(William Alexander (Patrick Magee), whom Alex not only

Topic: Lifestyle
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Last updated: September 8, 2019

(William Sylvester) is embarking on his trip, he attempts to videocall his daughter (Vivian Kubrick), however this fails as her babysitter iscurrently in the bathroom. Additionally, in 2001,at the end of the film, Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea)has left the vortex and found himself encountering various versions of himselfalong differing timelines.

He then comes across a bathroom, it is seeminglyimmaculate, however, the bathroom does not contain a toilet. This can be readas Kubrick’s way of showing the audience that Bowman has left behind his flawedhuman form, and become the Star Child. Suggesting that only when humans removethis animalistic act may they achieve such perfection. AClockwork Orange (1971) contains a significant bathroom scenein which Alex (Malcolm McDowell), after being beaten by former friends, windsup at the home of the writer Frank Alexander (Patrick Magee), whom Alex notonly crippled, but whose wife he raped. Frank does not know who Alex is, asidefrom his fame as a Ludovico technique patient, and kindly offers him his homeas a sanctuary. However, Alex finds the bathroom relaxing, and eventuallybegins to sing the same song that he sang whilst raping Franks’ wife. Thissound echoes down the house, causing Frank to recognise who Alex is, andultimately being to torture him until Alex attempts suicide. For A Clockwork Orange, the bathroom is notsafe space that most of Kubrick’s characters believe it to be.

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This bathroomscene causes a chain reaction that eventually leads to Alex reverting into hispreviously brutal and animalistic ways. In Kubrick’s final three films, his opinions towards bathrooms areobvious, with The Shining demonstratingthese feelings the most. By utilising the once safe space, Kubrick places all The Shining’s characters into a bathroomwhilst showing their vulnerability. Danny (Danny Lloyd) is consistentlysubjected to horrors within bathrooms, with Room 237 operating as a turningpoint in the film for both Danny and Jack (Jack Nicholson). Jack succumbs tohis animalistic sexual desires in Room 237’s bathroom, as ‘this bathroomprovides a place for male fantasies of sexual and gender power andvulnerability’. (White in Kolker, 2006), and Jack kisses a seemingly attractiveyoung woman before she becomes an elderly deceased woman.

Later, his insanityif further escalated during his conversation with Grady (Philip Stone) in thered bathroom. The build up leads to when Jack is trying to kill his wife, Wendy(Shelley Duvall) who has hidden herself in the bathroom before helping theirson escape down a snow drift. TheShining’s bathrooms become places where the true power of masculinity isdiscussed. As people feel vulnerable in bathrooms, Jack is forcing himself intothat secure surroundings they usually provide, and puts other people’s life atrisk.

The bathroom in The Shining alsodemonstrates power play, with Grady and Jack switching power roles during theirconversation in the red bathroom. Similarly, the bathroom scene in Full Metal Jacket (1987) is where Private Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio), after consistently feelinghelpless at the hands of Sergeant Hartman (R.Lee Ermey), the other trainees, and the entire military training life,takes back the power he had lost. Pyle has reached rock bottom, and is sittingin the bathroom with his rifle, telling Joker (Matthew Modine), that he is ‘in a world of shit’ (Kubrick,1987). This is Kubrick’s way of linking the worst aspects of humanity andbathrooms, as Pyle is both literally and figuratively in the world hedescribes. Not only does he regain power by killing Hartman and himself, but herelieves himself of the severe difficulty he has experienced lately in hislife, so it is appropriate that Kubrick chose to have this take place in thebathroom.

The bathroom once again becomes the static location in which thesystem has failed yet again. ‘Thebathroom is granted a necessary and elusive polarity in Kubrick’s films thatacts to subvert and ironize human pretentions to super-corporeal existence’.(Kuberski, 2012), relating to Sergeant Hartman’s’ question, ‘what are youanimals doing in my head?’ (Kubrick, 1987). This not only refers back to therecurring motif of humans reverting back into primal creatures when they entera bathroom, but also suggests that Hartman considers the bathroom as safe aspace as his own head.

Hartman represents the animal within Pyles’ head, justas Pyle is to Hartman. Hartman dies without having given up his authority, beingshot dead whilst trying to tame these ‘animals in his “head.”‘ (Kubrick,1987). 

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