions of viewers into the cinemas, nor it is an underground movie that is unapproachable in its style or inaccessible because it is only known to a small scene of fans. Donnie Darko is a rare phenomenon whose idiosyncrasies do not limit its success, just delay it. It is embraced by the audience after all, not fast, but long lasting. The sophisticated plot demands multiple viewings and the exalted cinematic level of visualization and sound makes it a delight to do so, which explains its success on DVD and the frequent comparisons to David Lynch’s movies.
Thus, it is not exaggeration to say Donnie Darko created its own scene of people engaging themselves in the movie, which is reflected in roughly 3 million, a fairly high amount for a film of this relatively small success in cinemas and budget.
In countless internet boards and newsgroups people are trying to solve the mysteries, complete the storyline and interpret the movie. The attempts mostly focus on creating a coherent and stringent storyline. Especially since book mentioned in the film “The Philosophy of Time Travel” has been released on the DVD and a lot of hints are given how Kelly intended the plot to be like. A more abstract approach is the attempt to find symbolisms or parallels. The variety of interpretative ideas spreads from Donnie just having a nightmare to being the messiah. Even parallels to Faust were frequently pointed out. Only few attempt an ultimate interpretation, asking the evident question what the actual message of the movies is. In interviews with the cast it is often emphasized that everybody has their own interpretation, and being asked about the topic or theme of the movie, almost everyone gives a different answer. Kelly himself frequently refers to Donnie Darko as “a science fiction story” , a definition that discards insanity or other psychological explanations while reflecting Kelly’s final, sociological interpretation cited earlier.
2.2. Synopsis
The film stretches over a time span of 29 days, whereas the first day is only introductory. The actual plot takes places in the 28 days between the 2nd and 30th October. In the night of the 2nd October Donnie Darko is summoned outside by Frank, a stranger in a rabbit suit, who tells Donnie that the world will end in 28 days. Meanwhile a jet engine of unknown origin crashes into Donnie’s room. Nobody is injured but the incident leaves Donnie’s family and the authorities puzzled.
In school Donnie meets Gretchen and they get romantically involved shortly after. The curriculum contains two conflicting aspects: the young Ms. Pomeroy teaches a controversial and eventually subversive book, while the older Ms. Farmer is preaching the concepts of the local and highly reputable self-help guru Cunningham.
Again Donnie is summoned by Frank at night, this time to break into the school and flood it. He also defaces the school mascot, a bronze statue of a mongrel. Ms. Farmer blames the book taught by Ms. Pomeroy for this vandalism.
One evening, Donnie perceives liquid lines, spears, flowing out of people’s chests, guiding them and determining their way. Donnie’s own spear leads him upstairs to his father’s gun. Also Donnie is introduced to the book “The philosophy of time travel” by his teacher Dr. Monnitoff, written by the local outcast “Grandma Death”. The book describes all occurrences and apparitions Donnie has faced so far.
After disputes with Kitty Farmer and with Jim Cunningham Donnie is again summoned by Frank. He burns down Cunningham’s house, exposing Cunningham’s collection of child pornography to the public. In the meantime, Ms. Pomeroy was fired for her educational methods, which is especially troubling to Donnie due to their good relationship.
Kitty Farmer is preoccupied with the Jim-Cunningham-defense-campaign so Rose Darko is obligated to pitch in escorting the dance group, in which both the daughters of Kitty Farmer and Rose Darko participate, to a talent show in Los Angeles. Due to this Donnie and his elder sister are home alone during the last weekend. They decide to throw a party at which Donnie realizes that the prophesied end of the world is only six hours away. He is drawn to the house of “Grandma Death” where through an accident Gretchen is accidentally run over and killed by Frank, who is the boyfriend of Donnie’s sister. Frank wears a rabbit suite for Halloween and looks exactly like the rabbit that has been appearing to Donnie. In shock, Donnie shoots Frank with his dad’s gun. In the morning, Donnie witnesses a maelstrom appearing over his house, the end of the world has come.
Here, there is a break in the narrative, the film “rewinds” the last 28 days, and Donnie finds himself in his bed again. This time he is struck dead by the jet engine. The other characters awake at the same time and remember the events of the previous days merely as dreams. All consequences of Donnie’s acts are undone. Gretchen and Frank are still alive, Miss Pomeroy is not dismissed, his mother and sister do not crash with the plane which lost its engine and Cunningham’s child pornography ring is not exposed.
This confusing ending suggests an existence of a time loop. This plot device is explained by Kelly in the Philosophy of Time Travel.

2.3. The interpretation of The Philosophy of Time Travel
Parts of the fictional book contained in the film were published by Richard Kelly on the DVD as bonus material. The creation of a stringent storyline is an autonomous topic which would need detailed examination, but is not crucial for the topic discussed in this essay. Therefore the “Philosophy of time travel”-interpretation will only be expounded briefly.
According to the book, a parallel, tangent, universe was accidentally created and will destroy the original, primary, universe by collapsing. The book suggests that Donnie, the living receiver, has to return the jet engine, the artifact, to the primary universe to prevent the collapse. The 28 days in the movie take place in the tangent universe and due to its collapse they are “rewind”. Individuals around him are manipulated in order to lead him into the right direction. In order to save the primary universe, eventually the death of the living receiver, Donnie, is required.
Thus, it is possible to conceive Donnie as the chosen one who is sensing the coming catastrophe. The other characters follow their way blindly and without realizing it, lead Donnie to his purpose. Ultimately Donnie dies in order to save our universe, whether this is a conscious or compulsive decision is not made clear.
3. The Labeling Theory of sociological deviance
3.1. Formal and informal deviance
“Deviance” or “deviant” terms individuals or their behavior as not conforming to the rules and understandings in their society and “are completely unevaluating terms”. It is necessary to distinguish between formal and informal deviance.
Formal deviance means the breaking of official rules of a society, which are usually the laws of the state or constitution (e.g. school regulations).
Informal deviance terms behavior that is not illegal by official laws or rules, but differs from the set of unspoken or unofficial rules of the society (e.g. premarital or promiscuous sex).
It is essential to emphasize that deviance can never be descried as absolute, since it only denominates “a kind of relationship between behavior and literal or potential negative reactions. Without these reactions, literal or potential, we do not have deviance”. The Labeling Theory focuses on exactly this relationship between the deviant and the audience, the individuals acknowledging and evaluating the behavior.
3.2. Labeling Theory
The Labeling Theory was created in the 1960s mostly by Edwin Lemert, the “father of labeling theory” by applying “symbolic interactionism to deviant phenomena”. Symbolic interactionism is a sociological perspective that is based on the premises of meaning, interaction and interpretation. “First people act on the basis of meaning things have for them. Second, this meaning grows out of interaction with others, especially intimate others. And third, meaning is continually modified by interpretation.”
These core-premises offer a more diverse approach to sociological phenomena than other, more traditional perspectives which imply a focus more on the act, than on the individual and its environment. Thus, out of those ideas, more necessary distinctions arise.
3.2.1. Individual and audience
The groups that need to be examined in a theory descrying deviance are the deviant individual and his or her audience. The term audience is a vital differentiation from the term society, because a society cannot be considered as a homogenous group, and never acts as such. Important for the deviant individual and the determination of deviance, the labeling, are only the participating individuals forming the audience. The American sociologist Erich Goode who specialized in sociology of deviance stated: “An audience could be one’s friend, the police, teachers, a psychiatrist, bystanders – even oneself.” It is crucial to understand that if there is no audience willing or able to recognize the deviance, there is no deviance.
Thus, the significant part of deviance is not the actions or the deviant; it is the reactions of the audience. This leads to the actual mechanics the Labeling Theory describes.
3.2.2. The process of labeling and its consequences
If the audience recognizes the individual or his behaviour as deviant, regardless of his actual behaviour, personality or actions, he is labelled as deviant. This labeling leads to severe consequences for the individual, since his or her label might exceed the reality. A stigmatized and rejected individual who, having been punished, is not reintegrated into the society is forced into a cycle of increasing deviance, since he or her will only face more rejection. This, in turn, will lead to even more deviant behavior. Another possibility is that the label of deviance becomes a part of the individual’s identity, possibly because of identification with a deviant group or stereotype.
Thus it is likely that the individual will become increasingly deviant, because of his label. This leads to the fundamental distinction of primary and secondary deviance.
3.2.3. Primary and secondary deviance
Primary deviance is the act or behavior that occurs and leads to the labeling of the individual by the audience in the first place. The theory regards this deviance as polygenic and so complex that it cannot be covered by a single approach, thus the Labeling Theory focuses on the secondary deviance. Secondary deviance “occurs when the individual who enacts deviant behavior deals with the problems created by social reactions to his or her primary deviation”. The labeled individual who is not tolerated or reintegrated will suffer from alienation and rejection which will amplify each other. This leads to the cycle of increasing deviance mentioned above.
3.2.4. Key variables
How influential the secondary deviance is and if the label can be shed, is “an empirical question, dependent on a number of key variables”.
The most significant key variables are the power and prestige of the actors. If the individual is superior in their social relationship to the audience the labeling will be without consequence. If the audience is superior, the labeling has most severe effects and damages the individual.
3.2.5. Criticisms of the Labeling Theory
The Labeling Theory faces most criticism because it does not answer the basic question, what the actual cause of the behavior is. Traditional scientists argue that this theory is incapable of solving this question. This is undoubtedly correct, but the Labeling Theory never intended to do so.
The most valid criticism occurs towards the lack of coerciveness in the Labeling Theory. The theory leaves too much space for individual variation. None of the rules are binding and in general the described mechanisms are too abstract. This cannot convincingly be denied, but these inaccuracies are recognized in the key variables and not only tolerated but incorporated.

