Natalya S. Shurinova
South Federal University
105/42 Bolshaya Sadovaya Str., Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 344006
Senior Lecturer at Theory and History of World Literature Department
PhD in Cultural Studies
ORCID: 0000-0002-6704-2868Poetics of the Episode “Fly“ in the TV Drama “Breaking Bad“Abstract:
The article considers the poetics of the episode "Fly" of the television series "Breaking Bad". While analyzing the features of a specific "bottle" episode in V. Gilligan's drama, we consider its representative visual language, symbolic code with the possibility of interpretation through various cultural and literary traditions and make conclusions about the role of the episode in the construction of the film narration. Different aspects allow us to correlate the episode "Fly" with absurdist and existentialist dramas, as well as with poetics of F. Kafka's and F. Dostoevsky's texts. On the one hand, the appearance of a fly in the confined space of Fring's laboratory can be interpreted as a representation of the idea of absurd. And on the other hand, the image of a fly in this episode is also one of the most important tools to the psychological research of the main character. Through S. Freud's ideas, the fly can be understood as a symbolization of the protagonist's negative feelings displaced into the unconscious. From this point of view, the futility of attempts to catch a fly can be associated with a specific neurotic state of Walter White, indicating the need for awareness of the content of the unconscious. But besides that, by means of the concept of bad faith by J.-P. Sartre the image can be also interpreted as a symbol of remorse, guilt and shame associated with Walter White's existential crisis. In this perspective, the meeting with the fly emphasizes the identity crisis experienced by the main character, his unwillingness to realize and accept his own choice. The episode has conceptual significance for the narrative logic of the series: the crisis which the main character is passing through in "Fly," shows White’s progression towards acceptance of the true "Self".Key words:
mass culture, existentialism, absurd, psychoanalysis, Breaking Bad, visual code, symbolic image, intertext, Sartre, Freud, Dostoevsky.References:
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Shurinova, N. (2021). Poetics of the Episode “Fly“ in the TV Drama “Breaking Bad“. International Journal of Cultural Research, 1 (42), 82–93. DOI: 10.52173/2079-1100_2021_1_82