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Why was Mal, a projection of Cobb, always trying to sabotage him?

It is likely due to Cobb's guilty feelings over her death. He can't escape his guilt, thus it will never leave him alone. It is symbolic of the way that unresolved issues from the past do not allow a person to proceed in the best way they could or should in the present.

Either Cobb was trying to sabotage himself, as a manifestation of self-loathing, guilt etc., or Mal was someone else's projection, a projection trying to protect against Cobb's intrusion into a dream. Who's dream? It must be someone who knows Mal quite well. Mal herself? Was Mal her own projection? Too complicated!

Most likely the first. It is classic film psychology for the female character to be nothing more than a projection of the male character, a 2 dimensional replica, poorly imagined. See Tarkovskiy's Solaris! (linked below).

As a side note, how does Cobb's subconscious (presuming it is his) intrude on other levels where he is not the one creating the dream? Perhaps he is creating the other levels after all. Do none of the other characters have traumatic experiences in their own subconscious, struggling to get out? What happy and well adjusted individuals!

Anon_171 asked the question 2010-08-02 07:05:29 UTC view / hide
Anon_101 provided an answer 2010-08-02 14:27:31 UTC view / hide
Anon_179 commented 2010-08-04 06:47:05 UTC
If you accept that it is actually Cobb did all the dream, as Cobb's projection, it is very logical that Mal sabotage Cobb's plan to come back to reality
Anon_118 improved the answer 2010-08-05 02:41:52 UTC view / hide
Mark Roder improved the answer 2011-01-11 08:29:05 UTC view / hide
Mark Roder provided a link 2011-01-11 08:30:02 UTC view / hide
Anon_241 improved the question 2011-03-04 22:26:45 UTC view / hide
pleasestopthisnow improved the answer 2011-03-04 22:27:22 UTC view / hide
Devon improved the question 2011-04-05 08:40:55 UTC view / hide
Devon improved the answer 2011-04-05 08:41:00 UTC view / hide
Steven Parry improved the answer 2011-10-04 19:47:53 UTC view / hide

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