Mahatmas Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the South Africans all have used disobedience in order to change an unjust norm or law(s). The most common form of disobedience which have been used in history is to simply not obey the officials of higher authority and protest in order to get the point across. These protests have been successful because of the mass numbers of supporters but also because they set out to change an unjust rule or norms. In the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke featuring Paul Newman, Lucas (Luke) has been sent to jail for "beheading" parking meters while intoxicated. During his time in jail, he disobeys both the de facto inmate leader and the wardens simply because he did not like to conform to their rules. Luke's, unlike the aforementioned disobedience leaders, lack of just cause for disobeying authority ultimately leads to his unhappiness and demise.
The movie introduces a WWII veteran, Luke, who gets sent to jail and immediately dislikes the culture and norm. Luke witnesses the inmates take orders from both the de factor leader Dragline, as well as for the warden for nearly every task from working to eating. During their day labor, he also notices that the inmates work in unison; they work in a slow, steady pace where no one does better than the other. This dislike for uniformity creates a uncomfortable atmosphere for Luke, so he decides to start challenging authority. This is manifested when Luke enters a boxing match with Dragline. The boxing match ensues and Luke is determined to defeat Dragline, but his endeavor is futile as he fails to beat Dragline.
This boxing match, though he fails to beat Dragline, demonstrates Luke's ability and eagerness to disobey authority. Instead of personally disliking the situation, he takes an active role in disobeying and leads to his imamates starting to admire him for his actions. This admiration further fuels his desires to break the norm and authority and it is shown when he blindly decides to accept a bet where he has to eat fifty hard-boiled eggs. His success ensured that Luke has become the new de facto leader and even Dragline respects his actions and authority. With this newfound position, the wardens and officers do not seem pleased; they view his success as a threat to their power and authority.
His rise in power and his desire for disobedience lacks one critical point that he fails to see throughout the film: a just objective. He breaks the norm in jail so simply fulfill his thirst to be different and not what he seems unjust and unfair. As a prisoner, he has lost most of his rights as an American citizen and he has to be punished as a result. His treatment seems fair; he received three meals, recreation time, visiting hours and care--there was no evidence of mistreatment or unfair conditions. This first two attempts to escape showed that he performed those actions just to demonstrate his ability to escape and hold on to his newfound power and glory. ...