That was nine years after the German unconditional surrender, putting an end to the Second World War; the year when the first hydrogen bomb test was announced to be conducted successfully in the U.S.; and the year when the conflict between two schools of psychiatric treatment, transorbital lobotomy operation and psychoanalysis with pharmacy therapy, gradually turned white-hot. Something has an end like war, but something is continuing on and on, such as the surviving soldiers and their indelible trauma. The shadow of blood and death darkens their life. Moreover, their adamant belief of justice has wavered. Once their faith is shattered, their judgment of right and wrong blurs. In that way, hero might turn to be monster. Then the nightmare comes.
The film, Shutter Island, which is directed by Martin Scorsese, follows Andrew Laeddis' (Leonardo DiCaprio) desperate struggle between reality and delusion, sobriety and insanity. As an ex-soldier in Second World War, Laeddis is like many post-war soldiers suffering from the typical post-war syndrome: "drank", "stayed away", and completely ignored his family (Shutter). His wife, Dolores Chanal, who desires badly to attract her husband's attention, finally falls into the abyss of mental illness, "insane, manic-depressive and suicidal" (Shutter). Indulged in the shadow of his past, Laeddis neglects Chanal's unusual conducts, leading to an irreparable tragedy – Chanal drowns their three children when insane and Laeddis murders his wife out of grief. Suffocated in the sea of guilt and trauma, Laeddis, unconsciously or deliberately, refuses to accept this reality. He enters a delusional world and is sent to the Ashecliffe Institution on Shutter Island, which is a hospital for criminally insane. However, because of his violent and dangerous behavior, the Board makes a decision that Andrew Laeddis has to have a transorbital lobotomy to become more "controllable and tamable" (Shutter).