“Issue of the Totem”

‘Inception’ is a revolutionary science fiction adaptation. It takes viewers into the depths of our subconscious thought, in dreams, and dreams within dreams.  In this universe one can tap into the mind of another and plant thoughts that grow into realities. With this new technology comes risk though, the risk of being stuck in ‘limbo’. A very interesting concept to grasp that while in the mind of another, in the dream state, or as seen in the film a dream within several other dreams, the possibility of being stuck in the bottommost dream or otherwise known as the ‘limbo’ state.  In the movie, 5 minutes in the real world works out to 1 hour in the dream world, therefore by entering several dreams within other dreams the time grows exponentially and eventually leading to ‘limbo’. Things can get confusing when always entering and exiting the dream state this is where ‘totems’ come in.

“A totem is an object used to test if one is in one’s own reality (dream or non-dream) and not in another person’s dream.”(Retrieved from: In other words, a totem is a significant part of the collection of anyone performing inception. However there is one flaw with the totem, if one enters the dream of another, everything must be physically changed to order perform inception successfully. Why must one carry a totem and subconsciously recreate the totem when entering a dream instead of just not having the totem in the dream in the first place. If you don’t have the totem when entering a dream then you will always know you’re in dream if you don’t have the totem.


Works cited

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One thought on “”

  1. I think the totem created more confusion for the viewer in inception, because the protagonist only cares about it to a certain extent and yet sometimes he dismisses and leaves the viewer hanging.

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