In conclusion, the Labeling Theory is valid to describe social systems both trivial and abstract, because it is a contemporary theory which focuses on the relationships of the involved parties and not on the actions in an absolute way. This relativism makes it especially suitable for an approach describing the social mechanisms in Donnie Darko, since the movie does not make clear if Donnie’s behavior actually is absolutely deviant or not. The film does not make clear if Donnie is actually deranged or the only one who senses the truth. Therefore it is more worthwhile to illuminate the relationships towards the actions rather than the actions themselves.
Additionally the Labeling Theory describes exactly what is meant by Kelly’s previously quoted statement “It does perhaps a lot of unnecessary damage to kids that it doesn’t need to do.”. The unnecessary damage through punishment is the circle of increasing deviance resulting from the labeling process.
4. Agenda
To follow and examine Kelly’s interpretation of school and system criticism by applying the Labeling Theory I will attempt to illustrate the set of relationships between the characters one by one. I will describe the characters according to the approach applying the Labeling Theory in a spectrum that stretches from “deviant” to “audience”. The different shadings of this spectrum are the characters. Additionally the characters match in pairs that contrast and oppose each other. It appears that every character has a “negative” or an “evil twin”. The structure shown in the graph, the “life line” is not only the structure of this paper, but also, as I attempt to point out, the structure of the whole movie and a crucial instrument to convey the message of the film. The “life line” is a central motif the movie evolves from. It also merges the sociological approach with Kelly’s own statement of school criticism. This contrast between Love and Fear and deviant and audience is the basis for the reaction the movie evokes on the one hand and the evaluation of the characters in order to find out which ones Kelly favors on the other.
The structure is shown in the above graph; the order of the main part will follow the graph from left to right. I will choose one or two exemplifying and characterizing scenes or utterances for each character and analyze the character constellation especially regarding the Labeling Theory. I will not analyze the individuals in order to provide a characteristic, but I will descry their behavior in terms of the Labeling Theory.
The Labeling Theory focuses on the relationship between individuals, and not on the individuals themselves, and so will the analysis. Since the movie is focuses on the lead character, the analysis will put Donnie’s character at the center and his relationships to others will be included in each character’s individual chapter.
A special focus will be on the dialogues and the plot because they demonstrate the relationships between the characters most clearly. Predominantly an aggregation of the characters utterances and the illuminating of the crucial context will be adequate to depict the characters position. A stylistic analysis will most likely support the analysis based on the literal content, but cannot stand by itself. If the stylistic elaboration only amplifies the impression that evolves from the content of the dialogues, a close analysis would reveal no additional information and would not help the interpretation.
Characters like Roberta Sparrow (Grandma Death) and Principle Cole would eventually fit into the theory as well, as representatives of ultimate deviance and isolation respectively the repressive power of the school-system, but they would not exemplify anything that is not already included in the other characters. They would not contribute to the interpretation and are therefore excluded.
Another aspect is the ambiguity lying in the term “public” school system. In the United States and most anglophone countries “public” refers to schools that are accessible for everybody, financed by the state and do not charge tuition fees. In England and Wales “public” is the term for schools that are independent and charge tuition. The fact that at Donnie’s school uniforms are obligatory and the news state that the private school asks for donations , creates confusion as to what Kelly actually means. He stated his intention is to criticize the public school system, but Donnie Darko takes place in a private school. It is possible that Kelly uses this ambiguity as a stylistic device, emphasizing the negative sides of public schools by displaying them in a private school, in which they are even more distinct. But since the criticism this essay will point out does not focus on the difference between the two systems, but on aspects that are valid in both systems, this detail can be disregarded.
5. Main part
5.1. Donnie Darko/Supernatural Frank
The first recorded activity of Donnie Darko is a minor incident of arson. Informing Gretchen about his past, he asserts that he burned down an abandoned house by accident. Nevertheless this had severe consequences. He had to spend a twelve month curriculum in a detention center , has to repeat a year in school and is barred from driving until he is 21. Also the fact that he has to undergo therapy and take medication eventually results mainly from this first original incident. While being institutionalized he was also diagnosed with “a rare somna[am]bulant sleep disorder”.
Another essential facet of Donnie’s character are the “intimidating” Iowa Test results, a standardized test to test the achievement of students , which indicate an extraordinary intelligence. Also Jakes Gyllenhall’s physical attractiveness should be taken into account, although it is difficult to provide hard proof. An attractive actor is a common device to evoke identification and sympathy for the character, especially in the leading role.
The rabbit appearing to him, Frank, will be referred as “supernatural Frank” to distinguish him from “real Frank”, the boyfriend of Donnie’s sister. These terms will prevent confusion, since real Frank gets shot by Donnie, and appears in consequence as supernatural Frank to Donnie in the past.
In the course of the movie his offenses increase chronologically in quantity and quality. They can be distinguished in two categories.

I. Severe formal deviance
• He floods the school and strikes an axe into the school mascot’s head, leaving the message “They made me do it”.
• He sets Jim Cunningham’s house on fire.
• He shoots real Frank, his sister’s boyfriend.
II. Insignificant informal deviance
• In the first scenes in which he interacts with his family he insults his sister and his mother.
• He verbally offends Kitty Farmer during class. For this he is punished with a six month suspension from after-school activities.
• He severely challenges, criticizes and finally insults Jim Cunningham and his opinions in a public presentation.
The actions from the first category are motivated by supernatural Frank, while the actions from the second category arise from Donnie’s personal discontent with the actions and beliefs he is confronted with. The latter will be discussed and analyzed in the chapters dealing with the characters to in order to infer the reason for Donnie’s discontent. Supernatural Frank and his influence are, like the “spears” , only sensed by Donnie. This is shown the last hypnosis scene, in which supernatural Frank appears in the presence of Doctor Thurman. Thus it is possible to include supernatural Frank as an aspect of Donnie’s character. He clearly commands Donnie to flood the school, as it is implied by Donnie’s question “Why did you make me flood the school?”. Furthermore he does it even more clearly by presenting Donnie the house on the silver screen and saying “Burn it to the ground”.
It is therefore reasonable to say, supernatural Frank’s power and the “spears” originate from the same supernatural force, since only real Frank’s death can lead to the supernatural Frank who appears to Donnie. Thus, the homicide is a direct consequence of the commands supernatural Frank gave earlier. But also supernatural Frank’s command indirectly helps Donnie because he is only able to start his romance with Gretchen after the school’s cancellation. Without the romance Gretchen could not get killed, real Frank would not be shot and never appear Donnie in the past. Thus it can be said that the supernatural Frank sets up his own supernatural existence, as can be inferred from the explanation given in “The Philosophy of Time Travel”.
In case of the arson, supernatural Frank is merely the trigger and Cunningham can be seen as the actual instigator because of the close connection to Donnie’s and Cunningham’s dispute. This connecting and catalyzing position of supernatural Frank implies that although he triggered the vandalism the ones who actually caused it are unmentioned. Thus, “They made me do it” does not seem to refer to supernatural Frank alone. The grammatical constellation, using plural, indicates a group supernatural Frank might be a part of, but also additional individuals are required. Nevertheless, supernatural Frank’s utterance “I can do anything I want….and so can you” can be interpreted as his willingness to break the rules of society, and has the power to instigate Donnie’s actions.
Translation into terms of the Labeling Theory
The first incident of arson is a violation of laws, which was detected and punished by the authorities. Therefore it can be defined as formal deviance. Since the material does not narrate a former deviant act or reasons for the act itself, it can also be seen as the primary deviant act.
The first category of acts also matches the definition of formal deviance with special severity. The second line can be matched with informal deviance since insults and inconvenient antagonism do not break fixed laws. Surely insulting a teacher is against official rules, the analysis it will demonstrate that Donnie’s antagonism and unwillingness to adapt are more of the essence, than the actual offence against a rule. An important aspect is the significantly milder severity compared to category one. Thus this category can be summed up into deviance of mild severity, but transcending the formal/informal distinction.
The question if this behavior is secondary deviant and caused by foregone labeling, will be discussed in the detailed analysis in the chapters of the individual characters (Chapters 5.2 to 5.11), since it emanates from their relationships to Donnie. Nevertheless, already at this point indicators for labeling can be found.
• The severe punishment Donnie received for his primary act: his detention brought him on the same level with individuals who have committed much more severe offences, which eventually lead to an excessive evaluation of his act. Being in a detention centre with profoundly deviant individuals, criminals, eventually gave Donnie and his family the feeling that he actually is one.
• The long-term penalties: Having to repeat one year and being barred from driving until he is 21 years old constantly reminds him and everyone around him of his action. This makes the eventually existing label much harder to shed.
• The fact that his acts in both categories increase in severity indicates a cycle of increasing deviance.
• The message “They made me do it” is also a strong indicator for a labeling process that coerces Donnie. The further analysis of the other characters will discuss who “they” are and if and how they made him do it.
The general setting of Donnie’s character, his outer appearance and his intelligence, as well as the circumstances of his behavior, lead to understanding and sympathy, although the acts themselves are questionable. Therefore Donnie is not only the central character, but also preset as a figure of identification for the viewer.
Supernatural Frank, conceived as a facet of Donnie’s character, can be seen as the incarnation of Donnie’s deviance as described in category one. He is the trigger of Donnie’s mischief, but also an amplifier from Donnie’s inside. He can be seen as the typical alter-ego. This supports the identification of the viewer with Donnie, since Donnie’s deviance is detached from his true character, supernatural Frank’s existence supports the impression that Donnie is merely the victim of adversarial circumstances.
5.2. Eddie Darko
After Donnie sets Cunningham’s house on fire, Donnie meets his father, Eddie, on an idle morning in the garden. Donnie states frustratedly that he is crazy, but his father denies this. Eddie approves of Donnie’s actions by advising honesty and especially by condemning the people who oppose Donnie. He supports Donnie in his discontent about the people who insult and despise him by calling them “full of shit”. The fact that this scene appears shortly after Donnie’s dispute with Cunningham and just before Cunningham’s “Kiddy-porn dungeon” is exposed clearly implies that especially Cunningham is meant.
Eddie states that it is Donnie’s previously mentioned extraordinary intelligence that causes his exclusion, because people feel threatened by him. This seems to refer to the incident in which Donnie insults Kitty Farmer for her teachings. Eddie’s previous reactions to this incident are reflected in the dialogue in the garden. He laughs when he hears what Donnie said to Kitty Farmer , and instead of a punishment he proposes to reward Donnie for his offense. Also those reactions show that he does not only state his support towards Donnie, but also enforces it.
The sentence “I used to be crazy…” indicates the origin of Eddie’s appreciation and might refer to a troubled past. Eddie’s inability to sleep the night the jet-engine crashes into the house implies the rudiments of a sleeping disorder. Thus it is possible not only to interpret the sleeping disorder as the link that establishes the connection between father and son, but also that Eddie bequeathed his disorder genetically to Donnie.

