3. The Girls
The five girls in the film each represent a facet of Sweet Pea's personality, something she feels that she needs to gain but cannot possess in her true personality until she goes through the therapeutic process. Amber (Jamie Chung) represents her hope, her willingness and optimism, Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) her ability to be brave in the face of fear, Babydoll her inner strength and leadership skills and Rocket (Jena Malone) her affection and compassion (as no doubt truly symbolised by her real life sister, Rocket acting as a proxy for her). In the end, when each of these girls is 'killed', their personalities are effectively being amalgamated and assimilated into Sweet Pea. When Rocket dies, Sweet Pea is taken away quickly so we don't see the effects and she's absent when Amber and Blondie are murdered, leaving only the more 'together' Sweet Pea and Babydoll, her true warrior self. In Rocket's death, Sweet Pea gets closure over her real sister's off-screen passing and starts to be able to move on. This is somewhat similar to the last-minute twist of John Carpenter's 'The Ward' (spoilers!) in which victims of a serial killer in a psych ward are revealed to have been 'alters' (or alternate personas) of one girl. Babydoll's lobotomy is the goodbye to the warrior persona, although rather than her killing this part off and assimilating into Sweet Pea's personality, she keeps Babydoll placid and subdued, remaining in the asylum as something she can use in case times ever get tough again. a safeguard almost. Even Babydoll's liaisons with the high roller are symbolic - through her, Sweet Pea is expressing her sexuality in a way that doesn't require her passivity and sexuality being compromised and dependent on another man. Babydoll is the ultimate avatar - Sweet Pea gets to explore her own self and plot her escape from the dark side of her mind whilst learning from it from a distance.