Jack Skellington

by Damiana from New Haven

"Interesting reaction...but what does it mean?"
Jack sees his first snowflake in Christmas Town (google.com)
Jack sees his first snowflake in Christmas Town (google.com)

My hero is from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack is the main character who lives in Halloween Town. In the end, he defeats a bully named the Oogie Boogie man. Because he is a fictional character, what he's done is entertain and comfort real people who are depressed or in need of entertainment. You're probably wondering why he is my hero. Well, it so happens that Jack Skellington is a symbol of bipolar/manic depression--that is the popular interpretation on the Internet. This character shows me that it is not a bad thing to be bipolar. In fact, it may make you brilliant, as Mr. Skellington has shown us.

In the movie Jack is the Pumpkin King, and he is therefore responsible for leading the people of Halloween Town into the special celebration of Halloween. In the past, people thought that bipolar people weren't stable enough to do good things. In fact, kids in my class assume bipolar people go to "hospitals" or "funny farms." These assumptions influence how I see myself and my condition. I've even been to the hospital because my bipolar/depression medication was influencing me too negatively. When I look at characters like Jack Skellington, however, I know that this is not true, because fiction is a reflection of reality no matter how distorted. I know that whoever made up Jack is very responsible and very sane.

You're probably wondering what bipolar disorder is, aren't you? For those who don't know, bipolar disorder is a mental illness affecting the emotions. Someone can be really happy one moment, and the next moment be depressed, or angry. It is an extremely emotional mental condition. Jack embodies this with his many, fluctuating emotions. Some interpretations online say he represents his creator, Tim Burton's, emotions as a bipolar director. I believe this because one day, after reading this interpretation, I sat down and counted how many times he slipped into an emotion only to come out into another one a minute later. Because I take medication, this happens less with me, but I see, through this character, that being bipolar is not a bad thing.

A very important thing Jack does besides entertain is break down misconceptions of what it means to be bipolar. The typical cinema view of bipolar people is that they are crazy and murderous. Jack is mad...madly brilliant, that is. He breaks down the misconception of bipolar disorder with the fact that he is smart and somewhat responsible (aren't we all a little irresponsible?). He is also non-violent. The way he beats Oogie Boogie, a talking burlap sack, is by taking a thread and pulling. No blood, no mess. Oogie Boogie can't even feel it.

I think Jack Skellington is a good hero because he breaks down misconceptions of what it means to be bipolar. A lot of literary and movie characters are exaggerations or parodies of bipolar people (they are crazy). Jack is bipolar, but he is not crazy. I believe if we had more characters like him, then more bipolar people would have a hero.

Page created on 8/4/2010 3:04:40 PM

Last edited 1/6/2017 6:41:54 PM

Related Links

Bipolar Disorder - Mayo Clinic