Narcissism in High Fidelity
The following study of narcissism in the leading character in a recent film, "High Fidelity," nonetheless attempts without apology such a psychological analysis of a popular work of fiction. It is the argument of this study that, although High Fidelity is not necessarily high art or even a profoundly serious film, it does present, like much of the best popular art, an insightful and honest examination of a real modern dilemma: the difficulty of intimate relationships in a world where every emotion and every remark seems to have a pop culture reference or origin. This film presents, we will show, a complex and detailed portrait of a particular modern personality type, the narcissistic youth who turns into an overage Peter Pan incapable of commitment; more significantly, however, the film (and the book from which it was adapted) suggests a way out of this dilemma for the protagonist, who ultimately succeeds in overcoming his self-absorption.
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