Shadow Of A Twisted Hand Across My House

1 October 2000

Representations of abusive men and domestic violence in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks

A thesis presented by THOMAS CALDWELL to The School of Fine Arts, Classical Studies and Archaeology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of BACHELOR OF ARTS WITH HONOURS in the subject of CINEMA STUDIES, University of Melbourne, SUPERVISOR: Dr. Mark Nicholls, OCTOBER 2000.

By combining feminist film theory and sociological research on domestic violence, this thesis will analysis David Lynch’s films Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and television series Twin Peaks as narratives about domestic violence and abusive men. The sociological research will provide evidence of how some of Lynch’s male characters can be read as abusive men, while some of his female characters can be read as displaying symptoms of having been abused. This thesis will explore how Lynch uses the surreal, narratives that involve supernatural elements, framing, non-traditional Hollywood narratives, and symbolism to adopt a feminist stance that regards domestic violence as a direct result of the patriarchal construction of masculinity.


Chapter One: “The evil that men do”

Chapter Two: “Now it’s dark”

Chapter Three: Who killed Laura Palmer? – “We all did”



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