The Babadook explained using psychology
by enigmatic adolescents
The central theme of the movie is a mother who lost her husband in a car accident while on her way to give birth to her child. The child is disturbed and has problems in having functional relationships because of a “monster under his bed.”
If we keep the Babadook being a force, or whatever you may call it, aside… He is actually the mother.
Sigmund Freud said that disorders arise from repressed unconscious motives and desires.
The mother had deep unconscious resentment towards her son which she denies and doesn’t let it resurface because a mother is supposed to be nurturing and has to have unconditional love.
From the point of view of a psychology student, I think that she has what we call, “Dissociative Identity Disorder” or popularly known as, multiple personalites. She has two conflicting identities where one wants to protect her son and the other wants to hurt him for killing her husband.
The child understands that the mother has some hatred towards him and that is why he extensively prepares ways to save himself from “The Babadook.”
So, the monster’s nothing but the mother’s separate identity. From now on, i’ll refer to her nurturing protective identity as the the mother and the resentful identity as the Babadook. But both are still the same person.
The Babadook makes the book and the mother throws it away. But the Babadook puts it back together. So, the Babadook adds the pages with the mother killing the dog and the child because this is her deepest unconscious wish.
During the final struggle between the identities, the child helps the mother to acknowledge the feeling she had been suppressing for very long and the mother “wins” and is in control of the Babadook because she accepts the resentment she had towards her child.
At the very end, the mother feeding the Babadook is a symbolic representation of her acceptance of her resentment.