Going crazy or already crazy? You’ve got two different characters – one is a European pioneer settling in the woods of Upper Canada, the other, the son of an important scientist, is a fanatical wild man whose lunacy is the only thing that brings logic to his role. Gilliam’s portrayal of Jeffrey Goines’ madness in 12 Monkeys is quite different then Atwood’s portrayal of the pioneer’s insanity in “ Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer.” Goines is a certified lunatic who doesn’t second-guess his condition. The pioneer, on the other hand, is losing reality’s grip and doesn’t know how do respond. Both of these characters, however, are a cause for puzzlement; one needs to re-assemble the pieces of their personality into something linear in order to make sense and give you an idea about what their real role is really all about.
Goines is a real nutcase; he is gleefully crazy. He’s typical, jam-packed with facial tics
" Even though at the asylum you don"tmt know who his father is, but you get the idea he"tms a powerful man: " And when my father gets upset the ground shakes". Goines knows that his father is up to no good and maybe by helping Cole"tms try to escape he"tms indirectly helping him. But in the end he throws us all off - including James. Even though Gilliam and Atwood"tms portrayal are different, they still have similarities. In Gilliam"tms case, Goines disjointed character has to do with his role in the movie. As for Atwood, you don"tmt know if the pioneer is insane only after you put the clues all together. Goines is insanity is used as a red herring to throw the viewer off. You get the impression that Atwood is trying to portray sympathy through his insanity: "The idea of an animal patters across the roof. Jeffery Goines can be portrayed as humorously insane, but the fact of the matter is that he"tms a very clever man who tends to over thinks: "you play games you"tmre voluntarily taking tranquillizers. This pioneer goes to Upper Canada with first-rate expectations, but ends up going completely mad instead. His cries for help ("Let me out") make him seem so isolated and petrified. Atwood"tms portrayal of the pioneer"tms insanity is a more orthodox one. Unlike Gilliam"tms portrayal of Goines, Atwood portrays the pioneer as petrified and isolated.