Translation into terms of the Labeling Theory
In the dialogue Eddie and Donnie discuss the relationship between the deviant, Donnie, and his audience, especially Cunningham and Kitty Farmer. Eddie clearly has been on Donnie’s side throughout all incidents, opposing and ridiculing the audience, but also he opposes Donnie’s self-incrimination. This dialogue indicates that the labeling has already made Donnie believe that he actually is crazy, and that his father respects Donnie more than Donnie does himself. This supports the cycle of increasing deviance, since Donnie has internalized his deviance into his identity between the two final stages of his deviant and destructive behavior. The fact that Donnie labels himself and is convinced of his deviance, leads to the climax of his deviant behavior, the homicide.

Eddie can be seen as the manifestation of the notion that Donnie after all is right in his doing, and should be handled with understanding instead of punishment. In the garden-scene he appears as a mentor, but generally he is Donnie’s supporter, although mostly in the background.
5.3. Gretchen Ross
Gretchen’s character is difficult to depict, therefore several small aspects will be taken into account. In her first appearances she shows affinity and sympathy towards Donnie. By choosing to sit next to him , she confirms the physical attractiveness of Donnie mentioned earlier and she is not intimidated by his introduction to his past problems but compliments him and agrees to “go” with him. But her approval is limited. She is not entirely responsive to Donnie’s passionate speech concerning his animosity towards Cunningham. Also her relationship to individuals in school is different. After their disagreement in class Donnie approaches Gretchen who is standing in a crowd of chatting girls. He displays his desire to talk to her but Gretchen rejects him. This contrast of their integration is also displayed during Cunningham’s presentation; while Donnie refuses to reply to Cunningham’s greeting, Gretchen unenthusiastically responds. Ultimately they reconcile at the party, but the generally different attitude remains.
Translation into terms of the Labeling Theory
In the scenes mentioned above it can be seen that Gretchen is integrated into society, but she is silhouetted against the audience in the act of the labeling, by her building a relation with Donnie. She recognizes his formal and informal forms of deviance but she does not fully understand his motivation. Nevertheless, it is essential to point out that there is no scene in which she labels him.

Gretchen has a relationship towards Donnie that no other character shares. Unlike Eddie, she does condone his deviant behavior, but ultimately she approves of him by being his girlfriend. She is integrated in the society to a greater extent than he is, but she neither judges nor excludes Donnie as a consequence of that. She shows that it is possible to recognize deviance without approving of it, but not enforcing punishment or rejection. Thus, if it turn out that other characters label Donnie and cause a debasement of Donnie’s state that way, Gretchen would be the antipode of this attitude.
5.4. Cherita Chen
Although Cherita has no influence on the actual plot, she is a very important character.
At the bus stop, Cherita is viciously insulted and harassed by Ronald and Sean. Her sole reaction is to call out to them to be quiet. Donnie supports her and tells the two boys to leaver her alone. Cherita wears earmuffs on a sunny and warm day and is constantly the victim of verbal assaults. Thus it is a likely interpretation that the earmuffs represent shelter and her unwillingness to perceive the insults of her surrounding. This unwillingness is so excessive that she runs away in panic even as Donnie approaches her with a positive message. The fact that Donnie wears her earmuffs on his way home can be interpreted as Donnie’s display of sympathy and approval of Cherita.
Translation into terms of the Labeling Theory
Cherita is strongly labeled by her audience, primarily by her peers. The fact that she does not rebel against this mistreatment but makes it worse by isolating herself can be conceived as a cycle of increasing deviance. In this case it is Donnie who refuses to take part in this process and attempts to ameliorate her situation.

Cherita can be seen as a microcosm of the unchecked labeling mechanism. Unlike Donnie she does not rebel against this process and represents it in a final irreparable state. By interacting with her, Donnie proves that he does not participate and even opposes the labeling. Also a certain incompetence of the authorities comes to show; Donnie is the only one who takes action against the harassment, no adult even notices what is happening.
5.5. Karen Pomeroy
The scene of her dismissal provides a good example of Karen Pomeroy’s character and her role in the movie. The principal declares her teaching methods to be inappropriate but refuses to give an explanation for this statement. She accuses him of a lack of comprehension concerning young people stating that they are lost to apathy and “slipping away”. After Principle Cole does not accept any discussion, Ms. Pomeroy walks outside and shrieks a curse over the school grounds. Pomeroy’s dismissal seems to be the consequence of the earlier criticism of her curriculum by Kitty Farmer during the parent-teacher-association meeting, in which Kitty Farmer even disqualifies her by saying she needed to go back to grad school. Pomeroy’s accusations towards Principle Cole can be seen in context with the fact, that Seth Devlin is consuming cocaine in the school hallway and the principle passes without noticing it , and that Cole’s sole interaction with a student is the suspension of Donnie. Karen’s description of the “kids” that are “slipping away” can also be set in context with Donnie, to whom this description would apply more than to any other character. The connection to Donnie is intensified as he shows his discontent about Karen Pomeroy’s dismissal by calling it “bullshit” because, in his opinion, she is “the only good teacher here”. Also her statement that the “kids have to save themselves these days” can be seen as her self-conception, this sentence implies that she thought it was her vocation to “save the kids”, before she was fired. The scream on the school grounds can be conceived as an expression of her incomprehension of the whole situation and passion for her vocation. After the book The Destructors was banned at school she expressed that she abides by the rules and enforces them even if she does not agree with them. She merely attempts to evade the rules unofficially by calling attention to the copies ordered at the book store. Her dismissal results merely from a miscalculation of how much subversion will be tolerated, not from a defiant act of rebellion.
Translation into terms of the Labeling Theory
Being a teacher Miss Pomeroy would be likely to be a vital part of the audience in the labeling mechanism, but she never is. Her views expressed towards Principle Cole even indicate the opposite; she disapproves of punishment and suggests an approach of “the children” with understanding and communication. She can be seen as the anti-labeling audience, trying to “save” “the children” instead of labeling and punishing them, which is highlighted by the conflict with the authorities that represent the converse.
Nevertheless she does attempt to follow the rules, and is crushed by her failure to do so. Karen Pomeroy can be interpreted as deviant because she teaches a controversial book and is attacked for it. She attempts to overcome her own deviance to conform to the rules, but still she is dismissed.

Karen Pomeroy can be conceived as the center of the school criticism. She represents a passionate way of caring about the kids, but she is oppressed by more potent authorities. She attempts to “save” Donnie, but is held back. Integrating her in the thesis of school and system criticism, she represents the way children should be treated and educated. This is emphasized by the fact that “the only good teacher” is restrained and smothered, although she compromises her conviction in favor of her conformity. In the graph she is close to the border of “audience” which emerges from just this willingness to conform. Her dismissal is the consequence of her inability to conform to the system, not of her unwillingness to do so.
5.6. Rose Darko
The crux of Rose’s character is her ambivalence towards Donnie and his behavior. Before leaving for New York, she tells Donnie that it is wonderful to have him as a son and the relief in her facial expression when biding farewell to Donnie , indicates that they have reconnected.
On the other hand, she disagrees with Eddie concerning Donnie’s offense to Kitty Farmer. While Eddie justifies Donnie’s affront Rose does not only suggest consequences later , but also agrees with Dr. Thurman in her choice of increasing the medication. The fact that she fights back her tears agreeing to increase the medication reveals her whole attitude to the situation. Donnie has expressed his aversion to the “goddamn pills” earlier, and Rose’s tears clearly imply that it is excruciating for her to agree. Nevertheless, ultimately it is her decision to agree with Dr. Thurman and therefore to go against Donnie’s wishes.

Translation into the Labeling Theory
Rose is exactly on the edge between Donnie and his audience. She recognizes and disapproves of his deviance, and also agrees with the forces that label him. She is part of the audience, but shows that the motivation of the audience stems from an attempt to help the deviant individual. In order to help Donnie she agrees with the authorities, who believe they know what is best for Donnie. Assuming there is a labeling process which forces Donnie to increase his deviance, Rose exemplifies the good will of the audience, who attempt to decrease Donnie’s deviance but achieve the opposite.

Rose loves Donnie and her only aim is to help him, and she believes the way to do so is to trust society. She is torn between Donnie and the authorities opposing him.
5.7. Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff
Professor Monnitoff and Karen Pomeroy seem to be lovers as they sleep in the same bed and appear frequently together. Similar to Karen Pomeroy Monnitoff seems to be a devoted teacher with a special relationship to Donnie, which he displays in two deep discussions after class.
Up to this point he seems to as the male equivalent to Karen Pomeroy, but the similarity mentioned above only emphasizes their difference by contrast. Kenneth Monnitoff discontinues the conversation with Donnie because he fears the loss of his job. The reason for this fear might be that religious topics are illegal to discuss in school, or that on a private Christian school this conversation could be conceived as blasphemous. As mentioned earlier this essay will not discuss the detail of whether the school should be perceived as a private Christian school or just a school in general, because the essential factor is that Monnitoff is suppressed by the rules which impede him from giving Donnie the answers he desires. Shortly after this, Karen Pomeroy loses her job. This arrangement suggests that Karen Pomeroy loses her job because she did not follow the rules as closely as Kenneth Monnitoff did, who compromised his profession and desire to approach Donnie because he was afraid of the superior authority’s power.
Translation into the Labeling Theory
Like Karen Pomeroy, Kenneth Monnitoff is not part of the possibly existing labeling process towards Donnie. The long discussions with Donnie suggest that he also attempts to reach the students with communication and understanding. He is not part of the audience. This similarity to Karen Pomeroy again emphasizes his difference to her. He does not take the risk to become perceived as deviant, due to an offense to the laws, like she does. He is intimidated by the potential audience and therefore compromises his own will and devotion to his profession.

