Django Unchained initially represents itself as the sole story of Django and his “unchaining”, or his break from bondage. This can be interpreted in both a literal and figurative way.
Django’s journey begins when he meets and is released by bounty hunter, Dr King Shultz, whilst being marched to his new owner’s estate. With a brutal history with his former owners, it can be seen that Django had become quiet, reserved, and cautious to act on his free will. In fact, in every early interaction with Shultz, Django is almost childlike and remarkably innocent. He is wide eyed (as can be seen when he takes the first sip of beer and listens to the story of Brumhilda), and takes on the persona of bounty hunter with childlike excitement and vigour, even donning the suit from “The Blue Boy”.
The circumstances that Django is faced with have been reflected in the evident inner changes that his character has undergone throughout the course of the film. One such situation that Django is exposed to is the major segregation and discrimination of black people, and the poor treating of them. Scenes show Django witnessing rape by both men and women that were slaves, along with castration and much more and the harsh reality of mankind is slapped into him. The witnessing of these doings trigger a change within himself – a realization that in this harsh and unforgiving world, he must stand up for himself. This is demonstrated in the film where King asks Django why he is now so belligerent towards both slave and man alike, and Django simply says “I am playing my role in this dirty world” - another indication of how Django’s character has developed and matured through the exposure to a new environment, and ultimately the facing of reality,
This is comparable to Marlow’s inner journey in heart of Darkness, as a change in environment causes psychological changes within himself. The moment Marlow had entered the Congo, he had been drawn into surroundings new to him – an environment of brutality and mistreatment. “I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope”. This detailed description shows just how horrid the conditions were and leads on to suggest that it was the witnessing of these things which triggered something deep within him.
Throughout the film, we see Django progress from