Psychological Analysis of “The Butterfly Effect” Essay

This paper revolves around the four chief psychological facets of the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect which are memory retrieval in Evan. injury in the characters. depression. and Evan’s therapy. In memory we will look through the protagonist’s. Evan. yesteryear and how he represses his memory and retrieves them back as grownup. In injury we will look at the different events Evan’s friend Lenny experiences and how it affects his life and gives him traumatic upsets. Following. we will analyze depressive symptoms in the character Kayleigh.

Finally. we will look at the different interventions Evan’s healer utilizations on him and his grounds why. I will uncover each of the function these four facets play and relate them to the characters and the film.

In the film The Butterfly Effect a male child named Evan develops a unknown familial disease where he blacks out during really traumatic events. These blackouts finally fade off when we moves off and he ne’er experiences them once more.

One twenty-four hours. in college he reads an old diary from his childhood and all the old memories hit him like a brick. Within yearss he discovers he is able to really travel back in clip and alteration those past traumatic events. which consequences in a series altered worlds. In these different worlds. non merely do the events alteration. but Evan and his friends develop wholly new idenities This film chiefly revolves around Evan’s memory. injury and depression in some of the characters.

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and the therapy used to seek to handle Evan’s unwellness.

In that brief drumhead alone you are able to see that Evan’s memory is a big portion of this film. Throughout the films Evan goes through periods of memory repressions where he gets these unmanageable blackouts. normally under times of heavy emphasis and injury. and wakes up wholly unaware of what happened. These blackouts occurred when he is take parting in kid erotica. killing a adult females and her babe. his male parent seeking to kill him and watching his Canis familiaris be burned alive.

Repressed memories are “memories of existent events that were pushed into the unconscious because they are emotionally endangering ( Kosslyn and Rosenberg 2011 p. 183 ) ” . That means although these events are emotionally charged they are forgotten non because they are pushed out of consciousness but because the single mentally set them into another topographic point in their head.

Evan finally moves off from this town go forthing Lenny. Tommy and Kayleigh. After that we notice that these sudden blackouts disappear and when he goes to college he is able to populate a normal life. Until. he reads one of his old diaries and all the old memories come back to him and he is able vividly see them through a procedure known as memory retrieval. He is even able to travel back in clip and alter his actions. Although this evidently is non possible in existent life. it is an illustration of a survey that shows that. “as we try to remember something our encephalon works to fit the encephalon province we had during the event we are retrieving ( DeNoon 2005 ) ” . so when your encephalon province lucifers the province in your memory you’ll retrieve it a batch easier.

This survey is true in Evan’s instance. because has he read through his diary entries he. in a sense. set himself into his teenage places and is able to visualise that exact minute he is reading. Therefore. a person’s emotion can impact a their memory retrieval. “ ( It is ) much like when you try to retrieve where you set your keys last dark. if you recall that you were rinsing dishes. that might trigger associated memories. taking you to retrieve that your keys are following to the sink ( DeNoon 2005 ) ” .

Evan besides develops inexplicit memories during his frat male child lifestyle world. Implicit memories are memories “that can non be retrieved voluntarily but instead predispose a individual to treat information or act certain ways in the presence of specific stimulations ( Kosslyn and Rosenberg 2011 p. 169 ) ” .

In this altered world Evan becomes the leader of a fraternity and one of the popular athletes. a wholly different characters compared to his hardworking. diffident behaviour in the first world. Yet. even though it is still normal Evan exchanging through different worlds he starts to involuntarily develop these wonts the fraternity character would make. wish darnel on trials and bully younger pupils. These actions and personalities he developed is an illustration of a type of inexplicit memory known as wonts. Cheating on his psychological science trial and shouting at one of his pledges was a well-learned response that is carried out automatically.

The following subject the film portrays is trauma in the character Lenny. Lenny is most affected by two traumatic events shown in the film. the first is when he by chance blows up a letter box killing a female parent and her babe and the 2nd is when he kills Tommy during one of Evan’s synergistic memory. After those experiences Lenny develops clear marks of post-traumatic emphasis upset ( PTSD ) . Harmonizing to the DSM-IV-TR. the diagnosing of PSTD is decided when three conditions are met.

