Pi, Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan: Obsession in Madness College

The American Dream: An idea that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative (OED). Anyone willing to put in the work can achieve their dreams, but what if these dreams are impossible to achieve. Where is the line between determination and obsession?

Darren Aronofsky incorporates this paradigm into several of his films, and each film serves a separate agenda. Black Swan makes a commentary on the competitive world of ballet through gendered lenses. As the black and white Swan, Nina must embody purity and seduction simultaneously. Pi deals with genius and madness as well as the unfathomable relation between mathematics and religion. Requiem for a Dream follows the lives of four Brooklynites dealing with the downfalls of addiction as they struggle to achieve their dreams.

So, what do a perfectly imperfect ballerina, a sober drug addict, and a mathematician who proves the existence of God through math all have in common? They are all impossible. It would be hardly rash to say that the protagonists didn’t stand a chance. These characters are obsessed with becoming something they never could be in the first place. Darren Aronofsky links madness...

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