Similar to Karen Pomeroy, Monnitoff is an archetype of a passionate teacher, but unlike her, he takes even fewer risks in order to conform to the rules and finally he is left unpunished.
5.8. The Boys
Donnie’s two friends, Ronald and Sean can be conceived as a group since they absolutely harmonize in their behavior. Also the school-bullies Seth Devlin and Ricky Danforth can be related to them.
As shown in a dialogue during an idle afternoon, Ronald and Sean entertain a friendly and respectful friendship to Donnie as they listen to Donnie’s theory and acknowledge his victory in the discussion by finally accepting his line of argument. Nevertheless there are no signs of a deep and close friendship since they only handle trivial topics in their conversations. As mentioned earlier, they act towards Cherita on a basis of casual humiliation and racism without any traceable motivation. They seem to single her out as their victim just because she is inferior and defenseless.
Like Sean and Ronald, Seth Devlin and Ricky Danforth also form a pair, embodying the archetype of the typical school-bullies. They consume drugs, threaten Donnie physically , harass Gretchen sexually and steal from Grandma Death’s basement. Again there is no insight in their motivation, which leaves the impression they abuse their superiority and simply pick on the inferior ones merely for entertainment purpose.
Translation into the Labeling Theory
The boys represent an audience which does not employ a labeling process accidentally by their attempt to reintegrate the deviant individual, but just seem to enjoy the labeling of inferior victims. The labeled individual is their outlet for abuse and punishment.
Especially Sean and Ronald are severely deviant themselves towards the general laws and rules in a much more destructive and dangerous way than Donnie is. Nevertheless there is no hint that Sean and Ronald have to face consequences for their behavior by an audience.

Regarding the boys two interpretations can be inferred from their behavior. Donnie is able to prove his ethical integrity and courage by interacting with them. In contrast with the misbehavior of the boys Donnie appears to be less destructive and peculiar.
Seth and Ricky clearly reveal the failure of the authorities to enforce consequences. While Donnie and Karen Pomeroy face consequences for their behavior with comprehensible reasons, two typical bullies remain unchecked.
5.9. Dr. Thurman
Like Gretchen, Donnie’s therapist Dr. Lillian Thurman is introduced by Donnie to all his apparitions and additionally also to some very intimate details, like his sexual fantasies, by means of hypnosis . She uses this information to suggest to Eddie and Rose that Donnie is a “paranoid schizophrenic” and prescribes a higher dose of medication for Donnie. Ultimately she reveals that the pills she gave him were placebos.
Translation into the Labeling Theory
Dr. Thurman can be seen as a vital part of the labeling process. She conveys her diagnosis to Donnie and his parents, making them believe that Donnie actually is mentally ill. The fact that the pills were placebos and her diagnosis therefore was speculative can be seen as an example of the possible discrepancy between the actual deviance and the label. The actual state of Donnie’s mental health is not important, only the diagnosis is. This is an example for the key variables. Being a psychiatrist Dr. Thurman is so powerful that her judgment rises above all objections and opinions opposing her.

The psychiatrist can be seen as the opposite of Gretchen, since she uses her close relationship to label Donnie, instead of approving of him. Also Dr. Thurman’s perception of Donnie faces the contrast of the viewer’s insight. The boy that she declares to be crazy is actually the only one able to sense the truth and saving the world. Dr. Thurman can be seen as conservative force of society, which uses its power to smother and ignore the “prophet”.
5.10. Kitty Farmer
Kitty Farmer gains significance in three essential relationships: a.) She strongly approves of Jim Cunningham, b.) she disapproves of Karen Pomeroy and c.) Donnie.
a.) Numerous scenes show that she strongly approves of Jim Cunningham, but the most outstanding one is when she asks Rose to chaperone the kids to Los Angeles. As reported on the news there is almost indisputable evidence that Jim Cunningham owns child pornography. Kitty Farmer seems strongly emotionally affected by those “horrible allegations” as she holds a tissue which indicates that she has been crying. Nevertheless she rather believes that this is “some kind of conspiracy to destroy an innocent man” than discarding Cunningham. Additionally Kitty expresses that it is more important for her to defend Cunningham than to chaperone their daughters to LA. Her willingness to trust Cunningham so strongly and rearrange her priorities in favor of him indicates an almost unconditional devotion.
b.) Kitty Farmer attacks Karen Pomeroy publicly during the PTA-meeting. She does not only criticize Pomeroy for her choice of literature, but is passionately disapproving of Karen Pomeroy personally by suggesting she should “go back to grad school”. Her exceedingly emotional way of debating about the book creates the impression that the defamation of Karen Pomeroy is what really motivates her rather than an objective discussion about the flooding-incident. This is supported by the fact that Pomeroy loses her job afterwards. The fact that she holds this monocausal reason for true, and confuses Graham Greene, the writer, with Lorne Greene, the actor known from Bonanza, create the impression that she is rather simpleminded.
c.) The delivery of Kitty Farmer’s incrimination against Donnie is similarly hysterical, as she emotionally narrates his insult to Principle Cole and Donnie’s parents. Also here she is successful, achieving Donnie’s suspension from “after school activities”. Due to this suspension he is unable to attend his sister’s talent show, during which he burns down Cunningham’s house. Thus, it is possible to conceive the arson as an indirect consequence of the suspension, since the arson is conditional on the suspension.
The values Kitty expresses after the meeting with Principle Cole towards a woman in the office and Rose, adding up with the “god is awesome” shirt , contribute to the impression that she is very conservative. Especially since she does not only cite those typical values (“responsibility, morality, family values”) but also enforces them on Karen Pomeroy and Donnie.
Translation into the Labeling Theory
Kitty Farmer can be seen as the strongest part of the audience, which emanates from the severe contrast of how she treats the three different potential deviants.
Without hesitation she is willing to enforce the most severe punishment for Karen Pomeroy and Donnie, making use of the key factors, her superior power and prestige. In Pomeroy’s case, the consequence obviates any reintegration, since Pomeroy is excluded forever. In Donnie’s case the punishment is an additional burden for an already troubled deviant and surely pedagogically inexpedient. Also it indirectly leads to Donnie’s severe act of arson, a strong indicator for a cycle of increasing deviance. This is emphasized by the contrast of how she acts towards Cunningham’s deviance, which is much more severe. She is unwilling to recognize his obvious deviance but not only refuses label him and enforce consequences, she even defends him publicly.
The essential facet is that she does not only act individually, but in all three cases attempts to influence and convince the public and higher authorities. Her behavior shows that the power lies within the audience because the existence and degree of deviance is determined by the audience’s perception and not by the action itself.
Kitty can be seen as the stereotype of a concerned but misguided conservative who attempts to transfer her notion and moral on all individuals of society. She can be seen as the antipode to Eddie, who, although he is politically conservative, is very tolerant towards deviance. Their opposing relationship is only conceptually since the plot does not provide any space to demonstrate their altercation. There are no scenes in which Kitty and Eddie interact. Therefore there is no hard evidence that Kitty and Eddie are completely contrary, but based on the characteristics revealed by the analysis and behavior towards Donnie it is evident that they are antipodes.

