Erika's Insanity In The Film 'The Piano Teacher'

981 Words4 Pages
The Piano Teacher revolves around the protagonist Erika Kohut and her fast descent into madness upon meeting voracious piano student Walter Klemmer. Erika has an absent father committed in a mental institution and a mother who keeps tight reigns on her. I delved into The Piano Teacher to explore how Erika’s father had, despite the lack of mention of him in the film, exacerbated her madness from an early age. Erika’s parents, estimated to be in their fifties or sixties, would have been brought up in the Crazy Years. Erika as an unwed professor is proof that her parents, influenced by the Crazy Years, allowed her to focus on her career and not marital status. However, in matters such as sexual liberation, things were still as conservative as…show more content…
Her father being in a mental institution would have prevented him from parenting in conventional methods; this could have been the cause of her mother’s overprotectiveness and obsession in an attempt to fill the gap of his presence. It is clear at the beginning of and throughout the film that Erika’s mother is well versed in her daughter’s schedule. She has no qualms in calling every five minutes to check up on Erika, despite Erika’s indignance and frustration of being treated like a baby and being seen as a little girl. In fact, this might be what Erika’s mother still views her as- a little girl who needs her mother’s protection. It seems that Erika’s mother wishes Erika to be home with her at all times other than when she is…show more content…
The scene in which Erika tells Walter that he could choose her clothing could have been an indication that she has put her mother’s opinion and her work on the backburner. It also enforced the stereotype that women dress in certain ways to please or impress men. Erika was often dressed in drab colours deemed work appropriate- beige, white, gray, or black. If she wore a blouse, the buttons were all done up modestly. Yet after starting a relationship with Walter, she was seen in a peach blouse with its top button undone and floral

    More about Erika's Insanity In The Film 'The Piano Teacher'

      Open Document