First. the individual experiences an event that involves an hurt or decease and Lenny clearly experienced decease through slaying the female parent and babe. and killing Tommy. Next. the traumatized individual responds to the state of affairs with fright. which Lenny shows from the utter daze after the letter box blows up and he becomes so afraid of what he has done that he collapses and ends up in hospitalized.

Lenny shows “persistent turning away of anything associated with the injury ( Kosslyn and Rosenberg 2011 p. 420 ) ” . This explains why Lenny. after so many old ages. was still in his room edifice theoretical account aeroplanes after Evan goes back place to him. Besides. when Evan asks Lenny to depict what happened during that event Lenny violently threatens him to kill him if he of all time mentions it once more. Model airplanes is a avocation he enjoys and it helps maintain him distracted from all his ideas. which is why his room contained over one 100 theoretical accounts. If he keeps himself preoccupied with the theoretical account planes. those ideas of killing the female parent will ne’er traverse his head.

Not merely does Lenny and his theoretical account aeroplane avocation distract him from the injury but it besides show a really distinguishable relationship between dissociation and injury. Constance J. Dalenburg conducted an experiment which shows “that there is strong empirical support for the hypothesis that trauma causes dissociation ( a perceived withdrawal of the head from the emotional province or even from the organic structure ) . and that dissociation remains related to trauma history when phantasy proness is controlled ( Dalenberg 2012 ) ” .

After sing the two injury Lenny enters a dreamlike province where he wholly separates himself from the universe by remaining in his room all twenty-four hours and making nil else. Even when Evan comes to see him in his sleeping room or in the insane refuge he ne’er displays any emotions. talk to him or even acknowledge he is at that place. During the Canis familiaris blackout Lenny witnessed Tommy firing Evan’s Canis familiaris alive and Tommy told him. “if you tell anyone. I’ll slit your throat” .

Lenny was discharged from the infirmary merely before that occurred and before Evan called him out to play we can see Lenny was busy working on a theoretical account aeroplane. Therefore. we can reason that Lenny makes these exemplary aeroplanes. corsets in his room all twenty-four hours and even maintain his room precisely the same ( which we can see because he still race auto bed ) because he seeking to distance himself from world and mentally return back to the exact clip before he witnessed Evan’s Canis familiaris being burned alive.

The 3rd subject faced in the film is depression. Kayleigh and Evan go through periods of depression through three different altered worlds of the film. In the first altered world Evan goes back to his hometown and finds Kayleigh working as waitress. in the following altered world Kayleigh becomes a Hooker after Evan goes back and by chance putting to deaths Tommy. and in the last world Evan loses his weaponries and legs along with the love of his life. Kayleigh to Lenny. The four chief symptoms of major depressive upset ( depression ) shown throughout these scenes were insomnia and fatigue. heavy unhappiness. feeling of hopelessness. and ideas of self-destruction.

In the first world Kayleigh shows physical marks of insomnia and fatigue. Physically. you can state by her sulky motions and heavy bags under her eyes that she is non acquiring plenty remainder. She so goes on to shout at him stating. “nothing’s of all time traveling to acquire better Evan. nil of all time gets better” . This quotation mark and the fact that she is merely a server shows the feeling of hopelessness and how she believes there is no existent hereafter and she will ne’er be genuinely happy due to her traumatising yesteryear.

This feeling of hopelessness might hold occurred after Evan moved off from her. doing her to hold no 1 else to trust on. That alteration can besides do depression because when alteration occurs. emphasis happens. “Significant degrees of emphasis can ensue from any of import life alteration. but people vary well in the ways they respond to alter in their lives…

Their reactions depend on their resources and the contexts in which emphasis occurs. If you have the money. clip. and friends to assist you pick up and travel on after a break. you will surely do better ( Mcgregor 2006 ) ” . all of which Kayleigh doesn’t have any longer. taking her to developed depression. Kayleigh besides cries and cry at Evan for conveying up old memories. a possible mark of heavy unhappiness. Finally. Evan finds out the following twenty-four hours that Kayleigh committed self-destruction. ( ideas of self-destruction ) which is the last symptom of clinical depression.

