Sixth Sense

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade May 2001

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Symbolism and Irony used in The Sixth Sense Symbolism and irony can be used in any type of movie or story to help show the plot or theme of it. Symbolism can be used to show many feelings or just add to the theme of the story. Symbolism can be used in many ways. It can be used to create suspense, mystery, enhance the story, or use suspense and mystery to enhance the story. There can also be many things that can symbolize something. For example, colors, objects, or sometimes-even ideas. In the move The Sixth Sense, color is used frequently throughout the story to represent things that will happen next. There were a few symbols used to add suspense to the story through things to do with ghosts. Cole had a major part in most of the symbols. There were also some ironic scenes in the movie. Scenes in which you might think one thing is going to happen but turns out another things do.

In The Sixth Sense there are many things that can add to suspense. But not all of these things are considered symbolism or irony. Like music for example, music wouldn't really be considered a symbol because a symbol is usually something that you can touch.

Symbolism creates suspense to enhance the story of the show. To create suspense it uses effects and color. One of the effects used often, was the cold breath that formed when the temperature dropped due to the ghosts being angry. When you see the cold breath, it foreshadows what will happen next or in the future. When you see it you know that a ghost is angry so you know a ghost is going to be seen by Cole. But just because you know a ghost is going to appear, it leaves you wondering what will happen due to the ghost suddenly appearing to Cole. Most movies are good if they use special effects to enhance the story. The way that the producers or special effects people were able to make it seem that the temperature changed rapidly enhances it greatly. The other form of symbolism used in The Sixth Sense is color.

Color can be used to enhance the movie, foreshadow, and create mystery or suspense. One color used frequently throughout the whole movie is the color red. The color red is used to show two things. The first is the ghost's anger and the second is Cole's fear of the ghosts. It also foreshadows in a way. Whenever you see the color red is usually before or during an encounter between Cole and a ghost. For example, when Cole was at the birthday party he was invited to, he was wearing a red sweater. When he got locked in the closet with the ghost who died in there due to suffocation, the balloon that popped when this was happening was also red. Another color that is used is white. Although it isn't used as frequently as red is, it still symbolizes something. It symbolizes the fear that Vincent Gray and Cole felt because they both had the same problem. Their problem was that they saw ghosts. Red and other colors are used to show the emotion of the character. You can judge the character's emotions by the color of their clothes. Symbolism is a big part in a story or any movie to enhance it or give it the felling of suspense.

Besides symbolism, irony is also used to create suspense, mystery, or wonder. There are three types of irony. The first is situational irony, the second is directional irony, and the third is verbal irony. Only two of these three types of irony are used in this movie. Situational irony is the one that is used most frequently in most movies. The Sixth Sense is a good example where situational irony is used more than verbal and directional irony. It has more situational irony used than verbal, and verbal irony is the only other one used. An example of situational irony is with Dr. Malcolm Crow and Cole. Throughout the movie you think that Malcolm is helping Cole when in fact, Cole is helping Malcolm. Another example used in the movie is that it makes you think Malcolm survived the gunshot and is having problems with his wife. When actually he is dead and the reason he thinks that he has problems with his wife is that he is gone and she misses him and is always depressed. The one example of verbal irony used it when Malcolm is showing Cole the fake coin trick. Malcolm keeps the coin in the same hand the whole time and Cole sarcastically remarks that he didn't know he was funny. That is a prime example of verbal irony.

Symbolism and irony are used in almost all movies and stories to add a greater feel of suspense. Not only can they add suspense, but they can also create mystery, make you wonder about upcoming events in the movie, or just plain enhance it. Clues are given to help find the symbols used. Basically symbolism and irony are used to do nothing more than make the movie more suspenseful or enhance it in other ways. Like the way it can make you wonder what will happen.