Menace II Society

856 Words2 Pages

Menace II Society, a film about a young Black man who has lived the “hustler” lifestyle and is struggling to leave it, is a perfect example of deviance as the main character, Caine Lawson, and the characters around him violate many of society’s norms. Throughout the film, the characters swear incessantly, carry around guns and drugs as most people would carry around cell phones, commit street crimes, especially burglary and mugging, on a regular basis, and beat and kill people unscrupulously. The following quote captures just how deviant Caine and the other characters in this film were, “[Caine] went into the store just to get a beer. Came out an accessory to murder and armed robbery. It's funny like that in the hood sometimes. You never knew what was gonna happen, or when” (Albert Hughes). Why would Caine consider these crimes “funny”, or rather, so insignificant? What caused Caine to become so deviant? The answers to such questions were woven into the plot of the film and will be discussed in the following paragraphs. Growing up, Caine associated himself with groups that participated in drug dealing and street crimes. As he explains himself, “my father sold dope and my mother was a heroin addict…Growing up with parents like that, I heard a lot and I saw a lot. I caught on to the criminal life real quick. Instead of keeping me out of trouble, they turned me on to it” (Hughes). Thus, Caine’s deviance can be attributed to Differential Association Theory. He spent his entire life associating with groups that continually violated norms and provided him with negative sanctions for trying to conform to norms. For example, O-Dog, one of Caine’s friends, called Caine a “little bitch” when Caine stated he did not want to shoot any child... ... middle of paper ... ...rms was cut short as he was killed in a drive by shooting because he ignored a girl who claimed to be pregnant with his child and assaulted her cousin. Caine reflects on his life of deviance as he dies, “I've done too much to turn back, and I've done too much to go on. I guess in the end it all catches up with you. My grandpa asked me one time if I care whether I live or die. Yeah, I do. Now it's too late” (Hughes). While deviance may be relative, it can be harmful as in the case of Caine. However, one should always keep in mind that people do not simply choose to be deviant—there are many social factors that play into deviant behavior—people are not simply born deviant and thus deserve the chance to escape being outcasts of society. Works Cited Menace II Society. Dir. Albert Hughes. Perf. Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu. New Line Home Video, 1993. DVD.

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