• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does the film 'Witness' show the clash between Amish culture and modern American culture?

Extracts from this document...


Witness is a mix of genres; it has romance, action, is part murder/detective story, and is a thriller. The aim of the director, Peter Weir, is to show the clash of cultures between the Amish and the Modern American culture. Peter Weir the director likes to place characters into an unusual situation like in this film he has a Pennsylvanian cop, John Book, having to hide and live in an Amish community. 'Pennsylvania' means brotherly love in Amish. The Amish are a Christian religious group with origins from Europe, in America they are known as 'The Plain People'. The Amish travelled to America for freedom of worship. Many of them settled in the Pennsylvanian area. The Amish people speak a dialect of broken German to each other. They all learn English to communicate with people outside of the community like at certain shops where they need important supplies that they cannot get themselves. Children are taught in small one room schoolhouses, the Amish stress on teaching the '3 R`s', reading, writing and arithmetic. They reject all modern technology, they are self sufficient by growing their own crops, they remain in a farming community separate from the rest of society and they don't use electricity but instead they use a water powered machine to help drive other machinery and windmills to make the grain. The Amish wear distinctive clothes; they stand out because of their plain clothes and use horses and carriages to get into town and other villages for supplies. The Amish make a big effort to be self sufficient; they do this also to protect the Amish children from outside influences such as T.V and radio. ...read more.


The American flag is a symbol of the government and state. Many people in America swear allegiance to the flag and country by putting a hand over their heart. It is also a symbol of the 'American Dream' where there is religious tolerance and equality of opportunity yet intolerance is shown to the Amish. The Amish have pride in their religion and way of life not in the country as they worship God. Symbols of Amish Community The Amish make homemade lemonade which shows self-sufficiency and use natural ingredients to make the lemonade; this reflects their natural and basic way of life. Also they share the lemonade which represents and shows kindness and friendship. The bell is of religious connotations as it calls people to worship but also emphasises the community spirit as it rings at mealtimes and at times is used as a call for help as this is shown near the end of the film when Samuel rings the bell and the men from the other villages and fields appear over the rise. The use of water pumps shows the rejection of modern technology and also it is natural spring water that is pumped out of it. Flour and grain emphasises traditional methods of cooking using basic ingredients. They grow their own crops on a farm and make their own bread, no pre-packed food; no additives or supplements are used by the Amish as they reject the modern way of life. Preserved fruit is a natural ingredient used to store for a long time also the Amish plan ahead when they want to use it. Washing lines were used to hang and dry off clothes once they had been hand cleaned, most of the jobs in ...read more.


Contrasting communities shown in long shot of carriage the lorry appears behind it and looks threatening towards the carriage. In the scene where Rachel is bathing it is a long shot of her bathing that then becomes a medium shot when she turns round. There is then a close up of Rachel and Johns faces where we can sense their love and desire for each other. When Rachel and John are parting there is a close up on their faces which are upset. Followed by a medium shot as he drives off after that we see another Amish man have a word with John Book and then continue to her house, there is a hint that they will eventually marry. In the station there is a long shot of a statue of an angel holding Christ's dead body, the camera tilts up as if from Samuels point of view, and then shot from over the statue looking down on Samuel its like a guardian angel looking down on him. In the film John Book becomes his guardian angel and protects him. Conclusion At the end of the film I feel disappointed that they haven't stayed together, I think she didn't go with him because she had lived in a peaceful community all her life and may have been shocked by the intrusion of violence from the outside world. She loves John, but they are from two different worlds and she also has to think about Samuel on whether or not he would be safe living in another world. The film is very successful in showing the clash of worlds and the differences in community by placing John Book in their society. Variety of techniques used to emphasise the clash. Makes us think of our own lives and violent society. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Aldous Huxley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Aldous Huxley essays

  1. Daddy-Long-Legs - Blue Wednesday

    Numbed [adj.] Unable to feel, think or react in a normal way. Example 1: She felt numb with cold. Superintend [verb] To be in charge of something and make sure everything is working properly. Example 1: He superintended the building work. Detests [verb] To hate somebody or something very much.

  2. The Elephant Man - film review.

    see Bytes beating him hard with a stick, which makes him fall to the ground heavily, we hear the elephant moaning and wheezing in pain, the small boy pleads with Bytes to leave him alone, but he refuses. Here in this scene we first see how badly he is being

  1. While Huxley presents his Brave New World as a hopeless environment lacking love and ...

    Huxley ends his story with Bernard's exile to an island. This is a triumphant victory of community trouncing over individualistic sentiments, of social conditioning conquering reproductive instincts, and also of nurture over nature. In contrast, the movie shows that Bernard and Lenina finally overcome their cultural conditioning.

  2. Throughout The Crucible the visual effects of the play indicate a lot about the ...

    There is talk of Elizabeth persuading John to confess, which will save him from death, and then other characters enter to explain more options, which John has. Eventually the stage is left with just John and Elizabeth. This builds up tension as it makes the audience emotionally involved.

  1. How do the authors of two texts you have studied express the reasons for ...

    be a little more promiscuous," and fails to see John's offer for marriage as love but rather as a sign to engage in sexual activity, and forces herself on him. Furthermore, like Zamyatin, Huxley notices the significance of separating the world of machines and that of the environment; "a love of nature keeps no factories busy".

  2. Stories: Healing and Sharing

    For a story to take shape it must be shared. Minh-ha uses the metaphor, "a story is like a gift" (2), it gives more than entertainment; it creates connections between people. Through storytelling a community is strengthened and enlarged because the insider understands the story.

  1. Criminal Law: John's liability

    However, it could be inferred that his conduct of starting work indicated to the headmaster that John had qualified. Furthermore, the deception could also lie in an implied statement made by John. Again, the action to start work impliedly states that he has qualified.

  2. Brave New World- Style and Technique Analysis

    South-south-west, south-south-east, east? (229) Huxley?s choice of a compass, bluntly shows how technology is what killed humanity. The compass was deliberately chosen to show how society will lose its direction if technology is allowed to be the mindlessly guide societie.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work