Posts By Stephanie

The Role of Violence in Miller’s Crossing and Legs.

In the film, Miller’s Crossing and the novel Legs by William Kennedy, the role of violence depicts as the common theme. These two works portray the role of violence through the main characters that have particular roles and capabilities to stir dramatic effects in their characterization. The imperative roles of the characters in both works are drawn primarily to get the viewer’s attention. In so doing, the film is addressed in a similar way to the style in which the novel is narrated, uncovering vital information about the characters of Tom Reagan in Miller’s Crossing and Jack Diamond, in Legs. The two protagonists mirror the role of violence in the two characters that place bets on fights to make money. Notwithstanding, Jack assumes a superior part than Tom does. What’s more, Tom and Jack share similar traits and symbolic equivalence. Specifically, they had a thing that they wore or were passed, and this thing had the capacity to show what was happening inside the character’s brain. On occasion in the novel where their psyche was tried, the utilization of their things decided the result. The body cannot live without the brain, so it is essential for the characters to stay near these things that symbolize their psyche or they will surely die. Tom Reagan had a fantasy in which his cap tumbled off his head, and the wind had overwhelmed it. The vast array of similar violent scenes and narrations in the two works further reflects the dominant theme – the role of violence.

In the novel, Jack Diamond is portrayed as an Irish-American hero comparable to Finn McCool, a hero in Old Ireland, and Jesse James, a famous American legend. In this novel, Jack Diamond utilizes rebellious viciousness to accomplish what he wants. He earns his living by placing bets on fights. On one occasion when he bets on the fight between Benny Shapiro and Kid Murphy, he loses the wager. The role of violence is further replicated in the appeal for villainy in the novel. For instance, Marcus Gorman led a gloomy life until he met Jack. Be that as it may, Marcus refused to smuggle jewels for Jack. As they continue hanging out, Marcus feels a vicarious ecstasy when he spends time with Jack, one of the nation’s most infamous criminals. Progressively, Marcus cherishes the idea of shooting from Jack’s automatic weapon, charmed by the lethal power of a firearm. Additionally, Marcus starts adoring Jack’s wife and girlfriend and in due time he entices them and lays down with mysterious ladies, as Jack does. The violence and the thrill from criminal activities that emanate from Jack draw in everyone around him.

On the surface, the film describes the story of warring gangsters. The movie story line had been narrated before but not with such precision. The action packed violent scenes keep the film at a brisk pace. Despite the constant bloody shootouts and killings in the movie, it is not a conventional violent or gangster movie. The director successively incorporates some elegance and style to the conventional action film creating a complex narration. This story is centered on two criminal gangs seeking control of a city in light of the prevailing corrupt police department. The role of violence and the incorporation of an aspect of style help to create the film and maintain an unprecedented pace, different from regular action movies. The choice of music in the film also brings out the role of violence in Miller’s Crossing.

Consequently, the film Miller’s Crossing and the novel Legs brilliantly depict the criminal careers of gangsters’ characters. Through the eyes of the characters, the role of violence in both works becomes apparent. The author of the novel and the director of the film went beyond their conventional constructs and locales. In so doing, the author and the film director came out of their way to create and echo an impeccable gangster imagery which builds up to the primary theme – the role of violence. The theme is further illustrated through the action-packed scenes. Characterization of the protagonists dependably brings out the natural aspects of the synonymous storylines in both the film and the novel. Be that as it may, the characterization often results in adverse consequences.

In conclusion, an in-depth analysis if the works reveals a common theme. It becomes apparent that the role of violence is a dominant aspect in Miller’s Crossing and the novel Legs by William Kennedy. The style, narration of the story, and the impeccable characterization coupled up with elegant use of imagery help the audience to comprehend the role of violence in both works, staying focused to the end. Furthermore, both works encompass similar protagonists with comparable attributes. These attributes are necessary for grasping the viewers’ and the readers’ attention. In so doing, the audiences are able to relate themselves with the works and deduce plausible thematic conclusions. In synopsis, all the attributes depicted above make possible to derive the common theme in both works. Consequently, it becomes imperative to look at the common theme through the eyes of a modern-day setting. Today, the role of violence is mirrored in many films and works of art that employ similar image and style to tell practical stories that the audience can relate from their day to day activities.

Blood Diamond

Blood diamond is a 2006 German-American film that demonstrates Sierra Leone’s civil war between 1992 and 1999. The cinema is co-produced and directed by Zwick Edwin with Leonardo DiCaprio as the staring. The movie portrays a nation torn apart due to scramble for diamonds between government loyalists and uprising forces.  Also, the motion picture depicts the massacres of the war involving the amputation of the citizen’s hands to discourage them from participating in upcoming elections. Blood diamond film demonstrates the African context of trans-nationalism indicating how Sierra Leone was compromised by colonialism (Onuzulike 100). It is through transnational forces that lead to conflict in Sierra Leone resulting to civil war as western nations participated in the diamond rivalry in the nation. Blood diamond film showcases the predicament of civil war in Sierra Leone. The film covers the diamond mine war zones and the financial transactions involved in between warlords and diamond companies. The film brings aberrantly realistic and traumatizing experience of civil conflict based on the resource Riva valley that exists in Sierra Leone.

