A red bathroom. The build up leads

Clockwork Orange (1971) contains a significant bathroom scene
in which Alex (Malcolm McDowell), after being beaten by former friends, winds
up at the home of the writer Frank Alexander (Patrick Magee), whom Alex not
only crippled, but whose wife he raped. Frank does not know who Alex is, aside
from his fame as a Ludovico technique patient, and kindly offers him his home
as a sanctuary. However, Alex finds the bathroom relaxing, and eventually
begins to sing the same song that he sang whilst raping Franks’ wife. This
sound echoes down the house, causing Frank to recognise who Alex is, and
ultimately being to torture him until Alex attempts suicide. For A Clockwork Orange, the bathroom is not
safe space that almost all of Kubrick’s characters believe it to be. This
bathroom scene causes a chain reaction that eventually leads to Alex reverting
into his previously brutal and animalistic ways.

In Kubrick’s final three films, his opinions towards bathrooms are
obvious, with The Shining demonstrating
these feelings the most. By utilising the once safe space, Kubrick places all The Shining’s characters into a bathroom
whilst showing their vulnerability. Danny (Danny Lloyd) is consistently
subjected to horrors within bathrooms, with Room 237 operating as a turning
point in the film for both Danny and Jack (Jack Nicholson). Jack succumbs to
his animalistic sexual desires in Room 237’s bathroom, as ‘this bathroom
provides a place for male fantasies of sexual and gender power and
vulnerability’. (White in Kolker, 2006), and Jack kisses a seemingly attractive
young woman before she becomes an elderly deceased woman. Later, his insanity
if further escalated during his conversation with Grady (Philip Stone) in the
red bathroom. The build up leads to when Jack is trying to kill his wife, Wendy
(Shelley Duvall) who has hidden herself in the bathroom before helping their
son escape down a snow drift. The
Shining’s bathrooms become places where the true power of masculinity is
discussed. As people feel vulnerable in bathrooms, Jack is forcing himself into
that secure surroundings they usually provide, and puts other people’s life at
risk. The bathroom in The Shining also
demonstrates power play, with Grady and Jack switching power roles during their
conversation in the red bathroom.

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Similarly, the bathroom scene in Full Metal Jacket (1987) is where Private Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio), after consistently feeling
helpless at the hands of Sergeant Hartman (R.
Lee Ermey), the other trainees, and the entire military training life,
takes back the power he had lost. Pyle has reached rock bottom, and is sitting
in the bathroom with his rifle, telling Joker (Matthew Modine), that he is ‘in a world of shit’ (Kubrick,
1987). This is Kubrick’s way of linking the worst aspects of humanity and
bathrooms, as Pyle is both literally and mentally in the world he describes.
Not only does he regain power by killing Hartman and himself, but he relieves
himself of the severe difficulty he has experienced lately in his life, so it
is appropriate that Kubrick chose to have this take place in the bathroom. The
bathroom once again becomes the static location in which the system has failed once
more. ‘The bathroom is granted a necessary and elusive polarity in Kubrick’s
films that acts to subvert and ironize human pretentions to super-corporeal
existence’. (Kuberski, 2012), this links to Sergeant Hartmans’ inquiry, ‘what
are you animals doing in my head?’ (Kubrick, 1987). This not only refers back
to the recurring motif of humans reverting back into primal creatures when they
enter a bathroom, but also suggests that Hartman considers the bathroom as safe
a space as his own head. Hartman represents the animal within Pyles’ head, just
as Pyle is to Hartman. Hartman dies without having given up his authority, being
shot dead whilst trying to tame these ‘animals in his “head.”‘ (Kubrick,