What Dreams May Come

The movie " What Dreams May Come", starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr deals with the concept of taboo. Taboo is a religious prohibition drawn from various, scriptual, cultural, and historic sources. In the movie, Robin Williams; two children die in a car accident, and then he dies in a car accident, his wife, in turn is so overcome with grief that she commits suicide. Robin Williams, while in heaven is longing to see his wife. When he finds out that she has died he is pleased to know that he will soon see her, but the taboo is that "suicides go to hell." The fact that his wife committed suicide condemns her to hell, instead of heaven. Today religions hold the belief that suicide is an unforgivable sin. It also deals with the concept of the after-life, where bad people will be repaid for their sins. "To an outside observer, a taboo or religious prohibition seem irrational; to the believer, it simply seems right...Taboos, as rules of behavior, are always part of a whole system and cannot be understood outside their social context." ( Douglas 76). When Robin Williams first hears of the fact that his wife will go to hell he is outraged, and feels that his wife is being judged. "In essence it generally implies a rule which has no meaning, or one which cannot be explained" (Douglas 76). When Robin Williams' "guardian" tells him that his wife will go to hell, he cannot explain the fact that she must go to hell; it just is that way. "Its breach willl unleash dangers, while keeping the rules would amount to avoiding dangers and sickness"(Douglas 76). Robin Williams essentially goes a journey "to hell and back" to retrieve his wife. When he ventures on this journey he is faced with the danger of never finding his way back to heaven.

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