People are constantly interpreting new situations in terms of old ones. It is this process that allows for the enlargement of our understanding of the world. Analogy-making is going on constantly in the background of the mind, helping to shape our perceptions of everyday situations;
It is hard for Whitehouse to break free without completely destroying a part of himself which is what the climax can be seen as symbolic of. His childhood wounds are very deep.
Growth and Development
The character of Wade Whitehouse is shown changing in the movie. The character not so much develops as it is sparked off by external circumstances. The shooting accident with which he becomes more and more obsessed ignites deep seated issues with which Whitehouse is still struggling. His relationship with his daughter and girl-friend deteriorates. The climax of the movie is when Whitehouse finally is pushed over the edge by his father whom he then murders and then goes on to burn the corpse. It is almost as if he is destroying the putrid part of himself and purifying himself. The movie ends with Whitehouse just disappearing , we are not exactly sure where he ends up but there is a final sense of peace.
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