Violence In Movies In Relation To American Culture
Media is the most powerful and most effective tool in order to communicate nowadays. Media is the fastest and the most convenient way of expressing. People’s exposure to media is a ubiquitous part of their daily lives. Most people or perhaps all people spend their free time listening and watching media. In the article “How The Media Mold The World”, Winnail explicated that media is the most influential force that shapes and molds the world. Media possesses the power that continues to lure people to continue to patronize it.
Media has an enticing appeal to people that makes itself very powerful. A person’s life nowadays is not complete without his interaction with media. Media becomes a vital and integral part of a person’s everyday life. Media influences culture and depicts culture at the time. As a matter of fact, what we see as the world today is greatly influenced by media. Through media, we can convey any information we want using the internet, radio, television, movies and others. It is the most powerful tool of communication these days. People spend majority of their time with the exposure to media.
People seem to be addicted in watching television and other forms of media available such as movies. VIOLENCE IN MOVIES AS PART OF LIFE “Violence is portrayed in cartoons, movies, soap operas and especially in the news” (http://www. coe. uga. edu/ctl/portfolios/socfound/schoolviolence. pdf). Today, a child watches television twenty to thirty hours a week. “As a child watches Saturday morning cartoons, he or she is supplied with 26. 4 incidents of violence per hour” (Hill & Hill, 1994). Parents mostly think that cartoons only bring laughter. But what they most of parents think is wrong.
Cartoon movies also inculcate violence to children. “When children reach a certain age they begin to watch movies in theaters with enough violence to receive a PG-13 rating due to brief scenes of spurting blood from bullet wounds or chopped off limbs” (Sanders, 1999). In every stage of a child’s life, there is a great exposure to violence. This fact is unquestionable. Sanders further stated that within a year or so most parents will begin to permit their children in watching movies with rated R having even more spurting blood, bullets exploding out the back of bodies in showers of blood and brains, etc.
and at the age of 17, children can legally watch R-rated movies, and at 18 they can watch movies rated even higher than R. Sanders explicated the danger in having an exposure to violence in movies in child’s every stage of life. It is like training young people how to kill because of scenes depicted on movies, these are scenes that are very violent and can boldly influence a young person’s behavior. As most psychologists would say, a child’s brain starts at a blank slate and in his daily experiences, he assimilates and incorporates.
“Movie characters Hannibal the Cannibal, Jason, and Freddy are sick, unquestionably evil, and criminally sociopathic” (Sanders, 1999). These characters became icons to many young people. Young people became so much excited and enjoy watching these characters. These characters are characters that must not be even a part of a juvenile’s life. Children and young adult must be isolated from violent figures because violent personalities can somehow influence the lives of these young people. VIOLENCE IN AMERICAN CULTURE America has a culture of high number of violence.
In fact, Child abuse and spouse abuse is transforming to be a common phenomenon. “Ninety five percent (95%) of victims of domestic violence are women. A woman is assaulted and beaten every 9 seconds in the United States. Every year, 4,000,000 women are assaulted by their partners. Four (4) women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands and twenty five (25%) percent of all crime is wife assault”(Department of Justice). It is becoming dangerous for Americans even living in their own homes. There is a high level of household violence. This fact is becoming a part of American culture.
To make matters worse, “far too many children are badly abused in the United States today. This is a disturbing fact” (Fagan, 1997). “Every ten seconds, there is a report of child abuse in the United States. Everyday, four (4) children die from abuse. Three (3) out of four of these children who dies everyday are under the age of four. Ninety (90) percent of less than twelve years old who were victims of rape or sexual assault knew the perpetrators” (childhelpusa. org). Even innocent children are not spared from violence. Even the people that ought to protect these children are at times the ones perpetrating the crimes against them.
This is a very sad reality that the American people are immersed with; a reality that is not ought to be there. “From 2004 to 2005, the rate of violent crime, estimated at 469. 2 violent offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, increased 1. 3 percent, there were an estimated 1,390,695 violent crimes reported” (FBI, 2006). There was an increase of 1. 2 percent in cases of rape from the previous year, 3. 4 percent increase in crimes of murder and non-negligent man-slaughter and 3. 9 percent increase in robbery. The FBI further stated that 10,166,159 property crimes were reported in 2005 coupled with 14.
