Silent Hill 2... damn. This game was really disturbing. It's been a while since I played the game...Here's what I thought of the story :
James really kills his wife. He not only has to deal with her dying slowly because of a horrible, disfiguring disease, but also deal with sexual frustration. Yes, sexual frustration. He is wrought with emotional trauma and really hurting, but it's the basal needs that pushes him over the edge and makes him snap. How many years does he have to resist his sexual urges? He kills her and then leaves to Silent Hill so that he can kill himself. He represses his own memory on the way because he realizes what line he crossed and the motivation behind it.
The nurse monsters you see could actually be the nurses James saw when his wife was in the hospital. In Silent Hill, these nurses have their head covered, wear mini-skirts, have big busts and their cleavage showing. Their heads are covered and emphasis is placed on the bust and groin regions (notice when the nurses die, their legs are wide open?). James was really sexually frustrated. I think it's not him killing his wife that he regrets (she's dying anyway), but because he wanted her gone so that he could fulfill his sexual urges. It's the shame that breaks him and makes him suicidal.
Excluding Pyramid Head, all the other enemies have some feminine aspect to them.
In the beginning of the game, we see James washing his face (in a dirty toilet, no less). It's like he's washing himself clean from his sins. This is evident from how he represses his memory and goes to Silent Hill thinking he got a posthumous letter from his wife.
To me, Silent Hill is not exactly an evil place. It only brings about the evil inside you. James and Mary cherished their time in Silent Hill when they started out as a couple. This was because they were innocent and they had no evil inside them, no guilt, and nothing to hide. This is also why Laura saw Silent Hill as an ordinary town. To the guilty, Silent Hill takes a monsterous appearance, fills it with monsters and then gives the choice of either facing one's inner demons, or to give up and die (either by their own hands or by hands of the monsters). Assuming you get the proper ending, James gets absolved and lives a guilt-free life.
And Maria? She's a creation of Silent Hill. If you get the ending where you make it out alive with her, Silent Hill is making James relive his time with Mary through her and then repeat the cycle of returning back to it till he dies or is strong enough to conquer his demons for good,
Maria is the ideal Mary to James. This is evident from the way Maria dresses and speaks. Silent Hill wants James to choose between his lust (Maria) and love (Mary). Only his love for Mary can absolve him from his sins.
Silent Hill also reveals one's hypocrisy - James is disgusted with his wife's face. All the enemies in Silent Hill are ugly and revolting. Though James can kill all the disgusting enemies like he kills Mary, he can't kill Pyramid Head because it is a projection of himself. Remember the Pyramid Head raping mannequins? It's like Silent Hill is telling James that there is no one more disgusting than him.
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