What is a doll exactly? A plastic toy stuffed with nothing but a hollow empty space? Devoid of feelings? Absent of emotions? Or a companion of a lifetime? Rod Serling (God bless his soul) made it abundantly clear in The Twilight Zone- Season 5, Episode six; Living Doll what a doll is to a young child.
It is very natural for a child to find companionship and love in an inanimate object such as a doll. But sometimes the extensive need for that special playmate may be compensated for something that maybe missing from a child's life..Christie Streator pines for her stepfather Erich's love. His resentment towards her and his wife Annabelle is derived from the couple's incapability to have biological children. My heart really went out to poor sweet little Christie. There is nothing worse than a child feeling resented and guilty for matters beyond his/her control. The cold war seems to encompass the entire household. Enter: Talky Tina...the embodiment of unconditional love made of plastic.
Just like two contending nations occupy the same earth, the same thing goes for a typical household comprising of a stepparent, who can't seem to make the effort in attempting to love a child that isn't biologically theirs, and a child who is yearning for a chance they will never get. Every contending nation needs an ally at some point and so does a rejected child. Hence, the relationship between Christie and Talky Tina. Talky Tina is a doll that...well..talks. And she talks from the heart. So while Christie forms this bond with her doll, Eric grows more and more resentful and perhaps jealous. So much that he manhandles the toy in an attempt to destroy it and the love between doll and child. So if I were to come up with my own theory, would it be safe for me to say that maybe the doll was symbolic of a child that Eric could never procreate himself? And maybe the doll represented an emotional castration to Erich? Because we know that Erich does not love Christie unconditionally, no matter how much she respected him and craved for his love. So if the blind hatred did not stem from that alone, what else could it be? If so, then it is a major slap in the face.
Talky Tina seems to be more of a protector to Christie even though Christie may not realize it. She challenges Erich to try and mess with her letting him know he will regret it royally. He makes the mistake of underestimating the power of plastic. Because Talky Tina is not just some ordinary doll from the toy shelf. She WILL kill you...And after many failed attempts at doing away with the doll via, throwing it against the wall trying to break it, cigarette burns, using heavy sharp machinery, etc. a doll's need for love and acceptance, just like a young girl's..is never to be challenged or compromised....Erich learns the hard way...