Civil War

Notably, Blood Diamond film is an action-packed movie that plays into the reality of the civil war existing in Sierra Leone. The film is characterized by killing and mutilation of both uprising forces and the innocent civilians. The movie takes place during the civil war of 1999 and demonstrates the rivalry and the clashes between state forces and the uprising forces (Onuzulike 130). The movie begins with the abduction of Vandy, a local fisherman, by the uprising forces and takes him into slave labor in diamond mining. Vandy manages to secure a diamond and hides it before he is apprehended by the government forces.

DiCaprio plays the part as a South African merchant that trades guns for diamonds. The merchant gets arrested and detained after he was caught smuggling diamonds into Liberia. While in prison, DiCaprio hears about the pink diamond with the fisherman and plans his release from prison in exchange for the diamond. The presence of the resource merchants and their link to the uprising forces facilitates the rise of violence and increased wars as the rebel forces seeking to protect their business undertakings (Onuzulike 110). Thus, the intervention of the government troops to save the citizens intensifies violence as the rebel forces harass the citizens to demonstrate their authority.

The protagonist of the movie is based on three forms that allow fascinating prospective. Through Simon, the film demonstrates the life of the common people of Sierra Leone whose family have been greatly affected by the uprising forces. The player is forced to resort a desperate measure, hiding a life-threatening secret so that to live a normal life with his family. The aspect of the diamond smuggler (DiCaprio) a native White African demonstrates the act of corruption that faces the African communities causing stigma to other civilians that in turn contribute to violence as they seek justice. Also, this aspect demonstrates the western influence to African communities and their influence to contribute to violence (Anthony 29). Trading guns in the African communities majorly to rebel forces attracted violence among the uprising forces and the government troops due to armory power to control and rule immobilized civilians.

The rebels (RUF) despite their numerical inferiority and extremism against the civilians managed to control over two-thirds of the Sierra Leone’s population. This is based on the SLA’s (government army) poor behavior that promotes their capability to authorize their brutality (Anthony 29). Also, the inability of the government troops to locate the RUF enhanced brutality towards the innocent civilians in search of the rebel’s associates. The need to isolate the innocent citizens from their home far from the insurgents enhanced brutality to the civilians by the government troops based on the citizen’s resistance that in turn intensified the war.

The SLA’s sordid behavior inevitably promoted the alienation of a large number of citizens that promoted some to join the resistant rebels. There is the notion of the SLA soldiers to join the rebels as a means to reduce the violence among the government troops and the insurgents (Anthony 40). This aspect attributed to more looting of the resources and trade of diamonds outside the country. This aspect made the rebels and the government troops indistinguishable. Resistant civilians and democratic citizens thus suffered from the brutality of the militias because they were believed to be collaborating with the administration soldiers.

Moreover, the rise of the Kamajors militia led to looting of the government and the RUF troops. This aspect promoted the need for unprotected civilians to join rebels to gain arms and protect their families. The crash between the RUF rebels and the government army by the Kamajors troops intensified further violence in the country as forces strived to demonstrate dominance (Anthony 59). The strength and the success of the Kamajors troops in battle promoted its expansion as gang members joined the group. However, the faction became more corrupt and involved a lot of murder within itself that resulted in its failure and conflicts.

The fall of the Kamajors enabled the government to demonstrate dominance against the RUF forces through the destruction of their headquarters (Onuzulike 220). Also, the spread of propaganda and execution of effective propaganda programs facilitated the success of the government over the rebel troops. After successful defeat and destruction of the RUF strong bases, the government advocates for the Abidjan Peace Accord to promote peace keeping. The diamonds fueled the civil war in Sierra Leone as both the locals and the foreigners scrambled for the limited resources resulting to bloody conflict. The militia, diamond industry and the government benefited from the natural resources which made it difficult to end the conflict.  Additionally, the film illustrates the major effects of civil battle which include poverty, family separation, migration and loss of life (Onuzulike 198).  During the fight, many girls and women were assaulted living them with severe emotional and physical injuries.  Besides, the economy of the state was affected negatively because most of the foreign investors left the country due to unsafe business atmosphere.   

