...that sex was one of the major themes of SH 2? I never really understood that. It's not mentioned at all in the game, it's only implied through symbolism of some monsters. It is a theme, but not so major like some people say it is.
James sexual frustration as a result of Mary's illness is a major "hidden" theme in the game which is not explicitly stated. This may or may not have something do to w/ the ratings board. Maria is an embodiment of his desire for sex, an extreme version, because he was so lacking. Pyramid Head represents this too, to an extent.
I think the sex part is one of the reasons he "hated" Mary for robbing him of his happy life with her when she got sick.
I always saw Maria as his "perfect wife", she wasn't really perfect though, she reflected some stuff that Mary did to James while she was sick.
Maria is a stripper, how would this be a perfect wife model? In fact her demeanor, look, style, and behavior is the opposite of a house wife role. It's more of a mistress role.
I didn't explained it well, what I meant is, she was born from his mind, he probably wished that he had a girl like her during the time Mary was sick, he probably did start to look at other women, I'm not saying that he cheated on her, but he probably thought that he could find a woman that doesn't threat him like that.
I don't even really think there's much in the way of 'repressed sex' going on for James. I'm sure he probably misses it, he seems like a healthy guy and all, but every single time sex is presented to him bluntly in the form of Maria, it just makes him confused and angry. He never comes across as "hey, this is a welcome change in my life".
Violence is a theme in the game as much as sex, but James is not a violent man. He is a man who committed a single act of violence when an extreme situation pushed him over the edge. Yet, his otherworld is stalked by a walking mascot of extreme violence and assault. Why? Simple answer, to me: his desire to solve problems with force (which everybody has) is being amplified to almost cartoonish extremes because his single, potentially justifiable, act of violence has caused him a profound amount of guilt, and no doubt it has been overfed by all the anger, confusion, and hurt this experience has inflicted upon him. Pyramid Head is the result.
In that same vein, sex is introduced in extremely blatant fashion, from the sensual motions and slender figures of the monsters to the obvious sluttiness of the nurses. This doesn't mean that James has spent three years in a frenzied battle with his own relentless hard-on. It means that the illness, and death, of Mary has robbed him of all that is good in marriage--not just sex but the romance, intimacy, and even the very love itself. James may ultimately kill Mary as an act of mercy, but no doubt he has resented, for a very long time, all the pleasure and joy of being a young husband. Just as his impotent anger over the situation helped manifest a being of slaughterhouse-level ultra-violence, James' impotence in matters of love, sex and romance manifest in extreme and base ways: slutty nurses, nude, slender mannequins and Lying Figures, and a version of his wife who is forward and promiscuous... not necessarily because this is what he really wanted Mary to be, but to make up for all the years in which she could offer him absolutely nothing.
People make the sexual angle out to be a huge aspect, but really, it's just one thread in the cloth.
The way Ryan (what) put it is generally how I've always seen it to be honest. And when the sex concept is brought up people seem to have the maturity of pre-school students about it but I honestly don't see it as THAT integral to the story.
This doesn't mean that James has spent three years in a frenzied battle with his own relentless hard-on.
Ha, I love it!
I'm in total agreement. I don't buy that Maria was the representation of everything James felt like he was missing out on while Mary was sick and unable to perform her marital duties*. Aside from the fact that her advances go ignored at best and at worst seem to repulse him, Silent Hill isn't exactly known for serving you up exactly what you want - ESPECIALLY if you're dragging around a truckload of guilt and denial.
I think it's also worth bearing in mind that if you're trying to make your audience feel creeped out and unsettled, presenting them with images that simultaneously represent sex and death is a really good way to do that. I think a lot of the sexual imagery is to give us a jumping-off point to freak ourselves out, not to point us to a definite conclusion.
Trauma wrote:The way Ryan (what) put it is generally how I've always seen it to be honest. And when the sex concept is brought up people seem to have the maturity of pre-school students about it but I honestly don't see it as THAT integral to the story.
^^This...i always cringe whenever this game is discussed and all i hear is PH....RAAAPPPEE-TIIMMEE!!!.....That is all some folks zero-in on whenever it's discussed. Yeah and i get it's just a game and all and it's not that serious, but it starts to get annoying hearing this everytime this game is mentioned, when the game is about so much more than that...
And for the most part, i absolutely agree with "what".......
'what' posted what I was gonna post lol. But yep, agreed 100%. I also agree that the whole "ZOMG PH RAEP LOLOL" thing is pretty annoying. People act as if that's what the whole game was about. Hell, I don't even think PH "raped" anything to begin with. It was just that one dark, muddy scene with obscure camera angles and quick shots.
I think the sex thing is important, but I also have wildly different ideas about sex than most people do. The people that focus "too much" on it are usually that way because of their culture. In America we have a tendacy to overrate or underrate sex because of moralism. Either way it's not considered a natural process and is often times, eliminated or invalidated as a part of human desire and existence.
Xuchilbara wrote:I think the sex thing is important, but I also have wildly different ideas about sex than most people do. The people that focus "too much" on it are usually that way because of their culture. In America we have a tendacy to overrate or underrate sex because of moralism. Either way it's not considered a natural process and is often times, eliminated or invalidated as a part of human desire and existence.
I think we have a tendency to simplify things (good - evil, black - white) and not everything can be simplified all the time. The story is good because there is no main theme, but a "web" of factors on James got traped. The sex, to me, is the motivation - that's why is a highlighted factor. Usually a strong basic motivation push us to face some difficult situation, like hunger, self preservation, etc. (sex is more interesting).
