Violence And Movies: American History X

1354 words - 5 pages

Violence is part of our everyday lives and has direct consequences. However on the big screen, violent events may have little or unrealistic consequences. Additionally, violence on screen can be made comical and humorous. Seeing a violent act as being funny or having unrealistic consequences can lift the negativity and make it more accepted as normal behavior. Moreover, watching violent films gives viewers an outlet to everyday life. It can take them away from a boring reality into a place that is filled with thrill and excitement. Lastly, violence and conflict are often vital components of drama, and usually a story that has good drama, makes a good movie. Stuart Fiscoff, professor at the School of Natural and Social Sciences adds:"People find violence in movies energizing, funny, and mentally athletic. It provides them with fantasies that reality cannot deliver, either in terms of observing violence or, more importantly perhaps, triumphing over criminals or bullies or taking revenge over those you don't like. For some it's an opportunity to learn new ways to instigate aggression. And, finally, it's a way for rehearsing for life, perhaps not in the physically aggressive way, but in a way that sees violence as a metaphor for surviving successfully in the adult world."Watching violent films is a guaranteed way to achieve instant gratification. There is something appalling and frightening about violence, but we are drawn to it just the same.American History X is based around Derek Vinyard who is the charismatic leader of a young white supremacists group. His chest exposes a huge swastika that is tattooed across his left breast, while His head is shaved razor short to show his dedication to being a neo-Nazi. Additionally, his disgust toward other races, especially black, is evident through the film. Soon, Derek finds himself in prison for the brutal, hate-driven murder of two black teenagers who are trying to burglarize his house. Upon his release, ashamed of his past and vowing to reform, Derek realizes he must save his younger brother, Danny, from a similar fate. American History X is a groundbreaking controversial drama about the tragic consequences of racism in a family.In American History X, violence is the measure of masculinity. During the movie, Derek leads the supremacists on a violent raid of a convenience store run by Korean immigrants. In this scene, Derek's followers get pumped up after listening to Derek preach about the problems minorities bring to society. In this scene he talks and acts aggressively in order to keep his "men's" attention. To many, to be a man is to be in charge; they are supposed to be tough and strong just like Derek. The group then enters the store, and does many unthinkable things. They start with trashing the store by breaking windows and ripping things off the shelf then throwing them onto the floor. After destroying the store, the group assaults all of the employees and even pours milk on a black female...

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