Split personality

Trilogy continues to portray rare mental disorder


Photo submitted from glassmovie.com

Story by Kate Morgan, staff writer

The abandoned factory’s fluorescent lights dimly flicker. The red clay that was once made into bricks stained the cheerleading uniforms of the teenage girls chained to the walls. A man roller skates through the room cheering himself on and raving about how much fun it is to be a carefree nine year old. The man turns around and complains about the mess the girls have made, staining their uniforms. Then the man leaves. When he returns, he is neither complaining or roller skating. He climbs along the walls and throws tables across the room as if he were throwing baseballs.

Glass continues the story of the three main characters in earlier movies of the trilogy, “Unbreakable” and “Split:” David Dunn, Kevin Wendell Crumb and Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass. These three main characters are placed in mental institution under the care of Dr. Ellie Staple, who has determined that they suffer from a mental illness that causes them to believe that they are superheroes or villains.

She attempts to use logical reasons to dissuade them from the idea that they could possibly possess supernatural abilities. With the help of a former hostage, Casey Cooke, Dr. Staple attempts to bring Kevin “back into the light,” so that the other 23 personalities, including the Beast, will vanish.

While some people have found this portrayal to be extremely unrealistic, the idea that people can change their body chemistry through mindfulness is not that far off from the truth.”

— Kate Morgan

Kevin Wendell Crumb took many people by surprise in “Split” in 2016. Kevin and his 23 personalities gave audiences a glimpse of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personalities in a person. These personalities can have their own age, gender and race. While DID is not extremely common, many viewers were upset by the violent portrayal of DID in “Split” and believe it will continue to be negatively portrayed in “Glass”.

In “Glass,” the portrayal of DID through the character Kevin is primarily violent. However, as the story of Kevin’s abuse is revealed, DID is portrayed as a result of Kevin’s pain and trauma rather than a disease that produces brutality. Throughout “Split” and in the majority of “Glass,” DID is shown as being violent and deceptive. The 24th personality, the Beast, tests people’s knowledge of whether or not people’s mind are truly in control.

In these films, the Beast is a animalistic personality of Kevin that has super strength, the ability to scale walls, and a nasty habit of cannibalism.

Neuroplasticity is a complex word that encompasses a simple idea. The brain adapts and rewires itself to survive in new environments much like animals adapt to survive. Psychologists have found that this simple principle can affect the body’s natural chemistry causing both physical and mental alterations. However, the idea that a personality can cause a human to possess supernatural qualities is merely a work of fiction and an exaggeration of something that is real.

Even though Kevin’s Beast personality is not something that would be seen in everyday DID patients, his background story is an accurate representation of how new identities can emerge in a person. When Kevin was a child, he was verbally, physically and sexually abused by his mother. His only protection was his father, but his father disappeared in Kevin’s early childhood years.

The abuse he endured over the course of his early life led to the emergence of many different personalities who all feel that must protect Kevin. Abuse and trauma in early childhood years is commonly found in the history of many DID patients, making this aspect of the film accurate.

Although some aspects of “Glass” provide a violent stigma surrounding Dissociative Identity Disorder, the overall portrayal of the disorder raises awareness through an exciting, action packed film.