1 million arrests, a huge and alarming figure. The facts stated above are evidence enough to say that the American culture is immersed in violence. The reported crime rate is high in the American society. Crimes are in news reports in a daily basis. The horror of violence became a part of their lives. Most of the citizens own guns to protect themselves from criminals. If one is weak and care-free enough, one will be victimized. VIOLENCE IN MOVIES IN RELATION TO AMERICAN CULTURE Violence in movies has a rich relationship to American culture in general.
A movie as part of the powerful media that shapes and influences the American culture is also an avenue to express parts of the reality of such culture. A movie that depicts violence is undeniably influential to the American culture but it is of great reality that at the same time, movies that depict violence is also influenced by the American culture. Movie character like the Hannibal is a mirror of a serial killer in reality or a dangerous criminal. The movie “The Secret Window” is also a mirror of a parcel of American reality that indeed, some people are insane and become criminals.
The violence in real life is transformed into movies as an avenue to express reality. Violence in movies is a picture of reality from the states of affairs of the American culture. Violence in the lives of the American people is reflected and shown in movies. Movies as part of Americans’ lives and culture are a strong influence on how these Americans will live their lives. The media dictates trends on how to handle one’s life and the media dictates what’s “in” and what’s not. Since many movies depicts and symbolizes violence, violence becomes an icon to the public.
The violence seen on films and movies becomes integrated in the lives of many Americans and that using drugs and other crimes became just a part and a normal flow of culture. The media in general has indeed a strong effect on people’s lives. The violence depicted in movies has shape the American culture of today. As stated in the above part of this paper, we can see how violence became a part of American culture. Let us examine the incident at Virginia Tech University. Such incident is worldwide news. In such incident, we can see the relationship of violence in movies and the American culture.
We cannot deny the fact that the media is saturated with violent scenes and what makes matters worse is the fact that in some movies, violence is portrayed as the outlet of frustration. In other movies, the media inculcates to the public that to have a gun and have it fired or use it in killing someone is a “macho” thing. Most students today view carrying a gun as a truly “macho”. The violence in movies clearly has something to do with how young people conduct themselves. On the other hand, such violence at Virginia Tech can be an inspiration in making a movie with the same theme and story.
As always been emphasized, movies are also avenues to express reality. Many movies had been inspired by true stories from the real world. Violence in the real world, in the American culture is the same with the level of violence in movies. As always emphasized, violence is now becoming a part of the American culture. The American society is already plagued with drugs use, alcoholism and other vices. The great virtues and values that were endowed by their ancestors are almost hard to find. The lives of people are lived in view of material things.
Instead of prioritizing values such as love and care, people prioritize money that becomes the root of crimes. Truly less valuable things are being prioritized. Evil eats up an ought to be good and pleasant society. The lives of people are dictated by material things and that they do away from their own essence of goodness. People becomes isolated from the very primordial reality of their existence. Hence, violence in movies is an avenue to express the reality of American culture and at the same time a powerful figure that influences the lives of the American people and even the American culture in general.
CONCLUSION Media has a vast influence in American culture and the world’s culture in general. Media shapes and forms the world as what we have known it now. Movies are part of media. The violence depicted in movies greatly influences the American culture and the world. Influence comes to play because of the exposure of the American people to media. Media is already a part of the lives of Americans. Movies are also avenues in which reality in a society or culture is being expressed. In many movies, they want to copy parts of reality.
True phenomenon in this world became inspiration in making movies, movies that want to capture best reality. We can therefore conclude that the relationship of violence in movies to the American culture comes in two ways. First, violence in movies greatly influences the American culture because media has the power to mold the world. Second, violence in movies is inspired by the states of affairs of the American culture. Hence, violence in movies and the American culture greatly influence each other. They both have great control of the lives of the American people.
To elude the negative effects of media, let us all intelligently select movies and other forms of media to be assimilated. Not all movies and forms of media can give good lessons in people’s lives. Many scenes portrayed in movies depict violence and can influence one’s behavior.
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