The film Crash problematizes innocence’s ephemeral quality when it illustrates irrationality as the product of repressed emotion. The psychoanalytical framework explains irrationality via the uncanny experience, which occurs when “repressed infantile complexes have been revived by some impression, or the primitive beliefs we surmounted seem once more to be confirmed” (Uncanny 403). When Officer Hansen shoots Peter, it reveals the cop’s struggle to deal with a repressed emotion. The cop holds a rational non-racist mentality, which causes him to involuntarily repress fear that blacks will act violently. The suspicious apprehension is not innate, as Hansen never felt any threat to his security before speaking with Officer Ryan. While sitting in the car, the superego (“aspects of the psyche that [originate] from external influences”) and the id (“the unconscious, irrational, instinctual self”) collaboratively construct the decision to kill (Staton 345). The external influence comes from Officer Ryan, who implied that racism was justified by a person who saw several cases where blacks resorted to violence.
Officer Hansen ultimately kills due to unmanageable repressed fear, which instigates the instinctual action to exercise self-defense. The syuzhet indicates that immoral intentions didn’t cause Officer Hansen to commit murder, but rather the kill was necessitated by a lack of self- awareness. Officer Ryan explains, “Wait ’til you’ve been on the job for a little longer. You think you knew who you are but you have no idea” (Crash 2005). The repressed thought, therefore, holds a paradoxical essence, as it is simultaneously familiar while concealed. When Officer ￼Hansen absorbs this statement, the young man feels massive discomfort, as the experience questions his familiar ideals supporting racial equality. This boundary which houses the private is insofar effective, as it created a healthy physical space for Officer Hansen’s moral values to blossom.
When Daniel’s daughter watches a gun be pointed at her father, it’s crucial to note that she is inside the house. More specifically, she stands next to a christmas tree and nativity scene, which both are archetypes that indicate innocence in multiple frames. When the daughter runs outside the safe boundaries, she immediately jumps into the father’s arms. It’s similar to when Officer Hansen originally ventured outside his boundary into the police force and got exposed to Officer Ryan’s attitudes. However, the daughter never experienced the uncanny because she wasn’t shot. The “uncanny sensations is created when there is intellectual uncertainty,” (385). To the daughter’s understanding, since the invisible cloak still holds its power, she still trusts her father’s words, “nothing can hurt you” (Crash 2005). In contrast, it’s clear Officer Hansen experiences intellectual uncertainty. Heart of Darkness, Edward Garnett would suggest internal conflict “swept away the generous illusions of his youth, and left him gazing into the heart of an immense darkness” (Conrad 348). The irrational action, motivated by repressed emotions, reveals that Officer Hansen was much less innocent than his self-image portrayed.
Since psychoanalysis heavily stresses understanding the uncanny, the approach lacks conceptualization about euphoria’s foundation. The psychoanalyst prioritizes investigating the inherently dark characteristics of man, which “calls of an aesthetic valuation” (Uncanny 401). There is no proof that the unconscious functions to repress emotions rather than reconcile. For example, it would be worthwhile to investigate the characters’ nobility, as well. For example, it would be interesting to evaluate Anthony’s decision to set people free from the van. The “psychoanalysis approach assumes all individuals actions are necessitated by mental processes. It holds true that the infantile element is “the over-accentuation of psychical reality in comparison with physical reality- a feature closely allied to the belief in the omnipotence of thoughts” (Uncanny 398). Rather there is potential a majestic divine exists, which launches the debate regarding a human being’s agency.
The psychoanalytic theory’s strength is that the tendency to shift towards contemplation about the audience member’s personal growth, as we can exploit the psychoanalytical methods we use to evaluate characters. With the development of the ego comes “the function of observing and criticizing the self and exercising a censorship within the mind” (Uncanny 388). America in the Movies highlights that producers are mindful of the audience’s emotional experience while crafting compositions. Producers attempt to create transferrable emotional experiences via different plots. Originally, Hollywood thrived due to it’s ability to reproduce identical emotional experiences across language barriers, as enticing compositions “were often remade in disguise, with their plots transferred from India or the African desert to the American West” (Wood 10). Viewing productions as their affections, rather than the content itself, may appear quite narcissistic. However, emotional intelligence is not superior in itself, but is also crucial to hold the optimal degree of self-reflection while present with a story. When the audience works to understand their own repressed emotions, it will breed an un-distorted perception of reality.