Kitty’s strong influence, conformity and high social status facilitates the inference that she does stand as an individual, but is the spokesperson of a larger group of people, even society in general.
5.11. Jim Cunningham
Jim Cunningham’s social prestige is a vital part in defining his character. From utterances like “I can’t believe he is single” the ones by Anne, Rose’s friend, it can be inferred that the public perception of Jim Cunningham is nothing but positive. Additionally, in a movie that takes place in the late 80’s, the climax of Patrick Swazey’s success, Cunningham’s charisma and physical attractiveness cannot be denied and also add up to the very positive image he enjoys.
Jim Cunningham’s position towards Donnie is best displayed in their conflict during Cunningham’s presentation in school. This scene provides exceptionally deep insight in the most important conflict of the movie, since the two most important characters meet in a conflict. Therefore the scene will be analyzed more closely.
He introduces his presentation with a typical example of a person who, according to Cunningham’s notion, followed a bad lifestyle and was therefore “destroyed”. As he names this boy Frank, the camera zooms in on the screen on which the name “Frank” is displayed, the darkly humming background music gets louder, the lights go out and there is a quick camera change close-up to Donnie’s face. This strongly suggests that this is no coincidence, but that actually Donnie’s apparition, supernatural Frank, is meant.
The short and evasive answers Cunningham gives to the children approaching the microphone indicate that he is not capable of providing help for troubled teenagers. The third volunteer, a little boy, is the same boy as seen on Cunningham’s motivational video (“I’m not afraid anymore!”). This indicates that it is all staged and his abstract and useless answers are prepared.
As Donnie approaches the microphone, the music creates a denser and threatening atmosphere, emphasizing the importance of this conflict. Donnie severely questions Cunningham’s authority and competence. For instance he suggests Cunningham is only motivated by money by asking how much Cunningham is paid.
Cunningham defends himself by applying his theory on Donnie, calling him an “anger prisoner”, and the attending adults nod their heads in agreement. The conversation culminates when Donnie calls Cunningham “the fucking antichrist”, which is not only a severe insult but also calls into questions Cunningham’s ethical integrity.
Additionally, in the original script Donnie states Cunningham is “full of shit”, which can be seen in context with Eddie’s statement in the garden, since father and son use the exact same phrase. The hypocrisy of Cunningham is already foreshadowed here and is later confirmed when it is disclosed that he owns child pornography. Donnie is removed from the stage, accompanied by background shouts like “take him off of there” or “remove him“ of adult voices. The adults, the parents of the pupils have a shocked expression on their face, but the kids applaud Donnie. It is possible to argue that this is merely the typical reaction of teenagers cheering for the clown, but the difference to the parents’ reaction seems to emphasize a different aspect. Cunningham speaks in school pretending to provide help for the kids, or considering his aggrandizing tone, even to “save” them. But the pupils do not believe or approve of his preaching, it is the parents who approve of Cunningham. This discrepancy can be seen with reference to Karen Pomeroy’s statement “...the kids have to save themselves these days because the parents have no clue”.
Translation into the Labeling Theory
Like Kitty Farmer, Jim Cunningham uses his superior social influence and prestige to label Donnie as deviant, or in his terms “anger prisoner”. His motivation might emerge from his own severe deviance, which he tries to camouflage this way.
After this conflict in which Cunningham labeled Donnie, Donnie commits arson on Cunningham’s house. This can not only be perceived as an act of vengeance but also as a strong indicator for a cycle of increasing deviance. The fact that the most prestigious citizen of the town is the most dangerous criminal and the dispraised teenager the savior displays how the labels are not necessarily attached to reality.
With Jim Cunningham it is made clear how the public opinion can be plain wrong and that the superficial appearance can be misleading. With Cunningham being disqualified as a vile and pathological criminal also Kitty Farmer and everyone approving of him are proven wrong as well. Similar to Kitty Farmer his high prestige creates the impression that he represents a dominant aspect of society.
6. Conclusion
6.1. Interpretation of Donnie Darko
In order to verify or discard the interpretation Richard Kelly provides for his own movie I will first merge the interpretations developed above.
The harsh treatment and exclusion Donnie faced for his primary deviant act made the existing label visible in supernatural Frank. As Donnie’s rage against Cunningham grows, supernatural Frank, functioning as the manifestation of the labeling act, amplifies this into another deviant act, the arson. The same can be said about the vandalism in school, only that the reason for Donnie’s discontent, the suppressive school, is revealed after the action. “They made me do it” is not only a foreshadowing, but also a self-fulfilling prophecy. Donnie gets labeled and disapproved of more and more, and supernatural Frank’s influence grows stronger, until he unfolds his master plan, the death of the real Frank and the recreation in supernatural Frank.
Thus it can not only be said that the label produces a cycle of self-increasing deviance, but furthermore that it is a Möbius strip. The deviance is detached from its actual origin and acts independently.
Therefore it is possible to say that the relationship of Donnie and supernatural Frank is demonstrates the Labeling Theory and criticizes the labeling by showing that a mildly deviant young man with a lot of potential is pushed into severe deviance by his surrounding. This is contrasted by the formally deviant boys (Seth and Ricky) and Cunningham, who profit by the ignorance of the authorities and are not recognized as deviant.
The school functions as a symptomatic indicator for the labeling act. It is the institution in which the society reproduces itself and implements its structures which makes school a very crucial and revealing factor. The school can be seen as the solar plexus of society in which all strings run together. Showing the labeling act taking place in school extends the demonstration on the whole society, because criticizing the school always criticizes the whole society. This construction reflects Kelly’s intention criticizing school and society simultaneously.
The school and the society being the topic that is criticized, the content of the criticism is comprised by the characters.
The arrangement of the characters reveals how the teachings and moral Cunningham and Farmer employ are wrong. They believe themselves to be on the side of “love”, which is a disguise for their concept of “goodness” and “conformity” and they disapprove of everything that does not fit in. The exposition of Cunningham’s acts shows that “life is not that simple”. If the “life line” applies, it would apply vice versa and Cunningham would be on the side of fear.
The spectrum with the poles love and fear clearly evokes the idea of a good and evil concept, which makes the “life line” not a psychological concept but and instrument to evaluate individuals. In the way Cunningham and Farmer perceive and apply the “life line” the poles can also be seen as the pairs of conformity and nonconformity or audience and deviant. Based on the foregone interpretation in this essay, it would be Donnie who is in the “good” spectrum for opposing the authorities who do him wrong and ultimately saving the universe. Cunningham and Farmer are the ones who are afraid that their foundation of belief collapses. Based on their actions they are in the “evil” part of the spectrum. This aspect is also illustrated in Fig. 2.
To arrange the characters in pairs that contrast each other amplifies this perception. Opposing a villain like Cunningham makes the hero, Donnie, seem even more defiant. The same is true for all other characters.
Considering the choice of victims (Donnie and Pomeroy) and benefiting individuals (the boys and Cunningham) two interpretations seem reasonable. It can be inferred that Karen and Donnie are shown to be passionate and intelligent to support the identification with them, which ensures the right ascertainment of the criticism. But also it is possible to go further and infer that it is their intelligence and passion that make them dangerous to society, represented by Farmer and Cunningham. Pomeroy and Donnie have more subversive power than the boys and oppose the teachings of Cunningham. Therefore Cunningham and Farmer act excessively aggressive towards subversive individuals like Pomeroy and Donnie. Unlike the boys Pomeroy and Donnie threaten Cunningham and Farmer because they are able to understand and expose the hypocrisy of Cunningham and Farmer. If individuals, who have the social influence, use this influence to maintain it, this is conservative behavior. This reflects the idea of the Labeling Theory, since the audience who has the social influence transfers its values to weaker deviants. The movie emphasizes this aspect of conservative behavior by applying the labeling process as a tool for the conservative powers.
Thus, regarding the relationship of the characters and the appliance of the Labeling Theory it can be said that the intention of Richard Kelly cited in the introduction is fully realized in Donnie Darko.
6.2. The relationship of criticism and audience
It turns out that many of the scenes that are a crucial support for the thesis of social criticism were not included in the original movie, but can be found as deleted scenes. Those scenes all were integrated in the original scripts and reintegrated in the director’s cut. Thus it is a reasonable inference that the producers’ ideas differed from the ones of Richard Kelly. The reason for that might be the strong support they provide for the criticism. With those scenes removed more interpretations are possible and the criticism less striking and stringent. It is supposable that the scenes were removed to make the movie approachable and appealing for a broader audience.
Nevertheless the same inferences can be made without the deleted scenes. The specific success of the movie might be also due to its critical intention. A movie which demands attention to decode, like Donnie Darko, does not succeed at the box office. Due to its sophisticated content this movie’s target group is a minority, likely to be more intelligent and patient than the average audience. Also the target group has to be able to identify with the hero, who happens to be an intelligent individual and is a minority himself. The target group is likely to be especially open to the criticism, because they eventually experience the same conflicts Donnie does, but to a lesser extent. Thus, it can be said that the obvious impression, the interpretation and the structure of the movie all point to a narrow target group. The specific success of the movie, being a hit on DVD but flopping at the box office, proves this to be true.

6.3. Questions arising from this essay
Many important questions about this film remain unsolved. This essay pointed out the focus on some which are eventually of special significance.
It came to show that the success of the movie is probably strongly connected to the narrow target group, to which it appealed successfully. Illuminating the subculture that incorporated Donnie Darko so well would supposedly provide interesting insight into the current zeitgeist. The question of the social derivation of the identification with Donnie Darko is furthermore the question whether the criticism conveyed in the film is valid or not.
Another possible approach would be the connection between the social criticism and politics. In the movie there are numerous references to Ronald Reagan and the U.S. presidential election of 1988 (Bush/Dukakis) and also frequent appearances of American flags. A focus on the politic aspect of the movie might add another dimension to the criticisms and be a worthwhile topic to discuss.
6.4. Critical examination of my own modus operandi
In order to gain a perspective on this paper it is helpful to point out alternatives concerning the approach. As already discussed in the agenda (Chapter 4) various aspects are not included and there are diverse ways how they could be incorporated.
Criticizing the Labeling Theory or its adequacy is the most promising since the Labeling theory is the foundation of this paper. Choosing a more cinematic and stylistic approach will eventually illuminate other facets that are in the “blind spot” of the sociological approach. For instance the previously discussed ambiguity of the term “public school system” would gain more importance. This would eventually make it necessary to include the characters or motifs that were excluded in this essay.
Nevertheless the advantage of the opted approach is the fact that a sociological approach provides the basis for a research of the reception of the movie. Additionally, if the author states it as his main point to convey social criticism a sociologic approach is the obvious choice.
Verfasst am: 11.06.2009, 21:04
Moderator Anmeldedatum: 14.07.2006 Beitrge: 1175 Wohnort: Kaltenkirchen
Ja, klingt plausibel Wink Very Happy

Nein.. hab leider keine Zeit, den Text zu lesen, für viele aber sehr interesant (besonders, falls mal jemand eine Facharbeit über den Film schreiben muss.. ;- )

Danke und willkommen hier Smile
Verfasst am: 11.06.2009, 23:49
Anmeldedatum: 17.07.2006 Beitrge: 1901 Wohnort: Bankenhausen
Jetzt wissen wir auch, wo Donna ihre FA abgeschrieben hat :P

All By MySelf

Hungry Eyes

@JaRaDa: ... genau deswegen der Tipp, hier anzufangen ...


6.1. Interpretation of Donnie Darko

By myself ...

Zitat aus einem Brief, den ich vor ein paar Tagen an eine verheiratete Frau geschrieben habe:

... wir trafen uns dann eher zufällig in diesen Tagen auf "unserem" Kinderspielplatz, wo wir einer unserer Lieblingsbeschäftigungen nachgingen.

Den Mädchen die dort anwesend waren die Schuhe zu "klauen" um sie damt ein wenig zu ärgern.

Zwei dieser Mädchen sind mir namentlich im Gedächtnis geblieben und das vor allem aus einem Grund. Weil ich mich damals als 11 jähriger augenblicklich in sie verliebt hatte.

S. L. und A. C.

Als recht ansehlicher Junge bekam ich in diesen Tagen von euch beiden innerhalb von einer Minute die Frage gestellt, die ich mit zu den schönsten zähle, die ich bis heute und danach nie wieder in dieser Form erhalten habe.

Sie lautete: "Möchtest du mit mir gehen?"

In meiner damaligen Unwissenheit oder weil ich mir vermutlich nicht vorstellen konnte was ihr damit genau gemeint habt - habe ich zweimal hintereinander "Nein" gesagt, obwohl ich das Gegenteil hätte sagen wollen.

Diese kurze Geschichte hat mich dann auch bis heute auf meinerm weiteren Lebensweg begleitet und ist zu einem Teil meiner Persönlichkeit geworden.


Wir sind uns Jahre später nochmal als ich schlittenfahren war begegnet. Du warst mit einer Freundin spazieren und hast mich angesprochen.

S.: "Hallo ohyeah, kennst du mich nicht mehr?"

Bekomme einen roten Kopf und denke mir: "Wenn du wüßtest"

ohyeah: S.