Well it shouldn't be overlooked that the rape scene was pretty much directly taken from Blue Velvet, and that original scene basically depicts someone [Jeffrey] hiding in a closet, watching a woman [Dorothy] being raped & beaten, and Jeffrey being completely shocked to see such a display of sexual violence, only to find out not much later that he himself is easily capable of inflicting sexual violence upon Dorothy. I don't mean to say James used to get drunk and rape Mary when she was dozing off in her sewing room but it's pretty much the first real major event of the game and is bound to leave an impression.
Overall I feel people seem to interpret the sexual part of it all more as James being extremely sexually frustrated, and that being the main trigger for the events, resulting in all 'those' monsters. I've always thought an important element of the plot was that James has to acknowledge he killed Mary out of disgust more so than wanting to end her pain cause he's just nice like that. Granted, it's an extreme situation, but secretly pulling the plug because you truly feel it's the right thing to do probably shouldn't ship you off to psychosisland like that. It's not so much the fact that he was sexually deprived or simply freaky to begin with, it's that deep inside he knows it was his disgust for her that made him want to end her life, and his subconscious fear that it means he reduced his wife to a Freudian object with a hole that should be disposed off once it's no longer of use...
Either way, I have to agree that while an overtone at times, sexuality is still just one small part of the whole game and SIlent Hill in general, but I think it probably stood out at the time, and probably still does. It's what I remembered. Pyramid Head raping 'normal' monsters, monsters raping themselves, framed genitaliae, Pyramid Head's mighty tool and impaling Maria...there probably aren't that many well known games that are as explicitly sexual as SH 2-4 were, let alone having sexual & reproductive themes in such an unnerving context...
Rather than viewing Maria as the manifestation of just James' sexual desires, we could also look at Maria as the perversion of sexual desires for James. It seems that many of the creatures in Silent Hill are perverted, overly sexualized manifestations of James mind. I think there is, if anything, a strong connection between violence and sexuality, but the role of sexuality in the game need not be over emphasized.
The way we see Silent Hill through James eyes seems to be, as What pointed out, impotency in every sense. I think impotency is important for James in two realms: he could not have sex with Mary, and he could not do anything to help her situation. Much of what goes in Silent Hill for James seems to emphasize his impotency: James is pursued by the Pyramid Head for a while, and he is unable to really deal any damage to the Pyramid Head, which would seem to heighten James feelings of impotency as he cannot deal with his aggression.
While I think sex is important in many ways to the game, I think it is there to draw connections to notions of death, aggression, impotency, and so on. These issues are the ones we see manifested in Silent Hill, and I think sex is an important contribution, but not the major contributing theme in the game. (The major contributing theme might be guilt, shame, repentance, and regret I guess.)
devil hunter wrote:...that sex was one of the major themes of SH 2? I never really understood that. It's not mentioned at all in the game, it's only implied through symbolism of some monsters. It is a theme, but not so major like some people say it is.
I would agree it's not a MAJOR theme, yes. I think the major theme is what James did to Mary, and how he did it (violence as the major theme, as well as his struggle with what he's done, since he doesn't seem like a very violent person).
Certainly, sexuality is a theme in the game. I don't agree that James' "repressed sexuality" has much to do with anything, though. I really doubt he killed Mary because she wouldn't have sexytimes with him. I think it was a lot more complicated than that. Maria is obviously sexualized, but I think it's more an expression of her vitality and youthful vigor than just a contrast to Mary because Mary won't put out. Sex is a theme with Angela and the abstract daddy monster, but that;s a separate issue. With Maria and monsters like the nurses, I think James had conflicting feelings about sex and related things, but I don't think it's the main idea.
I think the game used sexual IMAGERY more than sexual themes in the story. I think the sexual nature of some monsters are done to unnerve the player more than just to be about James' libido.
I think the idea of potence and impotence are important, moreso than just the sexual connotations of the words, and I think RPT is shown as potent with his sexual looking motions and phallic spear, not to represent sex or rape, but to show power. James, on the other hand, feels powerless/impotent in many ways.
Sato: Psychological horror has to shake humans heart deeply. Shaking peoples heart deeply means uncover peoples core emotion and core motivation for life. Everybody is thinking and concerning about sex and death. Everything. And if we want to scare or shake or touch the users or spectators, then we have to think about sex and death deeply.
To make like a death scene. Like somebody died, or monsters died, or if you make that kind of scene... we tried to mix erotic essence. This is kind of a visual and a core concept.
Yes, it's obviously a theme, but I think many people make too much of James' supposed sexual frustration. I think the sexualized monsters are there to be visually unnerving, mostly.
Another major problem with the SH2 fanbase is many people think there is no ambiguity in the game, and that there is a "right" answer to every question about the game, when the devs wanted people to come up with their own interpretations. So whether people think sexuality is a larger or smaller part of the game, people are often unwilling to accept that other people may have different points of view on it.
I never really understood that either. It is a theme within the game but the main one centered around what James did to Mary and how each characters guilt (including Eddie and Angela) affected them. James' sexual desires were just a small part of the bigger picture.
One could argue that SH3 had more of a sexual (albeit reproductive instead of lustful) focus in the game as a whole than SH2 did.
^Yeah, but it was subtle in 3 as well. (Like with the metallic hole Claudia was drug down into being designed to look like a vag, ect.) I think that's one of the great things about SH games. They don't have to shove something down your throat for it to still leave a distinct impression. Pretty much what nuri said.