Plato’s Cave: Rebel Without a Cause and Platonic Allegory

Nicholas Ray’s 1955 cult classic film Rebel Without a Cause[i], starring James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo is broadly understood as a violent, tragic recapitulation of the family. It is—‘following’ abstractedly, at least in title, Robert M. Lindner’s 1944 book Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath—a character study of suburban alienation in youth, and of latent psychopathy, influenced also by Freud, particularly ‘Family Romances’ (1909), Oedipal conflict, absence, surrogacy, and displacement.[…]

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