Study Guide

Requiem for a Dream Isolation

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SARA: Your father would be so happy if he could see what you're doing for your mother. See that, Seymour? You see how good your son is? He knows what it's like for his mother, living all alone. No one to visit her.

Early on, Sara walks the line between guilt-tripping her son and taking a trip to crazytown herself.

SARA: Did you see who has the best seat? I'm somebody now, Harry. Everybody likes me. Soon, millions of people will see me and they'll all like me. I'll tell them about you and your father. How good he was to us. Remember? It's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a reason to lose weight. To fit in the red dress. It's a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow all right. What have I got, Harry? Hmm? Why should I even make the bed or wash the dishes? I do them, but why should I? I'm alone. Your father's gone. You're gone. I got no one to care for. What have I got, Harry? I'm lonely. I'm old.

HARRY: You got friends, Ma.

SARA: It's not the same. They don't need me. I like the way I feel. I like thinking about the red dress and the television and you and your father. Now when I get the sun, I smile.

This is the longest and most dramatic speech in the entire movie. It also marks one of the only times people are honest about their feelings.

Hmm. Maybe if people allowed themselves to be open and honest, some people wouldn't feel as alone? But both characters soon turn to their respective addictions instead of working to rebuild their connection to each other.

SARA: Well what do you expect? Could you do any better? It's an old building. It hasn't been painted in years. I'm old. Alone. You don't understand. Please, I'll explain.

Sara dreams of being loved, but at her darkest time, even her dream of attention turns against her. She realizes that she might get negative attention, which to her is even worse than being alone. Not everyone thinks that way, or we wouldn't have reality TV.

HARRY: Marion, I've been thinking about you so much. Are you okay?

MARION: When are you coming home?

HARRY: Soon.


HARRY: Soon. You're holding out, right?

MARION: Harry? Can you come today?

HARRY, crying: Yeah. Yeah. I'll come. I'll come today. You just wait for me, all right?

While Harry cries, Marion fixes her makeup. Harry is alone, but Marion is about to see her friends: Benjamin, Andrew, and Alexander…as in Franklin, Jackson, and Hamilton.

NURSE: She'll be sent for. She'll come.

HARRY: No. […] No, she won't.

NURSE: She'll come.

Here, Harry realizes that Marion won't come visit him. We then see Sara alone in her hospital bed in New York. Sara wants her son to be happy. Harry wants his mom to be happy. Yet these two can't connect, and they both end up lonely at the end of the movie. We would ask someone to pass the tissues, but we're alone too, and we have to get the dang tissues ourselves.

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