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A History Of Violence Essay

2038 words - 8 pages

A History of Violence is a 2005 American crime thriller film. The movie is an adaption of the novel, A History of Violence, written by John Wagner and Vince Locke. Tom Stall lives a casual, easygoing life as a local restaurant owner in the small, quaint, town of Millbrook, Indiana. Viewers are given the perspective that Tom lives the life of a family man, with a loving wife and two kids. Then the unthinkable happens when two robbers show up at Stall’s Diner and Tom defends his employees by killing the two-armed gunmen. After his heroics are publicized across the nation on national news, gangster Carl Fogarty visits Tom in Millbrook. Fogarty meets Tom and calls him out in front of his business and family for living a double life as a murderer. Tom’s real name is Joey Cusack, an Irish mobster who was once involved with gang membership in Philadelphia. When Fogarty confronts Tom and his family outside his home, Tom and his son shoot and kill all three gang members, including Fogarty. Tom stays at the local hospital to receive treatment for wounds he incurred while in a gunfight with the Irish mobsters. Tom confesses to his wife Edie while in the hospital. Tom states that he had lived as a mobster in Philadelphia, as he killed for both money and pleasure. When Tom is dismissed from the hospital, his personal life comes crashing down. He rapes his wife and abuses his teenage son. The repercussions of Tom’s actions will plague his family for the rest of their lives.
The victimization of intimate partner violence occurs when Edie tries to conceal the domestic problems within the relationship with her husband. Tom is unable to cope with the stress from the previous life he lived as Joey Cusack. Tom once lived his life as Cusack, an Irish gang member who murdered people for a living. The movie relates to victimization through Tom’s actions and behavior towards his family. At one point in the film, Edie and local Sheriff Sam Carney confront Tom on living his double life. Right as Sheriff Carney begins to question Tom, Edie defends her husband and tells Carney to leave. She isolates herself from Sheriff Carney, who is a potential rescuer. According to the NCVS, half of all incidents of domestic abuse are not reported to police because of fear of retaliation (Karmen). Victims in abusive relationships hide their abuse because they may feel dominated, or scared by their partner. It was not surprising that Edie decided to hide the victimization she was going through, especially when the assailant, Tom Stall, was in the room with her while she was being put on the spot to report her own husband. Edie decides not to turn in Tom because she is afraid of what damages he may inflict on her family in the future.
The movie showed glimpses of victimization, with the portrayal of Tom as a modern day sociopath. With the main focus on gang related violence, the internal pressures of domestic violence rise as the family finds out more about husband and father, Tom...

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