Character Analysis: Lee Chandler’s tragic burden in 'Manchester by the Sea'

As soon as Lee Chandler sets foot in Manchester it becomes clear he has a past that made him notorious. Seething with rage at himself and the world, Lee performs his role as guardian for his dead brother’s son in spite of the unbearable burden of inner coldness and emptiness. Lee’s conflict is internal. The flashbacks slowly reveal the devasting backstory surrounding the deaths of his children. The tragic character’s action are consistent with the irreparable personal loss he is suffering. In the end, Lee leaves his nephew with his brother’s friend. The burden of guilt leaving him unable to move on.



Lonergan, Kenneth. 2016. Manchester by the Sea [Film]