One True Thing

OneTrue Thing

OneTrue Thing

Ellenis perceived to be the protagonist of the movie ‘’. revolves around a family that had hidden secrets andthese secrets are revealed later when Ellen departs from New York totake care of her ailing mother who has just been diagnosed withcancer and s undergoing treatment. Later on, the mother dies undervery suspicious circumstances even though she was ailing. The Guldenfamily’s secrets are exposed later on when Ellen’s mother diesand Ellen realizes that her father was not the ‘angel’ she hadthought he was. Ellen is a 24 year old daughter of the Gulden’s aswell as an editor in one of the journal in New York. She is forced toreturn home from New York so as she can tender for her very sickmother, whom she had never had a flourishing relationship with. Thispaper analyses the movie ‘’, but more specifically,the research evaluates Ellen as the protagonist of the movie.

Degreeof Separation-Individuation

Accordingto Carl Gustav Jang, individuation is described as ‘the processwhereby one attains self-awareness of individual’s makeup, and theprocess of realizing individual’s inner self. In psychology, oneneeds to understand the degree of individuation. And to be able to dothat, one has to be familiar with some terms such as the ego, theself and the conscious and the unconscious. In all these, the self isthe model in the collective unconscious. In essence, one’s trueidentity is the self[ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].Itincludes the ego, the unconscious and the conscious. The self bringsout ones personality and true character. In the movie of ‘onelittle thing’, George is seen to have too much ego over self.Thereis too much unconscious in George. This is seen from the way hetreats Kate when she was ill and needed his help but he was not eventhere. He went ahead to coerce Ellen to leave her job and come andtake care of her mother when in real sense he would have done ithimself. Individuation process commences when one becomes consciousof their inner personality [ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].Ellen became aware of her true character when she masked off hercharacter of rudeness towards her mother.

Despiteher not helping Kate end her life, Kate eventually dies and it isfound out that her death was caused by an overdose of morphinetablets. Ellen is apprehended for her mother’s death but later onshe is released. Memories of personal unconscious are evoked whenEllen remembers that her father gave Kate pills[ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].After not speaking with her father for eight years, theycoincidentally bumped into each other and Ellen learns that itwas Kate herself who prepared the overdose. In psychology, this istermed as collective unconscious [ CITATION Lyn94 l 1033 ].Ellenquits the editorial job and becomes a psychiatrist. Animus tendenciesare displayed when Kate wants to be a perfect mother and wife [ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].

HealthyAttachment and Introjection of pathological objects

Ellenhad her blossoming editorial job in New York. That made hereventually leave home and be based in New York. But all this ischanged when her mother is diagnosed with a malignant tumor and sheneeds special medical attention. When she gets home, her mother triesto reject Ellen’s assistance [ CITATION Lyn94 l 1033 ].Inpsychological terms, there is very healthy attachment form Kate toher daughter Ellen. Kate persists that Ellen should get on theimmediate train and go back to her job in New York. Ellen thoughtthat her mother did not want her at home to take care of her becauseof their disintegrated relationship. Eventually, Kate agrees Ellen’shelp and as days go by their relationship is unexpectedly changedinto a warmer and loving one. Their close relationship also displayshidden affection that the two had for each other due to pathologicalobjects as well as self-objects. Ellen had favored George over hermother ever since she was a little girl and this never bothered Katebecause deep inside she knew she loved her daughter[ CITATION Lyn94 l 1033 ].There is a collective unconscious in these two ladies since they didnot realize earlier that they loved each other [ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].Ellen realizes that she is more like Kate than George. She is kind,caring and loving. When she suspected that George had killed Kate,she said nothing thus inheriting her compassion from her mothers.This is basically collective unconscious [ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].

Theindividuation process begins during Ellen’s stay at home.Shenotices some quire characters with her favorable father. George isconspicuously not there for his wife. His absence is felt more whenEllen needs help to take Kate to her doctor for appointments. Ellennow becomes conscious of the fact that she had not been entirelyright about her parents. George chooses to immerse himself in workand does not support his wife through her journey of illness.Furthermore, he engages himself in other extra-marital affairs, whichmakes her very furious. It now dawns on her fully that her father isnot the person she thought he was. He was hiding under a differentshadow [ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].Georgehad created a different persona between him and his family. At thispoint, Ellen realizes that between her two parents, her mother wasthe stronger one and not George. She began idolizing Kate now. Georgehad attained a false title of ‘perfect father’ but now his maskwas off. Persona is used in psychology to show one’s true identityand not the false one [ CITATION Car94 l 1033 ].


Franklin,C. (Director). (1998). Onetrue thing.[Motionpicture]. United States: Monarch Pictures.

Jang, C. G. (1994). Psychological Issues. In C. G. Jang, Psychological Issues (pp. 23-56). Shangai: Adventures Press work.

Schartz, L. (1994, 9 14). Ny times. Retrieved from Ny

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