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How ar the themes presented in Cool Hand luke?

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'How have the themes in the film 'Cool Hand Luke' been presented? What is the viewer's response to these themes?' In the film 'Cool Hand Luke' there are numerous themes that are presented in many ways. These themes are; Characters and Roles, Faith and Religion, Motif of Gambling, Setting and Atmosphere, Authority and Power. There are many ways in which the viewer can interpret these. These points will be explored throughout my essay. The main character in the film is none other than Luke Jackson, who is portrayed by Paul Newman. Luke was imprisoned for defacing public property by removing the heads of parking meters. Once inside the prison, Luke constantly questioned the rules, which brought out his audacity and spontaneity. This quickly gained him respect among the other prisoners. After escaping three times, the prison officers attempted to 'break' Luke from his ways. Luke fell to his knees and vowed to conform to the rules. At this point the other prisoners lost respect for him. ...read more.


Luke doesn't believe in God until he is out of ideas. In the last scene he turns to the 'Old Man' and asks if he has a plan for his life, because he has come to a dead end. This can help the viewer empathize with Luke on how peer pressure can affect ones beliefs. The next theme is the Motif of Gambling. There was always a form of gambling in this movie. It seemed as if everything was a gamble or wager no matter where. In the film, Luke unintentionally earned respect by gambling with his life. Evidence of this is during the fight with Dragline, Luke gained respect for not giving up, even though he was getting pummeled and could have lost his life. This showed Luke's tenacious character because he was the one left standing all alone in the ring because Dragline had walked off and given up. Another form would be Luke's spontaneous character. ...read more.


Luke replies, "Saying it's your job don't make it right." This shows that the system inside the prison is established so that no one can get around it. The second point is that there will always be an Ultimate Power, i.e. the 'Old Man'. This means that no matter what we have limited control over what happens, and that there will always be someone or something higher than us. The third point is Defying Authority. This may be the biggest point in the entire movie. The film starts off with an act of defiance of authority when Luke is caught cutting the heads off of parking meters. This point continues all the way through to the last scene. Luke is constantly defying authority. It never ends in the movie. I think that it is the main purpose of the film. In conclusion, I state that this film is important because it questions the very way that society exists in my world. It questions the validity of the punishment systems and laws of the present. Its' powerfulness is complimented by the immaculate way that these themes are presented in the film. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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