In the 2nd world Evan finds Kayleigh in a tally down motel room as Hooker with a drug dependence. Kayleigh is portraying marks of ineptitude in her organic structure because of the sexual Acts of the Apostless she is involved in to have money. Due the sexual maltreatment she received from her male parent she now feels her organic structure is soiled or damaged doing her believe she in unworthy of being treated as a normal individual.

This is a large part to her low ego regard and her drug maltreatment issue. Not merely does she experience used but the maltreatment she suffered from her pa. the first true male function theoretical account in her life. leaves her to experience that people will ever ache her. You can see her environment plays a large function in her depression because in the concluding altered world. she lives in a nurturing environment with her female parent and is eventually happy which leads her unrecorded to a normal happy life and a better calling.

In the concluding world Evan loses his weaponries and legs after seeking to salvage the ma and kid from the detonation. During that scene Evan sees Kayleigh run up to Lenny and kiss him. You can state from his facial look he was experiencing unhappiness and compunction over non being with her when he knows he could be. After losing his weaponries and legs. Evan realizes life for him is hopeless. and he can ne’er amount to anything because he doesn’t weaponries or Kayleigh. so that mark of ineptitude is one time once more demoing. Evan tries to submerge himself in the film. demoing those ideas of self-destruction. Evan shows a clear illustration of Aaron Beck’s “negative cognitive threes of depression” .

“The three consists of: a negative position of the universe. a negative position of the ego. and a negative position of the hereafter ( Kosslyn and Rosenberg 2011 p. 412 ) ” . Evan views the universe as unjust because of his losing limbs. his disablement leave him to believe his life pointless. and he cognize his hereafter is nil without Kayleigh and his limbs.

Finally. there was some usage of psychological schemes and therapy techniques Evan’s healer uses to seek to happen a manner to name and work out this rare disease. The first intervention Evan’s healer tried was hypnosis. The healer tried to quiet Evan. so told him to remember his memory of that mailbox event and “play. rewind. and pause it like a movie” . Hypnosis did non work in Evan’s instance. alternatively merely doing nose bleeds and concerns. As a kid. when his ma foremost realizes something is incorrect Evan is given a Magnetic Resonance Imaging ( MRI ) Scan to look for anything incorrect in his encephalon construction.

Yet. they were non able to happen anything incorrect with his encephalon. The most effectual method used was inquiring Evan to maintain a diary of his day-to-day life. Diaries are normally used and is an illustration of one of “Beck’s cognitive therapy techniques” which is “the procedure of assisting clients view their state of affairs in a new visible radiation ( Kosslyn and Rosenberg 2011 p. 420 ) ” . This method proves to be affectional because it helps Evan work out the root of his black outs and recognize he is able to travel back in clip during those blackouts and command his past organic structure. forestalling certain stimulations.

In decision. you can see that The Butterfly Effect portrays a batch of psychological facts and upsets because of all the traumatic events these immature kids went through. The biggest facet of The Butterfly Effect is the different types of memory Evan uses in the film. like repression. retrieval. and inexplicit. The chief thought of the film is that one bantam alteration can wholly change the hereafter and we clearly see that through the different individuality each character goes through in the film.

In some worlds Lenny is forced to populate life entirely and in fright under his utmost station traumatic emphasis upset due to all the traumatic events. In two worlds Kayleigh goes through symptoms of depression. like unhappiness. ideas of self-destruction. insomnia. and feelings of hopelessness due to factors like her sexual maltreatment and hostile environment. Each event the characters
went through dramas a drastic function on how they turned out. which shows that a batch of our life is truly non under our control.

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Psychological Analysis of “The Butterfly Effect” Essay. (2017, Oct 10). Retrieved from

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