In the more than 25 years since Groundhog Day was originally published, fans spent a great deal of time and precious web bandwidth deciphering the alleged layers that are just below the surface. Groundhog Day as a metaphor? These eight theories say yes.
. 1 Bill Murray is our savior.
The first groups embracing the Groundhog Day message included Buddhists moved by their history of rebirth. Speaking at the Hudson Union Society in New York City in 2009, director Harold Ramis talked about the many people moved by the film, including his Zen Buddhist mother-in-law.
She is not alone. In an essay titled " Groundhog Day The film, Buddhism and I," calls Stephen Simon, co-founder of Spiritual Cinema Circle, the film "a wonderful human comedy about the rare opportunity to have multiple lives throughout Of course, the film was not so marketed, but for our purposes I believe that the concept is the soul of the story. "
In an interview with [NewYorkTimes] [DrAngelaZitoCo-DirectorateoftheNYU-CenterforReligionandMediaitshowedthatthefilmwasaBuddhistIdea samsara or illustrating the continued rebirth. "In Mahayana [Buddhism]no one can imagine escaping samsara until all others do," she said, "so you have bodhisattvas who reach the edge of nirvana , and stop and come back and save the rest of us Bill Murray is the Bodhisattva He will not leave the world ̵
. 2 Punxsutawney Phil is the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Bill Murray is not the only seemingly extraterrestrial figure on Groundhog Day . In the same New York Times film, film critic Michael Bronski mentioned the Christ-like attributes assigned to Punxsutawney Phil (yes, the groundhog) in the film. "The groundhog is clearly the risen Christ, the always hopeful renewal of life in spring, at a time of pagan-Christian holidays," he stated.
. 3 Punxsutawney is a purgatory.
According to Catholic doctrine, purgatory is in the space between heaven and hell. And on Groundhog Day purgatory is the city of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania itself – a place where Phil Connors has to undergo his own purification to decide the fate of his hereafter. The writer Jim Ciscell searched the Internet for the "Top 10 Reasons Why the Film Groundhog Day Actually Set in Purgatory," which is Connor's own claim in the film that he is "a god," contains. "
. 4 It is a metaphor for Judaism.
Dr. Niles Goldstein, emeritus rabbi of New York's New Shul, sees Connor's actions as specifically geared to Judaism, citing the fact that his good deeds produce more good deeds than a place in heaven or a state of nirvana. "The film tells us how Judaism does it, that the work does not end until the world is perfected," Goldstein told the New York Times in 2003.
5. It is a metaphor for psychoanalysis.
There are not many Hollywood comedies that have gained analytical attention from the psychiatric community – and especially from psychoanalysts. Speaking at the Hudson Union Society, Ramis recalled the number of psychiatric experts who said, "Obviously, the film is a metaphor for psychoanalysis because we revisit the same stories and experience the same patterns in our lives over and over again. The entire goal of psychoanalysis is to break these patterns of behavior. "
The comparisons continued. In 2006, the International Journal of Psychoanalysis published an essay titled "Revisiting Groundhog Day : A Cinematic Depiction of the Mutative Process", which stated that the film "shows a man captured by him narcissistic defenses. The instrument of repetition becomes the representation of developmental arrest and closure of object reference. Repetition is also a means of escape from his characteristic dilemma. The opportunity to repeat the experience and learn from the experience – especially to love and learn through experience with a good object – symbolizes the redeeming, reparative opportunities in every life. "
. 6 This is a perfect match for military boredom.
Shortly after the release of the film, the military used the term "Groundhog Day" as slang, as far as the monotony of their day was concerned. In 1994, the crew members of the USS Saratoga who were stationed on the Adriatic called their post "Groundhog Station" for that very reason. When President Bill Clinton spoke to American troops in 1996 at the Tuzla airfield in Bosnia, he showed that he was speaking (but in a sort of commander-in-chief) when he remarked, "I've told some of you have the life here compared to the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day in which the same day repeats itself over and over and over again. I was also told that there are really only two types of weather conditions in Tuzla. When it snows, the mud freezes and when it rains, the mud thaws up. Even the dining room seems to be there and distributes the same food in the morning and in the evening. The sentence took a turn for the formal, as he was included in The Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology a chapter on "Boredom: Groundhog Day as a metaphor for Iraq."
. 7 Groundhog Day as an economic theory.
In 2006, economist DW MacKenzie published an article on "The Economics of Groundhog Day ," in which he states that the film illustrates "the meaning of Mises" -Hayek paradigm as an alternative to Equilibrium Economics, illustrating the unreal nature of equilibrium theory. "To say something?"
MacKenzie goes on to explain. "Connors can use every opportunity to make every possible profit that day. The difference between his first time through the day and his final revival is dramatic. Of course, this is just a movie, but it also serves to illustrate the great gap between economists' ideas of a perfectly competitive balance and reality. "
. 8 It is a self-help Bible.
Motivational speaker Paul Hannam sees the key to self-fulfillment in the 101 minutes of Groundhog Day . His book, The Magic of Groundhog Day forms the basis of his transformative self-improvement program, which aims to help users "learn how to unlock the magic of film to transform their lives at home at work "and to" free yourself from the repetitive thoughts and behaviors that keep you in a rut.
This post originally appeared in 2014.