Jetzt wisst ihr es Wink

Unser Spielplatz (Mai 2009)
Verfasst am: 12.06.2009, 10:50
Anmeldedatum: 17.07.2006 Beitrge: 1901 Wohnort: Bankenhausen
VII. Donnie Darko Interpretation by Donna Darko

Ein Film mit einem Riesenhasen. Wenn dies das Erste ist, was man über „Donnie Darko“ hört, dann ist man entweder interessiert und möchte den Film unbedingt einmal sehen oder man ist sogleich irritiert und möchte sich eigentlich gar nicht mehr mit ihm beschäftigen. Doch hinter der plumpen Fassade des übergroßen Hasen steckt weit mehr, als man auf den ersten Blick erwartet. Zuerst ist einmal zu sagen, dass „Donnie Darko“ keinem Filmgenre richtig zuzuordnen ist. Wer Liebesfilme mag, wird in ihm eine Liebesgeschichte finden und auch der Science-Fiction-Fan wird mit „Donnie Darko“ zufrieden sein.
Das eigentlich Interessante an diesem Film ist aber, dass es keine eindeutige Erklärung oder Interpretation für ihn gibt. Nicht einmal Drehbuchautor und Regisseur Richard Kelly kann oder will den Film eindeutig erläutern. Natürlich gibt es auf diversen Internetseiten oder in Internetforen massenhaft Interpretationen, aber natürlich gehen bei einem solchen Film die Meinungen weit auseinander.
Ich persönlich war von keiner bisher gelesenen Interpretation wirklich überzeugt. Schließlich kam ich zu der Überzeugung, mit Hilfe der „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ (siehe Anhang oder Quellenverzeichnis) den Film selbst zu interpretieren:
Der Film startet damit, dass die Hauptperson Donnie Darko in der Morgendämmerung mitten auf einer einsamen Straße liegt. Diese im ersten Moment merkwürdig wirkende Situation lässt sich darauf zurückführen, dass Donnie, wie später im Film auch noch gesagt wird, Schlafwandler ist. Das
merkwürdige Grinsen Donnies kurz bevor der Filmtitel erscheint, ist, denke ich, auf eine Vorahnung der kommenden Geschehnisse zurückzuführen.
Als Donnie schließlich mit dem Fahrrad nach Hause fährt, kommt ihm ein rotes Auto (TransAm) entgegen (bei ca. 3 min). Auf diesen Wagen werde ich später noch einmal zurückkommen.
Nach der Szene, in der die ganze Familie Darko beim Abendessen sitzt, folgt die nächste Szene, in der Donnies Vater Edward Fernsehen schaut, da er nicht schlafen kann. Dann wird eine Standuhr eingeblendet, die zwölf Uhr zeigt. Kurz darauf erscheint die Zeitangabe „2. Oktober 1988“. Diese Angeben werden mehrmals im Film erscheinen, um dem Zuschauer die Orientierung zu erleichtern.
Mit dieser ersten Zeiteinblendung beginnt nun das Tangentenuniversum. Das, was vom Anfang des Films bis hierhin passiert ist, geschah also noch im Primäruniversum. Das Tangentenuniversum wird in Roberta Sparrows Buch „Die Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ (was Donnie erst später im Film erhält) wie folgt beschrieben: „Das primäre Universum ist mit großen Gefahren beladen. Krieg, Seuchen, Hungersnot, und Naturkatastrophen sind alltäglich. […] Sollte ein Tagentenuniversum entstehen, wird es höchst instabil sein und sich nicht länger als einige Wochen aufrecht erhalten können.“ Dies wird im späteren Verlauf des Films auch der Fall sein, denn das Tangentenuniversum existiert nur 28 Tage.
Donnie wird also von Frank, einem übergroßen Hasen, geweckt und dieser prophezeit ihm, dass in 28 Tagen, sechs Stunden, 42 Minuten und zwölf Sekunden die Welt untergehen werde. Donnie scheint vor dieser abstrakt wirkenden Figur keine Angst zu haben, er lächelt sogar. Dies hängt damit zusammen, dass die Geschehnisse im Tangentenuniversum schon ihren Lauf genommen haben. Donnie ist also schon der lebende Empfänger. In Kapitel sechs der „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ wird er so beschrieben:

„[…] Niemand weiß, wie und weshalb ein Empfänger gewählt wird. […] Der lebende Empfänger wird während seines Aufenthalts im Tangentenuniversum oft von schrecklichen Träumen, Visionen und akustischen Halluzinationen gepeinigt.“ Dazu gehört auch der Hase Frank, den, wie später im Film einmal deutlich wird, nur Donnie sehen kann.
Donnies Aufgabe ist es also, die Welt zu retten: „Der lebende Empfänger wurde auserwählt, dem Artefakt die Position für seine Rückreise in das Hauptuniversum zu weisen.“ (Kapitel sechs).
Nun schlägt die Flugzeugturbine ins Haus der Darkos ein und fällt direkt in Donnies Zimmer. Sie ist das besagte Artefakt: „Artefakte sind die ersten Anzeichen für die Bildung eines Tangentenuniversums. […]
Artefakte sind beschaffen aus Metall […].“ (Kapitel vier). Flugzeugturbinen sind ja bekanntlich aus Metall.
Als Donnie nach Hause zurückkehrt, wird das Flugzeugteil gerade aus seinem Zimmer entfernt. Er hat also nur durch Franks Warnung überlebt.
Die Familie muss außerdem ein Formular unterschreiben, da niemand weiß, woher die Turbine stammt (Kapitel vier: „Artefakte […] werden meist mit religiösen Vorbildern in Verbindung gebracht, da sich ihre Erscheinung auf der Erde einer logischen Erklärung entzieht.“).
Schließlich lernt Donnie in der Schule Gretchen Ross kennen. Sie ist eine der beiden manipulierten Toten, da sie später im Film im Tangentenuniversum sterben wird (Kapitel zehn: „Die manipulierten Toten werden dem lebenden Empfänger eine sichere Falle stellen, um sicherzugehen, dass das Artefakt wohlbehalten zum Primäruniversum zurückkehrt.“).
Genau wie Gretchen ist auch der Hase Frank ein manipulierter Toter, was auch in den Notizen von Roberta Sparrows Buch anhand der Notizen zu erkennen ist.
Auf dem Weg zu Donnies Therapiestunde treffen er und sein Vater auf Roberta Sparrow, die auch des Öfteren „Grandma Death“ genannt wird. Sie sagt Donnie, dass jedes Lebewesen auf dieser Welt für sich allein stirbt. Dies ist der erste Hinweis für Donnie, dass er am Ende sterben wird/sich opfern muss, jedoch hat er noch keine Ahnung davon, was wirklich auf ihn zukommt, da er die „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ noch nicht besitzt.
In der nächsten Szene während der Therapiesitzung bei Dr. Thurman wird deutlich, warum Donnie bei ihrer ersten Begegnung keine Angst vor Frank hatte, obwohl er ja sehr gruselig wirkt, gerade, weil man nicht weiß, wer hinter der Maske steckt: Er sieht Frank als Freund, da er ihn vor der Turbine gerettet hat (Donnie: „Ich habe einen neuen Freund.“).
Nun folgt Donnies zweite Begegnung mit Frank. Zuerst hat er eine wie in der „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ erwähnte Vision. Er sieht Teile seiner Schule, die mit Wasser geflutet ist. Kurz danach sieht man ihn mit einer Axt eine Hauptwasserleitung durchtrennen. Immer ist Frank im Hintergrund zu sehen, sodass der Zuschauer erkennt, dass Donnie von ihm gezwungen wird, die Schule zu fluten.
Am nächsten Tag fällt als Konsequenz dann die Schule aus, da sie überflutet ist. Des Weiteren ist eine Axt in das Maskottchen der Schule, eine massive Bronzestatue in Form eines Hundes, gerammt worden.
Donnie war es möglich, die Axt in den Kopf zu rammen, da er als lebender Empfänger mit übersinnlichen Kräften ausgestattet ist (Kapitel sechs: „Der Empfänger ist meist gesegnet mit Kräften der vierten Dimension. Zu diesen gehören große Stärke […].“ ).

