In this section of the Colossus Movie Guide for Bones and All, we look at important motifs that help us understand the film.
Important motifs in Bones and All
Sully’s rope/braid of hair
One of the darker motifs we’ve ever discussed. Sully is a fellow eater who has spent most of his life as a transient with little companionship. This isolation has turned him into someone who connects to others through taking their lives. This is most obviously visualized through the braid of human hair he’s made from each of his victims. Everyone he has ever dined on. It’s a lot. But he keeps it with him because it’s the closest thing to friendship that he has. Each bit of hair is a reminder of the time he spent with someone, even if the relationship was one-sided. Given that Bones and All has themes focusing on history and companionship, Sully serves as a foil to Maren’s journey. She has Lee and a future. Sully has a bag full of dead hair.
Maren reads a lot. Which makes sense. She moved around a lot as a child because she kept having incidents. Meaning she didn’t really have friends. And her dad was distant because Maren’s feeding outbursts terrified him. Her home life was basic because they never knew when they’d have to pick up and run. It’s also the 1980s and Virginia. It’s not like there was a lot for Maren to do, anyway. So she reads.
Thematically-speaking, reading is often associated with finding comfort in other worlds and lives. Of course, reading can just be for fun. The past-time of a dreamer. But it can also be a form of escape. A way to distance from reality for a bit. As well as a form of companionship. People connect with the characters from books (and movies). So Maren’s connection to reading probably ties into the theme of companionship. But also is probably a reflection of how much she struggles with who and what she is. That weighs on her. Books give her some time away from such self-reflection and allow her to be someone else, somewhere else.
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