"Jacob's Ladder" Essay

2399 words - 10 pages

Jacob's Ladder is a film which draws specific conclusions on exactly what takes place in a person right before death, and the afterlife which await them. Hell is seen as a temporary stop where people's memories and attachments are taken away so that they can enter heaven cleansed of their past life in order that a new beginning can be had. Death is seen as something that should not be feared, it only makes your inevitable transition into the next world more difficult, while being at peace with yourself at death allows the transition to your afterlife to run smoothly without remorse. Heaven is seen as a good place, a place of inner tranquillity where there is no pain. The cultural attitudes ...view middle of the document...

The rest of the film appears to take place over a period of days to weeks or at least that is how Jake perceives it to be, however as far as time goes this is all taking place between the time that he was wounded and the time that he dies (probably a few hours). All of what Jake sees he believes to be real, but it is really hell that his mindsoul has been taken to in order that his feelings and attachments to the life he is about to leave can be taken away. Jake wakes up from a dream where he had been thinking back to that time in Vietnam, and he realises that he is on a subway with strange demon-like individuals. The subway represents the way he is transported from this life to hell although he does not realise this, he believes that it is after the war and he is coming back from work like any normal day. After getting off the subway, Jake goes home to his girlfriend Jezebel. Jake believes he has been divorced from his wife Sara for some time and that she through him out. Jake looks at old pictures of Sara and his son's Gabe and Jed, he cries when he looks at them, because he misses them. Jezebel became annoyed with Jake's love for his former family and takes the pictures and burns them. All of this that Jake takes to be reality is really hell, Jezebel is really a devil (demon) including everyone else Jake encounters (accept the chiropractor who is his guardian angel). They are all trying to erase his memories and attachments to his past life so that his soul can be freed from earth and can enter heaven. This is why Jezebel burns the family pictures, so that Jake will not remember his family, to erase his memory of them.From time to time in the film Jake will flashback to memories of Vietnam during that period of time when he was wounded and being brought to the hospital. Almost like little images or clips that he picked up as he came in and out of consciousness. These images that he recalls are really Jake's periods of greatest resistance to death, where he is fighting hell's attempts at taking his memories and attachments. During these periods throughout the film Jake is really coming back to life for brief moments. The harder Jake tries to fight his inevitable death the worse and more bizarre his experiences become in hell, as the demons must try harder to take his memories and attachments from him.The majority of the devilsdemons that Jake encounters in hell appear as normal looking human beings. However, some appeared slightly deformed and mutated looking more like what most people imagine them to be. Jake throughout the film is always in denial that he could be dieing. Therefore, the demons try to trick Jake into loosing his memories and attachments by confusing him, messing with his head. For example Jake had been a part of the Veteran's Outpatient Program under a doctor Carlson, after some strange encounters he needed to talk to Carlson so he went back to the hospital that he had been seeing Carlson at for years. He was told that the...

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