Publication Date

Fall 2018

Faculty Supervisor

Eva Ginsburg


In the film Gaslight (1944), the main character Paula (portrayed by Ingrid Berman) struggles with her sense of self after adolescence. After her aunt – who is also her guardian – is murdered, Paula is sent to Italy to learn to become a famous opera singer like her aunt. Paula spends several years in Italy where she meets a man named Gregory. She falls in love quickly and agrees to marry him after two weeks together. After their marriage, Gregory convinces Paula to move back to London to live in the townhouse her aunt had left her. During their time in London, Paula appears to go mad but is later convinced by a detective that Gregory has been manipulating her. While the movie plays out all these essential moments in Paula’s life, the viewer senses that she never seems to have control over any of them. This is because Paula never develops a true sense of self. Thus, the character’s entire life is an identity crisis.


LAS 189 Introduction to Liberal Arts and Sciences


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