Making the World a Better Place One Dream at a Time
On his website, (http://www.devinsingh.com/blog/2015/8/20/unbreakable-purpose#commen...)
Social Theorist and Religious Scholar Devin Singh talks about the theme of finding one's purpose in M. Night Shyamalan's movie "Unbreakable." His blog prompted me to watch “Unbreakable” again after several years, this time with a new perspective, looking for the “finding one’s “purpose” theme threaded throughout the film. The sadness that we feel when we wake up in the morning because we are not in touch with our real purpose, when we feel that gnawing sense inside that we should be doing something else, that we are here to accomplish something much greater. We may be in a place predestined, carrying on as if it is “just a job or avocation,” whereas there is a deeper reason. Why is it that others sometimes need to believe in us more than we believe in ourselves in order for us to find our real calling? Why do we often need to be prodded, dared, threatened, cajoled? To what lengths are others willing to go to make us realize who we are? The film includes the positive role of others’ beliefs in us but also a dire warning.
Elijah has to continue to remind David of his unbreakability before he will finally recognize it and start living his true calling, his almost superhero persona. David’s son believes in him and instinctively knows that he has to push his dad beyond what his dad himself believes he is capable of by adding more weights to the barbell and proving to his dad that he can go far beyond his limited image of himself. David’s wife, the one for whom he abandoned his dream of playing football and from whom he is alienated, even notices something that attracts her into wanting to “try again” after he is the sole survivor of the train derailment.
Elijah finally makes David realize who he is and that they are opposites on a spectrum, though sharing a common weakness: water. Elijah begins to live his true identity, conquers his weakness with water, frees captive women, lets his son know that he is in fact the hero his son believes he is, and he lifts up his wife in a symbol of reconciliation, claiming he has had a nightmare, comforted by her words that “the nightmare is over.”
All is good, but the climax of the movie contains the warning
In answer to Elijah’s question “When you woke up this morning, was it still there? The sadness?” David answers “No.”
And, as Devin quotes in his blog, Elijah continues as all the catastrophes that he has caused are revealed to David and to us . “Do you know what the scariest thing is to not know your place in the world, to not know why you are here, that is the scariest thing. I almost gave up hope. So many sacrifices just to find you. Now that you know who you are, I know who I am. I am not a mistake. It all makes sense. In comics you know how you can tell who the archenemy is going to be? He is the exact opposite of the hero. And most time they’re friends like you and me. And you know why David? Because of kids. They called me Mr. Glass.”
Elijah exposes the depths to which some – albeit criminally insane – will go to find their own meaning in life. Elijah’s evil is reveled just as he helps to reveal David’s true identity. Let us all follow the guidance you lay out in your blog to find our deeper calling before it gets revealed to us by our enemies. Let us not give up our callings because of the fears of those with whom we are involved. Let us encourage each other to find our callings by having faith and by emphasizing each other’s gifts and potential, helping to highlight them rather than to squash them out of envy, apathy, or fear.
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