2016 | 1 |
Article title

Mental Illness as a Factor in the Creation of the Contemporary Romantic

Title variants
Languages of publication
The paper discusses the image of a mad person in the movie Donnie Darko by Richard Kelly. I want to examine the deranged protagonist as a contemporary Romantic by comparing Donnie Darko’s features and his approach to society with concepts espoused by Romanticism. The focus is on schizophrenia as a condition that influences Donnie’s perception, providing typical symptoms displayed by the protagonist (thought disturbance, various types of delusion or hallucination, acts of antisocial behaviour) as well as problems in information processing. I argue that it is Donnie’s condition that makes him a contemporary Romantic – he sees more, feels more and, in the end, he trusts intuition and emotions rather than rational explanation. The eponymous character is a young, alienated idealist who believes that the world can be changed. Donnie refuses to accept social norms or rules as an exceptional and rebellious outsider in search of the meaning of life. Eventually, the Romantic fascination with freedom and nature corresponds to the perception of the illness as liberation of one’s true nature.
Physical description
  • Ashton, Dyrk. 2006. “Using Deleuze: The cinema Books, Film Studies and Effect.” A Dissertation. Bowling Green State University.
  • Erikson, Erik H. 1994. Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
  • Foucault, Michel. 2001. Madness and Civilization: History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. New York: Vintage Books A Division Of Random House.
  • Jakubik, Andrzej. 1999. Zaburzenia Osobowości. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL. Donnie Darko The Director’s Cut. 2001. Directed by Richard Kelly. Pandora, Inc.
  • “Romanticism.” N. d. n. p. 2014. Accessed April 14, 2015. topic/508675/Romanticism.
  • Rybakowski, Janusz, and Filip Rybakowski. 2008. Sedno Psychiatria. Wrocław: Urban & Partner.
  • Stevens, David. 2004. Context in literature: Romanticism. Cambridge University Press.
  • Tsuang, Ming T., Stephen V. Faraone, and Stephen J. Glatt. 2011. Schizophrenia. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wordsworth, William. 1800. “Lyrical Ballads.” N. d. n. p. Accessed January 17, 2016.
  • Zimbardo, P.G, R.L. Johnson, and Vivian McCann. 2008. Psychology Core Concepts. 6th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.