Comparing Dante's Inferno and the Movie, What Dreams May Come Essay example

Comparing Dante's Inferno and the Movie, What Dreams May Come Essay example

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Comparing Dante's Inferno and the Movie, What Dreams May Come


The movie's opening scene gives allusions to Dante's own life and his brief courtship with Beatrice. Chris (Robin Williams) begins, "When I was young, I met this beautiful girl on a lake," just as Dante had met Beatrice when he was young. This lake just happens to be on the boarder of Switzerland and Italy, Dante's native country. Anna, Chris' love, finds him sitting on a hillside overlooking that lake, and that scene will become a major focus for the rest of the movie. They believe that they are soul mates, and unlike Dante and Beatrice, Chris and Anna marry and have two children.

Set in modern times, a series of mortal tragedies unlocks a series of immortal adventures. As teenagers, the children die in a car crash, and Chris dies four years later. Anna is stricken by grief for the rest of her life because she feels that the deaths were her fault. As soon as Chris dies, an image begins to explain to Chris what his new situation is. Chris doesn't believe he is dead. Chris recognizes this image as Albert, a doctor he studied under during Med. school. As a guiding light on earth, he has chosen Albert to be helpful after death. Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.) explains to him that whenever Chris stays on Earth trying to be close to Anna, he hurts her even more. During the movie, flashbacks to their time on earth occur frequently, and while Chris is freshly dead, a painting that his wife had made is shown. This painting looks to me like two figures standing before the Dark Wood of Error. Chris enters his private heaven, which Albert explains is a dream conjured up by the deceased's imagination. In this case, it's the painting Anna drew of the spot they met at in Italy. ...


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...cing eternal danger for himself. Freud stays outside (as far as human reason can go), and Chris goes in and sees Anna (who isn't a tree even though she commits suicide). He eventually makes Anna recognize him, and of course their love is stronger than anything (blah, blah, blah), and they end up in heaven- a paradise- if you will- and live happily ever after with their kids and their Dalmatian. The Dalmatian seems like it could be an allusion to the leopard, the symbol of the fraudulent and Malicious, but he's a good dog in the movie. Also, Anna's red scarf is often flying around the heaven in a whirlwind. It's red, so it could symbolize lovers like Paolo and Francesca, but in a positive way, or it could allude to the banner chased by the opportunists, but I doubt it. It symbolizes love, and Chris' inability to grasp a hold of Anna while she still lived- I think.

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