PRECIS-How Imitation leads to tragedy

I think that the film "Imitation of Life" speaks loudly about the consequences associated with imitation. Not only can imitation take away from the authenticity of the original, but the film demonstrates how imitation can lead to tragedy. The film associates imitation with many negative characteristics such as shame and disownment . For instance, the daughter is ashamed of her black origins so she tries and succeeds at passing herself off as white in many situations throughout the film. Furthermore, the daughter ends up disowning her mother because she blames her for shame. Bhabha would agree with the way that imitation is depicted in the film because, for him, imitation and mimicry aren't positive. Also, in light of Bhabha, the film forces the viewer to psychoanalyze Sarah Jane to try and understand her self-image. Does her mimicry result in an "incomplete" and "virtual" self-image? I would argue that it does because she never blames herself for her inability to accept who she is and her origins, she blames her mother. She feels like her mother exposes who she really is, so she disowns her until the end of the film when she realizes her guilt after her mother's death. To me, the mere fact that she imitates and camouflages herself as a white person is demonstrative of an "incomplete" self-image, which is reminiscent of Bhabha's definition of mimicry as ambivalent. Sarah Jane tries to be white to reflect an image of herself that is appealing to her and, so she thinks, everyone else. However, mimicking a white person only allows her an "incomplete" and "virtual" self-image because she knows that she isn't white. 

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