Change In The Movie Swimfan

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The film Swimfan is about a New Jersey high school senior named Ben Cronin. Ben is a former juvenile delinquent, who lived a life run by his Id, his baser desires. Ben’s past criminal behavior was characterized by heavy drug use and a desire to procure more drugs. However, despite his criminal history and past drug use, Ben has managed to turn his life around and become a functioning member of society. Ben attributes his change from a drug user to a functioning member of society to his girlfriend Amy and his passion for competitive swimming as the primary reasons for channeling his socially unacceptable impulses into normal behavior, a prime example of sublimation. Not only that, Ben’s future looks bright, he has become the star of his high…show more content…
For one, in her behavior towards Ben Madison shows a sort of all or nothing thinking, the belief that everything must be perfect or it may as well not be. Madison believes that she must be with Ben to the point that she is willing to kill off his girlfriend in order to keep him. In addition to this, she also displays egocentric thinking, or self-centered thinking, when she explicitly tells Ben to tell her that he loves her even if he does not mean it. To Madison, whether or not Ben loves her is irrelevant to her needs, all that she wants is to hear him say it so that she knows that she can exert her will upon him. In a twisted way, this moment can be inferred to be an attempt at classical conditioning on Madison’s part. In classical conditioning, a stimulus is provided in order to produce a specific response other than the natural response, and based on Madison’s behavior during the film coupled with her obsessive tendencies, it seems probable that she was attempting to create a conditioned emotional response (an emotional response that has become classically conditioned to occur to learned stimuli) in…show more content…
For one, although Ben has turned his life around, his history of dealing with stress through illegal drugs suggests that he is not necessarily a fully functioning individual. Although throughout the movie Ben appears to be a normal teenager, his prolonged usage of drugs suggests that he developed a physical dependence, or physical need to continue being on drugs. Cutting himself off from the drugs as quickly as he did would certainly have resulted in him experiencing physical symptoms from the lack of drugs in his system (drug withdrawal). Similarly, Madison is clearly not a functional adult. Her mental state is so far removed from a normal or Gestalt psychology that it calls into question whether she could have ever become a functioning member of society had she not died at the climax of the

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