Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… with his family in Middlesex, Virginia, a typical, miserable, suburban village. However, Middlesex is a little too ordinary to be normal – strange things seem to be happening all the time. Donnie, riding his bike, sees a lot.

Profession… high school rebel. Donnie and his friends take the bus to school and see the same boring, WASP-y faces every day. Donnie’s got enough friends to be comfortable, but it's hard being close to people. He’s always been a bit strange, and a lot of people think he’s weird or crazy.

Interests… time travel, calling out hypocrites, and hypnotherapy. With his therapist, Dr. Thurman, Donnie tries to sort out the visions he's been having, which is no easy task. They're heavy stuff – dying, end-of the-world stuff. It's a lot for a kid to handle. When not in therapy, he obsesses over Roberta Sparrow's book, The Philosophy of Time Travel, which he fears “is not a work of fiction."

Relationship Status… struggling. Although he's going out with Gretchen, whom he met around the same time his visions of Frank started, she's hesitant about taking their relationship to the next level. When Donnie tells Gretchen about his visions, she thinks Frank is a sign. Donnie think that's ridiculous: who is Gretchen to tell him what Frank is or what he means?

Challenge… making sense of his visions. In them, an eerie bunny-creature named Frank tells Donnie about the end of the world, even giving him the exact time it's going to happen. Donnie can't ignore something like that, but neither can he take the pressure of his visions – either someone fixes him, or Donnie gets the truth.

Personality… troubled. That's how all the adults describe him; the kids just call him crazy or a freak. Personally, Donnie agrees, but that doesn't mean he can't have a mind of his own. 


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