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Seven Characters for Seven Sins of the Modern Society - Movie Review Example

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Seven Characters for Seven Sins of the Modern Society

This paper declares that the film starts with gluttony and the first victim is an obese man, who was forced by John Doe to feed himself to death. It is striking that sins and types of punishment are closely related as it is exemplified in the death of the obese man. Andrew James Johnston notes that “the murders adhere to Dantean principle of contrapasso, according to which a punishment must resemble the sin for which it is inflicted”. Although the plot alludes to Dante and Chaucer as the sources of the concept of seven deadly sins in a medieval fashion, somehow, it is still rooted in American way. Indeed, obesity is a morbid health problem threatening millions of Americans including children and adolescents.
This essay stresses that Fincher’s everyman “John Doe” pushes the gluttony to its utmost limits to show the dark side of insatiable hunger, which affects millions of people. By using the obese men as a character, Fincher portrays the insatiable and unrestricted hunger of the modern consumer society. The second victim, a rich lawyer called Eli Gould, also suffers from excessive love; he represents people’s greed and obsession with money in contemporary capitalist societies. The office of murdered lawyer reflects the atmosphere of cold, calculating rationality of business world, with its modernist decoration e.g. abstract paintings, Marcel Breuer Chairs, Le Courbusier Settees. Eli Gould is characterized as a very ambitious attorney who had helped a pedophile to escape conviction for the rape. John Doe punishes the sin of Gould by making him bleed to death. Besides greed, Gould also represents decaying justice system of the society, which allows child rapists to become free. Although Victor escapes the justice system with the help of Gould, he becomes the “Sloth” victim of John Doe. As Hill and Smith notes “sloth is derived from Latin acadia meaning ‘without care’” and it also denotes apathy and lack of feeling (14). John Doe punishes Victor’s apathy by tying him to a bed. His literal immobility, or what Summerset calls as his “forced contrition”, represents the idleness of a “sloth”. Furthermore, Victor, embodies uncaring, “minding your own business” attitude of everyman which Doe protests at the end of the movie while he ...Show more
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Summary

Hollywood no longer lingers in the light, cheerful and funny atmosphere of the 1950s musical movies . The aim of this paper is to scrutinize the links between the seven movie characters and the seven deadly aspects of modern mass culture: gluttony, greed, wrath, envy, sloth, pride and lust. …
Seven Characters for Seven Sins of the Modern Society
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