donniedarko - Kazaks 1 Maia Kazaks November 17, 2004 Brice...

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Kazaks 1 Maia Kazaks November 17, 2004 Brice Erikson Honors Section Darko Hero Greek myths describe how initiation requires three stages; separation, liminality and reintegration. “Donnie Darko”, directed by Richard Kelly, portrays these three stages as Donald Darko completes his metaphysical and psychological journey to become a hero using alternate universes and time travel. The majority of the movie deals with the liminal zone, which is the alternate universe. Unfortunately, Donnie does not get reintegrated into his society because, as reintegration, he must die, but he completes his task and is “worshipped”. Logic, in myth, is often contradictory and that is necessary to accept the concept of the tangent universe in which Donnie’s story takes place. In addition to the initiation pattern, the character of Frank can be equated with many mythological roles such as the trickster figure and an oracle. It could be expected, with a mentally disturbed main character, that “Donnie Darko” would follow a withdrawal and return pattern, but this is not so. It is true that Donnie metaphysically withdraws from society by entering the alternate universe. He becomes very upset by this and attempts to find explanations through Dr. Thurman, Roberta Sparrow’s book and Frank. The embassy that is sent to try to reclaim Donnie is Frank, in a way, because Frank tells him tasks to perform so that the primary universe will continue in its path. However, Frank is not rejected as an ambassador as the withdrawal pattern would have one think; Frank is accepted after some skepticism from
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Kazaks 2 Donnie. In order to rejoin the society, Donnie must die. “Darko” does not fulfill the withdrawal and return pattern because the “happy ending” for Donnie is death. The Hero Initiation of Greek mythology begins with a call to adventure. On October 2, Donnie is called out of bed by Frank, a giant bunny, who tells Donnie to follow him outdoors to learn the precise time of the end of the world- the end of the month. This call saves Donnie from being crushed by a jet engine. This point in the film is a crossroads, where the primary, or original, universe ends and where the tangent world begins. By getting out of bed, Donnie creates an unstable universe that will end; Frank removed Donnie from harm’s way only to tell him that, if he were to have stayed in bed, Donnie’s world would have died. Donnie then experiences this other universe as a way to know not to let it happen; he is given reason to die. In a sense, instead of being told a prediction, Donnie will live one, so when he gets a chance to reverse it, he will feel no remorse. The analogy for the blind prophet Tereiseias in “Darko” is Frank, who has divine knowledge of the future and he is quite mad- I mean, a giant bunny? Come on! From the beginning of the film it is clear Donnie did not have a divine birth like
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course CLASS 40 taught by Professor Athanassakis during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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donniedarko - Kazaks 1 Maia Kazaks November 17, 2004 Brice...

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