Summarily, the film Blood Diamond depicts a significant illustration of the agony that African nations go through in scramble for valuable resources. Moreover, the involvement of western merchants in African mineral dealing promotes violence as they provide armory weapons to resistant rebels that humiliate innocent civilians. Further, the greed for power and wealth promotes the African civil war as the resistant insurgent portrays their dominance over the state government. More so, government instability promotes violence in the state as militia forms and easily affects the government operations due to the presence of resistant citizens.also, civil war results to negative consequences that make the society to lose people and live in poverty.

Media Ethics Writing

Rather than entertaining the society, movies play other essential roles in the community such as informing and educating. In most cases, the content of a film directly or indirectly affects society.  The content of a film is what is happening in the nation (issues affecting community) and the manner in which the movie presents such problems can determine the perception of the society towards social, racial and gender issues. Consumers of media content should be aware of the negative issues portrayed in movies.

Miss Representation is an American documentary written and produced by Jennifer S. Newsom in 2011. The film reveals the manner and ways in which the mainstream media has paid hand in the continuing epidemic of misrepresentation and underrepresentation of women in the society as a daily target of stereotyping, discrimination and the worst of all victims of violence. As per the film women, negative images are portrayed in screens to corner them into inferiority in comparison with men.

By watching the film, you realize that women are misrepresented and underrepresented by media as voiceless in the modern society. Continuous exposition of their body together with its parts which hurts them by the mainstream media signals to the community that women are not whole and their complexity does not matter. The film paints open up that mainstream media has misrepresented the women as a victim of violence. The continuous dehumanization existing every day in the mainstream media advertising is changing women to a tool and into other things marking the first attempt in justifying violence against woman. In the film, Jenifer gives in to gender inequality channelled by mainstream media advertisements as a tool to down women. She says that no matter how much a woman contributes to a nation either socially or politically, that does not matter in the society as her values are depended on how she looks (1:58).

According to the film, screens have misinformed the American society by presenting man as the most powerful. Such misrepresentation and underrepresentation have created intimidation as women are poorly treated in line to media image that reflects them as powerless in the society. She says that the media image of a woman in the United States has the power to change the attitude and influence the opinion of the public. Jane Fonda in the film stated, “media build consciousness and what it portrays to the public on screens creates our consciousness determining how we will not make any progress” (3:14) one of crucial aspect that comes out from Jan’s statement is that men in the United States have been defining, and misrepresenting women. Despite the fact that women make the largest percentage of the U.S population, few women have come out to participate in writing, producing directing or representatives in Congress. My argument here is that despite the image of a woman in the united states being misrepresented and underrepresented, women as a minority group in the United States have attained a couple of rights and privileges no progress has been achieved. In the film, the image changed, but women still face gender inequality. The film communicates that radically adjusting the position of a woman from the screens to the back of the camera thus letting men dominate the media image thus changing the perspective of the audience and controlling them. In the film, the idea of a woman being portrayed negatively is rooted in gender stereotypes that credit anything associated with masculinity and look down upon anything linked to femininity.

The media image as per the film has contributed to harassment, discrimination, and marginalization of women. The images of a violent, aggressive and unstable woman in the mainstream media are results of silencing the race of women in the United States history. The contrary exposition of images of violent women in the screens plays more significant psychological impacts to the teenage girl consuming the media content being termed as intimidation, harassment and an unfair treat to women advocated by the media.

Misrepresentation and underrepresentation of women and girls in the mainstream media has led to a moral dilemma. The fact that females in the film are presented by mainstream media as individuals who treasure lies, beauty and sexuality misleads the teenage girls consuming the documentary “miss representation” to alter their behaviour to align with those depicted. Such media content confuses the gender of woman terming it as the right woman which instead may lead to sexual harassment. With the gender segregation in the movie, girls end up losing their focusing in education and leadership. They end up building strengths in what the image media term as good. Evident in Miss Representation film (1:07:46) due to advancement in the technology with the application of Photoshop among other devices, women are feeling high about how they look, and this has cost destruction and psychological imbalance. With such social expectations, poor self-esteem among other disorders that teenagers suffer from, history of their discrimination and marginalization build more pressure to the girl child compared to the male child whose image is positive credited by the mainstream media.

The film digs out that media expectations from girls as unfair. The message by the media that women are aspects of beauty and sex contrary to boys whose success is based on power, education, and aggression lead to gender discrimination. The girl of the media is thought as immoral being spoiled in the society. Such misinforming role played by the media to the community has doomed the pride of a woman. The film miss representation clears out that media value of a woman is dehumanizing and causes immense psychological harm as it only boosts the negative image of a woman in the society. The film blames the media as a diminishing gender inequality factor and tool downing esteem dignity of women. As per the film, media does not work to empower woman but works every day to maintain the inferiority of woman causing emotional harm and distress to a woman.

In conclusion, the fact that media finds a woman as the suitable media images, it should work to empower them by giving them different roles to play be it in films or advertising.