Dead Man Walking Essay examples

Dead Man Walking Essay examples

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Dead Man Walking


     The film “Dead Man Walking” is a film about redemption. The film is
directed by Tim Robbins. Susan Sarandon plays a Nun called Sister Helen
Prejean. She is asked by a convicted murderer to get him a lawyer, and then
later is asked to be his spiritual advisor. The convicted killer is named
Matthew Poncelet, and he is played by Sean Penn. The film is set in the
Angola state penitentiary, in Louisiana. Matthew Poncelet first asks her to
get him a lawyer so he can repeal his Death sentence. Sister Helen gets him a
lawyer, but they fail after several good attempts to get him off death row.
Sister Helen begins to come to him almost every day after Poncelet asks her
to be his spiritual advisor on the day of his death. During this phase of the
film Sister Helen tries to get Poncelet to tell her about his own life. Poncelet
tells her about his life and why he was put on death row. Poncelet was
convicted along with another man in the murder of the youth and a girl after
raping the girl. Sister Helen is very sympathetic and is also looked down
upon for this reason. Though she is repressed she still goes on helping
Poncelet and she digs around in his feelings and soul. Sister Helen eventually
finds a good soul in Matthew Poncelet, a person no one else knows.
Matthew constantly denies to Sister Helen, himself, and to God that he had
committed his horrible crime. Poncelet continues to blame his problems on
other things such as his father dying early in his life, his drug use, his
immaturity, and that he was unable to stand up to his partner in the brutal
crime. Sister Helen urges Poncelet to come clean and face the part that he
took in the crime. And at nearly the last minutes of the film he tells the
truth. Though he tells the truth of his sin, he is still put to death by lethal
injection.
     The purpose of this film, I believe, was to show that capital punishment
is not right in all circumstances, but the redemption and preservation of the
human soul being better. Tim Robbins tried to show how most people and
even more accurate, Christian people tend to always want vengeance for a
crime. Most of them have a line from the old testament committed to
memory, “An eye for an eye,” is what they always want to say. But it really
confuses me. To me that saying is not clear, if you think about it, i...


... middle of paper ...


...n church. I read the Bible,
though not as much as I should, but the “Eye for an Eye part has always
confused me. If the Bible states, “Thou shall not kill,” then why does it justify
the killing of a person who has killed before. I believe that God loves all his
children. If people are really followers of Christ, they will learn from him
how to forgive people for their faults and mistakes during life. If the people
in the film would have stopped and though what it would be like to be in
Poncelet’s shoes, maybe they would feel different about the death penalty.
He was in jail facing lethal injection. I’m sure if they thought about it they
would not want to be killed, but then the people who Poncelet had killed did
not have a choice, they had death forced on them. This film does a great job
of showing both sides of the capitol punishment controversy. I can see how
people think killing someone who has killed is a good thing. It keeps the
person off the streets and from killing again. Though is it really justice?
I still believe that people can be evil, but people can also be cleansed. I
believe this film has a dramatic point, and the purpose is pretty clear to
anyone who may watch it.

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