Außerdem steht auf dem Boden vor der Schule „They made me do it“ (Sie haben mich gezwungen) in übergroßen Lettern geschrieben. Da Donnie aber nur von einer Person, Frank, kontrolliert wird, fragt sich der Zuschauer natürlich, für wen das „they“ (sie) steht. Dafür gibt es eine einfache Erklärung: Das „Y“ des Wortes „they“ steht bei genauerer Betrachtung nicht auf der Höhe der anderen Buchstaben des Wortes, wie es ja eigentlich der Fall sein müsste. Schaut man sich den Buchstaben „Y“ einmal genauer an, so erinnert er doch stark an einen Hasen. Die gerade Linie ist sein Körper und die oberen beiden Striche stellen seine Ohren dar. Folglich steht das „Y“ also für Frank. Daher heißt der Satz nun auch „The Y made me do it“ (Der Hase hat mich gezwungen).
In der folgenden Szene trifft Donnie auf Gretchen, sie unterhalten sich und kommen schließlich zusammen. Er musste also die Schule fluten, ansonsten hätte er Gretchen nicht kennen lernen können, weil sie sonst nicht gemeinsam nach Hause gegangen wären. Hier wird also noch einmal deutlich, dass Donnie mit Hilfe der manipulierten Toten das Artefakt, die Turbine, wieder in der Zeit zurück zum primären Universum schicken muss, sodass eine Zeitschleife entsteht.
An dieser Stelle ist es sinnvoll zu erwähnen, dass es nicht nur manipulierte Tote, sondern auch manipulierte Lebende gibt. In den Notizen der „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ findet sich eine Liste der manipulierten Lebenden, sowie der Toten. Des Weiteren wird auch in Kapitel sieben gesagt: „Die manipulierten Lebenden sind oftmals enge Freunde und Nachbarn des Lebenden Empfängers.“ Auch diese helfen Donnie, das Artefakt sicher zurückzubringen. Der einzige Unterschied zu den manipulierten Toten besteht darin, dass sie nicht im Tangentenuniversum sterben.
Bei Donnies nächster Begegnung mit Frank, während seine Eltern bei einem Elterntreffen wegen der gefluteten Schule sind, beruhigt Frank ihn, dass sie ihn nicht erwischen werden. Dann versucht Donnie,
den Hasen zu berühren und stößt dabei gegen eine unsichtbare Wand, die bei der Berührung Wellen schlägt, als ob sie aus Wasser wäre. In Roberta Sparrows Buch heißt es dazu in Kapitel 2: „Wasser und Metall sind die Schlüsselelemente des Zeitreisens. Wasser ist das begrenzende Element für die Errichtung von Zeitportalen […].“
Dies ist ein erster Beleg dafür, dass Frank aus der Zukunft kommt, was Donnie in seiner ersten Therapiestunde schon behauptete: „Ich soll ihm folgen. […] In die Zukunft.“
Schließlich fragt Donnie, wie Frank es schaffe, diese „Wasserbarriere“ aufzubauen. Darauf antwortet er, dass er alles kann, was er wolle und Donnie könne dies auch. Hier ist wieder eine Anspielung auf seine außergewöhnlichen Kräfte als lebender Empfänger zu finden.
Als Frank dann von Donnie gefragt wird, woher er komme, verweist dieser wieder indirekt auf die Zukunft, indem er ihm die Gegenfrage stellt, ob er an Zeitreisen glaube. Dies ist ein weiterer Hinweis darauf, dass Frank aus der Zukunft kommt.
Da Donnie nun sehr interessiert am Thema Zeitreisen ist, wendet er sich an seinen Physiklehrer Dr. Kenneth Monnitoff. Dieser ist, wie alle Menschen in Donnies Umgebung, auch ein manipulierter Lebender, sodass ihm auch die Aufgabe zuteil wird, dem lebendem Empfänger zu helfen, das Artefakt zurückzubringen. Er gibt ihm schließlich Roberta Sparrows Buch „Die Philosophie des Zeitreisens“. Ab jetzt wird Donnie also über seine Bestimmung aufgeklärt und er realisiert, dass er der lebende Empfänger ist und die Welt retten muss.
In einer der nächsten Szenen sieht Donnie dann plötzlich wasserartige „Kanäle“, die den Menschen wie Pfeile aus der Brust wachsen. Sein eigener Kanal führt ihn zu einer im Schlafzimmer seiner Eltern versteckten Waffe. Mit dieser wird er später Frank töten. Die Kanäle sind auch in Roberta Sparrows Buch beschrieben, allerdings nur als Bilder. Spätestens da erkennt Donnie, dass das alles kein Zufall sein kann und dass er wirklich der lebende Empfänger sein muss.
Nun begegnet Donnie dem Hasen ein weiteres Mal. Da er aber diesmal das Wissen aus der „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ besitzt, und dadurch über die Barriere aus Wasser zwischen ihm und Frank aufgeklärt ist, versucht er, ihr mit Metall entgegenzuwirken (Kapitel zwei: „Wasser und Metall sind die Schlüsselelemente des Zeitreisens.“ Er schlägt mit der Spitze eines Messers gegen die Barriere, dabei beginnt Franks rechtes Auge zu leuchten, genau das Auge, dass später von Donnies Kugel getroffen wird.
Zeitgleich wird Donnies psychisches Leiden als „paranoide Schizophrenie“ diagnostiziert, was bedeutet, dass Dr. Thurman nicht an Franks Existenz glaubt. Bei der letzten Therapiesitzung im Film, bei der Frank Donnie erscheint, wird letztendlich ganz klar deutlich, dass sie Frank wirklich nicht sehen kann.
In einer der folgenden Szenen erkundigt sich Donnie bei Dr. Monnitoff über die Kanäle, die wie Pfeile aus der Brust der Menschen wachsen. Sein Lehrer weißt darauf hin, dass dies auch Gottesgewalt sein könnte.
Da das Thema „Gott“ schon bei einer Therapiesitzung bei Dr. Thurman angesprochen wurde, macht es Donnie nachdenklich, dennoch nimmt er Monnitoffs Idee an.
Die Szene, in der Donnie, Gretchen und Frank im Kino sitzen, ist eine der spannendsten und aufschlussreichsten im Film. Darin fragt Donnie Frank, wieso er dieses Hasenkostüm trage. Diese Frage beschäftigt den Zuschauer wohl schon den ganzen Film lang. Wie sich später herausstellen wird, ist es ein Halloween-Kostüm. Aber um dem Zuschauer dies nicht vorwegzunehmen, stellt Frank die Gegenfrage: „Wieso hast du dieses blöde Menschenkostüm an?“ Dieser Satz, lässt sich, wie der gesamte Film auch, auf verschiedene Arten interpretieren. Ich persönlich denke, er ist auf Donnies späteres
Halloween-Kostüm, ein menschliches Skelett, bezogen, denn dies trägt Donnie, wenn er Frank später erschießt. Da Frank ja aus der Zukunft kommt, weiß er also schon, was Donnie an Halloween tragen wird.
Auf Donnies Bitte hin legt Frank dann sein Kostüm ab. Zum Vorschein kommt ein zerschossenes Auge.
Dies ist wiederum ein Beleg dafür, dass Frank aus der Zukunft kommt, da sein Auge ja erst später vom lebenden Empfänger angeschossen wird. Auf die Frage hin, was mit seinem Auge passiert sei, antwortet Frank, dass es ihm Leid tue. Damit meint er, dass es ihm Leid tut, dass er Donnies Freundin Gretchen später überfahren wird (und daraufhin von ihm erschossen wird). Da Frank, wie schon erwähnt, aus der Zukunft kommt, weiß er schon längst, dass alles so kommen wird/muss, damit die Turbine, das Artefakt, zurück in die Vergangenheit geschickt wird.
Des Weiteren zwingt Frank Donnie, Jim Cunninghams Haus anzuzünden. Er ist der ortsansässige Erfinder und Leiter der zweifelhaften „Lerne, die Angst zu besiegen“ – Seminare. Da Donnie Franks Befehlen gehorcht, zündet er das Haus an, wodurch dort ein Zimmer mit kinderpornographischen Aufnahmen gefunden wird. Diese Tatsache ist auch sehr wichtig dafür, dass die Turbine zurückgeschickt wird.

Da Donnies kleine Schwester Samantha mit ihrer Tanzgruppe den Talentwettbewerb, der von Jim Cunningham präsentiert wurde, gewonnen hat, muss Donnies Mutter Rose mit zum Finale des Wettbewerbs nach Los Angeles fliegen, da Kitty Farmer, die eigentliche Begleitperson, eine angebliche Verschwörungstheorie gegen Cunningham wittert und dagegen angehen will.
In der folgenden Therapiesitzung gibt Donnie unter Hypnose all die Dinge zu, die er in Franks Auftrag getan hat. Er weiß in dieser Situation auch, dass er der Auserwählte ist, der das Artefakt zurückbringen muss. Donnie weiß nur noch nicht, wie er das tun soll, denn er erwähnt auch, dass er den Plan hat, eine Zeitmaschine zu bauen. Er erkennt also noch nicht, dass es anders kommen wird. Des Weiteren wird hier deutlich, dass, wie vorher schon erwähnt, nur Donnie Frank wahrnehmen kann. Frank erscheint ihm, aber Dr. Thurman kann ihn offensichtlich nicht sehen.
Da Donnies große Schwester Elizabeth an der Harvard-Universität aufgenommen wurde, wollen die Geschwister ein Halloweenparty veranstalten, da die Eltern nicht zu Hause sind. Der Vater ist auf
Geschäftsreise und die Mutter ist ja mit der Tanzgruppe der kleinen Schwester in Los Angeles.
Am Abend der Party kommt Gretchen schließlich zu Donnie, da ihre Mutter spurlos verschwunden ist.
Plötzlich sieht Donnie wieder die Pfeile, die den Menschen aus der Brust wachsen. Sein eigener Pfeil führt ihn wiederum zu einer Stelle, die für den weiteren verlauf der Handlung von Bedeutung ist. Er findet eine Notiz am Kühlschrank: „Frank was here went to get beer“ (Frank war hier und holt noch Bier). Ab hier wird für die Zuschauer das erste Mal deutlich, dass Frank der Freund der Schwester ist. Allerdings ist dieser Frank nicht der Frank aus der Zukunft (mit dem angeschossenen Auge), sondern der Frank, der nachher noch von Donnie erschossen wird. Ein und dieselbe Person existiert also zwei Mal, allerdings ist der Frank aus der Zukunft nur für den Lebenden Empfänger sichtbar.
Plötzlich gerät Donnie mit seinem Gesicht in Gretchens Pfeil, er sieht einen Wolkenkanal (durch den später die Turbine zurückfliegen wird) und hört das Wort „Cellar Door“ (Kellertür). Dieses Wort wurde ihm vorher im Film von Karen Pomeroy, seiner Lehrerin gesagt, die ja, wie alle Donnies andere Mitmenschen auch, eine manipulierte Lebende ist. Hier wird abermals deutlich, dass nicht nur die manipulierten Toten dem lebenden Empfänger helfen, dass Artefakt sicher zurückzubringen.
Donnie scheint den „Cellar Door“ – Hinweis verstanden zu haben, denn er macht sich mit Gretchen und seinen zwei Freunden auf den Weg zu Roberta Sparrows Haus. Dort betritt er mit Gretchen die Kellertür (Cellar Door) des Hauses und sie werden sogleich von Donnies Erzfeinden Seth und Ricky angegriffen.
Gretchen wird auf die Straße geschleudert, während Donnie von Seth bedroht wird. Als aus der Ferne ein Auto auf sie zukommt, sagt Donnie: „Deus ex machina“. Dieser lateinische Ausdruck bezeichnete im antiken Theater das Auftreten einer Gottheit mit Hilfe einer Bühnenmaschinerie. Donnie ist in dieser Situation davon überzeugt, dass in dem Auto (machina) der „Retter“ (deus) sitzt. Vielleicht hat er auch eine Ahnung, dass Frank in dem Auto sitzt, er ihn erschießen muss und er somit in der Lage sein wird, das Artefakt zurückzuschicken.
Das Auto, das übrigens der am Anfang erwähnte TransAm ist, der an Donnie vorbeifährt, weicht der plötzlich auf der Straße Roberta Sparrow aus und überfährt Gretchen. Somit wird sie zu einer manipulierten Toten, da sie nun im Tangentenuniversum verstorben ist.

