The Sixth Sense


The sixth sense is about a boy who is capable to communicate with spirits but the spirits do not know they are dead. He then begins to see a “disheartened” child psychologist, played by Bruce Willis. This movie does a great job of portraying multiple different ways people deal with and think about death.

The first thing I noticed is that no one believed this little boy when he explained what was happening to him. Everyone’s first thought is just that he is crazy and making things up. This is able to show that people are either scared to believe someone could actually be seeing spirits or they are death denying and do not even want to think of something like that being possible.

When the little boy first starts seeing these spirits he is completely terrified of them. This is their way of showing how completely afraid of death people really are. It is an uncomfortable topic and even though we all know it has to happen eventually we are one hundred percent terrified of it, especially at a younger age. When the boy begins seeing his psychologist, Bruce Willis, Bruce begins to help him look at it a different way. This shows that adults are capable of a more rational, less terrified way to look at death. As the movie goes on they come to find out that the spirits are actually reaching out to this little boy to help them move on and find out what really happened to them. By the spirits not moving on this portrays the aspect of death that people are not always ready to let go and they do not want to.  At the very end of the movie you come to find out that Bruce Willis is actually a ghost himself and more so seeking his own counsel on how to cope and realize his own death.

As I stated before this movie does an amazing job showing the variety of different ways people think of death but ultimately it does show that we are a death denying culture. People either just don’t talk about it, don’t believe it, or are terrified of it and all of these are portrayed in just this single movie.


One thought on “The Sixth Sense

  1. I agree that this movie does a good job protraying a “death denying culture.” The characters could symbolize many different aspects of death. I believe that the “ghosts” symbolize our fears and insecurities about death — e.g. leaving loved ones behind, “unfinished business. These Ghost come to the child who can see them as a source of help to their un-resolved lives. This illustration could be another symbol for death — the unanswered questions and searching for a “power” or “someone” to answer our questions about what happens on the other side. To help aleviate those fears and insecurities mentioned above.
    The character that Bruce Willis plays I believe is much more complex than meets the eye. I believe you are right that the character is facing his own fears and insecurities by “helping” the child who sees ghosts. I believe that at end of the film when he realizes that he himself is dead he is coming to grips with not only the idea of universality but the idea that Death is something that happens on a personal level. His own self actualization about the concept of death is finally reached at this point in the film. He has come to the point to where all of the ideas about death are reached. Bruce Willis’ chracter shows the progression that we all take as human beings learning about death — his progression is just shown through the character’s therapy sessions instead of a lifespan.

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