Nun steigt Frank aus dem Auto aus. Er ist allerdings nicht der Frank, der Donnie die Befehle gegeben hat.
Erst als Donnie ihn schließlich aus Wut über Gretchens Tod erschießt (er trifft ihn ins rechte Auge), wird er auch zum manipulierten Toten und konnte Donnie somit erst die Befehle geben. Bevor er jedoch erschossen wird, sieht er Donnie in seinem Kostüm, deshalb fragt er ihn auch in der Kinoszene, warum er dieses Menschenkostüm anhabe. Auch Franks abstraktes Hasenkostüm wird hier endlich als Halloween - Maskerade deutlich.
Am nächsten Morgen öffnet sich das Zeitportal über dem Haus der Darkos, durch das die Turbine, also das Artefakt, zurückgeschickt werden soll. Dann sieht der Zuschauer Rose und Samantha Darko im Flugzeug sitzen. Plötzlich reißt die Turbine ab und fällt in das Portal.
Nun fragt man sich natürlich, ob das Flugzeug abstürzt und Samantha und Rose somit sterben. Ich denke nein, da sie erstens keine manipulierten Toten sind, was sie ja wären, wenn sie im Tangentenuniversum
sterben würden. Und zweitens dreht Donnie ja genau in dem Moment, wenn das Flugzeug eigentlich abstürzen sollte, die Zeit zurück oder sie dreht sich selbst zurück, da das von Frank am Anfang gesetzte Ultimatum abgelaufen ist. Donnie stirbt somit selber, da er später noch von der Turbine erschlagen wird.
Um zu verstehen, dass die Mutter und die Schwester dann nicht im Flugzeug sitzen würden, muss man sich die Geschehnisse noch einmal vor Augen führen: Jim Cunningham ist ja auch ein manipulierter Lebender, so kann er sich schwach an die Dinge des Tangentenuniversums erinnern (Kapitel zwölf:
„Diejenigen, die sich doch an die Reise erinnern, überkommt häufig eine schwere Reue für die bedauernswerten Taten, die in ihren Träumen schlummern.“). Somit scheint Cunningham sich selbst zu töten, da er einsieht, was er den Kindern durch sein pädophiles Verhalten angetan hat. Dass er tot ist, lässt sich durch Roberta Sparrows Notizen in der „Philosophie des Zeitreisens“ belegen. Dadurch, dass er stirbt, findet der Talentwettbewerb nicht statt, sodass Kitty Farmer sich nicht für ihn einsetzen muss und somit bittet sie auch nicht Donnies Mutter darum, mitzufliegen. Selbst wenn der Wettbewerb stattfände, würde Samantha sicher nicht mitfliegen wollen, da sie gerade ihren Bruder verloren hat. Somit leben sie
beide weiter.
Nachdem die Zeit nun as zurückgedreht wurde und somit auch das Tangentenuniversum endet und alles wieder im primären Universum stattfindet, sieht man Donnie wie am Anfang in seinem Bett liegen. Vorher erfährt der Zuschauer noch, dass Roberta Sparrow endlich einen Brief bekommen hat – vom lebenden Empfänger Donnie. Sie bekommt nun den Brief, auf den sie schon so lange gewartet hat.
Donnie liegt nun also in seinem Bett. Er lacht. Dieses Lachen kann mehrfach gedeutet werden: Zum Einen könnte es sein, dass Donnie gerade aufgewacht ist und denkt, dass er alles nur geträumt hat und zum Anderen könnte es Erleichterung darüber ausdrücken, dass er endlich geschafft hat, was ihm als lebenden Empfänger vorbestimmt war. Er wird/ lässt sich also von der Turbine erschlagen.
Am 2. Oktober dann, wenn anfangs im Film das Tangentenuniversum beginnt, geht die Handlung aber im Primäruniversum weiter. Ein paar der manipulierten Lebenden erwachen aus ihrem Schlaf und erinnern sich vage an das, was im Tangentenuniversum passiert ist. Kitty Farmer zum Beispiel realisiert, dass Jim Cunningham doch eine pädophile Neigung besitzt und ist entsetzt darüber. Auch Cunningham selbst zeigt Reue für das, was er im Tangentenuniversum getan hat, was durch sein Weinen deutlich wird.

Cherita, die etwas korpulentere Chinesin, die immer gehänselt wird, lächeltweil sie in Donnie verleibt ist und sie sich erinnern kann, wie er im Tangentenuniversum zu ihr gesagt hat, dass eines Tages alles besser für sie sein würde.
Frank streicht sich über sein im Tangentenuniversum angeschossenes Auge, denn auch er erinnert sich an die Geschehnisse. Am Morgen darauf wird Donnies Leiche aus seinem Elternhaus getragen und Gretchen kommt zufällig vorbei. Eigentlich dürfte sie Donnie ja gar nicht kennen, aber da auch sie vage Erinnerungen hat, winkt sie der trauernden Rose Darko als Zeichen der Anteilnahme zu.
Die vorausgegangene Interpretation ist eine von sehr vielen Möglichkeiten, diesen Film zu interpretieren.
Dennoch gibt es noch eine Menge ungeklärter Fragen, wie zum Beispiel, welche Rolle die Chinesin Cherita Chen spielt, denn ihre Rolle hat für das Vorankommen der Handlung keine Bedeutung, aber dennoch wird sie sehr oft gezeigt.
„Donnie Darko“ wird wohl nie ganz zu entschlüsseln sein, immer werden Fragen offen bleiben, immer wird es neue Möglichkeiten der Interpretation geben. Aber ist es nicht das, was diesen Film so interessant macht?

7.1 Schematische Darstellung

@Donna: Just Joking!

... wollte nur wissen, welche der beiden "Interpretationen" die längere war Idee

Ob ich ne Antwort auf meinen Brief bekommen habe?


Warum ich den überhaupt an sie geschrieben habe?

Weil ich in der Nacht zuvor von dieser Begegnung und ihr geträumt habe.

Hat sie stellvertretend für alle "Nein" bekommen, die ich in meinem Leben
als Antwort gegeben und in genau gleicher Anzahl, wieder zurück bekommen habe.

Ein altes Sprichwort sagt: Würde einem im Leben die wahre Liebe begegnen, es bliebe augenblicklich die Zeit für einen stehen.

Verfasser: unbekannt

» 19.06.06 18:25 «


Hi Leute,
ich hab' den Film erst vor ein paar Tagen von einem Bekannten (auf Anfrage) empfohlen bekommen ... und ihn mir jetzt einmal sehr aufmerksam angesehen.
"Drew Barrymore" ... fand ich einfach nur - zum verlieben
... und irgendwie passte auch dieser Film zu meiner mail, die kürzlich in einem anderen Forum gepostet habe.
Die Resonanz dort, war leider etwas dürftig. Vielleicht liege ich ja auch wirklich komplett daneben?
Vielleicht ist das ja aber auch ein Ansatz in eine Richtung
an die der eine oder andere schon mal gedacht hat oder in der er schon geht.
Falls es total abwegig ist ... ich bin für jede Kritik/Hinweis sehr dankbar.

Die drei Jahre ... kommt mir so vor, als wäre es Gestern gewesen, dass ich Donnie Darko zum ersten mal gesehen habe Wink

*zeit stehen geblieben ist*

Have Fun! Very Happy
Verfasst am: 12.06.2009, 16:17
Anmeldedatum: 27.04.2009 Beitrge: 101
lol und da soll man wieder mitkommen ja?oO^^
was schrieb ihr auch immer so viel hier rein
und dann wieder meine obligatorischen fragen was hat der brief da wieder mit der interpretation zu tun?^^ lol
ohyeah du kannst manchmal ganz schön verwirrende beiträge schrieben... wenn du mal erläutern würdest was das eine mit dme andern zu tun hat xD
Verfasst am: 12.06.2009, 16:59
Anmeldedatum: 17.07.2006 Beitrge: 1901 Wohnort: Bankenhausen
Jap, genau das ist die Antwort!

Diese ganzen Interpretationen ... da habe auch ich keine Zeit dazu, weil auch bei mir die Zeit vor drei Jahren stehengeblieben ist :o) *träum*

Das ganze Forum liest sich dann so in etwa, wie meine Love Story vom Kinderspielplatz.

Für mich gab's einfach nie etwas zu interpretieren.

Weil Donnie seine große Liebe Gretchen nie wirklich kennengelernt hat.

Anstatt hier kilometerlange Interpretationen zu lesen, solltet ihr euch lieber mal über dieses Sprichwort ein paar Gedanken machen.

Donnie liegt auf dem Bett, denkt sich gerade: Hey, ich hab mich ganz doll in Gretchen verliebt und schwups, in genau dem Moment muss er einfach nur darüber lachen und die Zeit bleibt augenblicklich stehen, weil?

Ja weil die Turbine durch die Zimmerdecke kracht und in Folge dessen die Zeit angehalten wird?!

Tolle Ideen, die da einem beim "ansehen" eurer Interpretationen so kommen Very Happy

kurzform: kelly kritisiert das amerikanische schulsystem, und kritisiert das leute zu schnell sozial ausgegrenzt werden

@gr4vitysu3: Das war meine "kurzform"!

@jakesblueyes: Was war nochmal die Frage Wink
Verfasst am: 13.06.2009, 00:01
Anmeldedatum: 17.07.2006 Beitrge: 1901 Wohnort: Bankenhausen
@raphael: Schön, dass Du mal wieder hier vorbeigeschaut hast Very Happy

Sorry, dass ich Deinen Fred verunstaltet habe ... wenn ich gewußt hätte,
wer uns hier die Ehre gibt, hätte ich ... zur Begrüßung ne Blaskapelle einbestellt Band

@JaRaDa: Kannst das von mir gerne löschen - ist nicht so wichtig!

Kapiert hier eh keiner! Schlumpf


Hab Deinen tollen 25 Seiten Aufsatz leider nie gelesen, werde ich aber jetzt sofort nachholen lesen

» 27.12.05 01:03 «


das ganze heisst "besondere lernleistung" und muss so gut werden dass ich psych studieren kann, daher ein 25 seiten aufsatz über donnie darko im engl LK

... den Rest von Deinem Thread (ist einer der besten) habe ich hier auf meiner HD. *schleim*

Keep smiling,
ohyeah Smile
Verfasst am: 15.06.2009, 16:02
Anmeldedatum: 27.04.2009 Beitrge: 101
lol haha du bist gut^^
die frage war was der brief damit zu tun hat, aber das hat sich ja nun mehr oder minder geklärt^^ lol
und dann meinte ich das deine beiträge immer verwirrend sind^^ lol

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