Theme of Religion in "Dead Man Walking" Essay

Theme of Religion in "Dead Man Walking" Essay

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In everyday society, we are faced with diverse issues that force us to make a decision. Whether or not our decisions are right or wrong. In the movie “Dead Man Walking”, directed by Tim Robbins, he exemplifies the following actions throughout the film. Faith and doubt is a recurring theme in the course of the film. Where we see Christians, in essence, questioning their faith. We also notice a contradiction between the Christian bible and the Hebrew bible or as most people have come to know it as the Old and the New Testament. Conflicting themes have been argued about the Old and New Testament throughout the centuries. Also, humility is a key aspect to the film. The director discreetly implies it at the end of the film so we can make a connection with the main characters. In Tim Robbins “Dead Man Walking” he entails religious ideals to allow the viewer to recognize both sides of evil.
The lesser of good evil arises in the film. Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) has been on death row for six years and now his time has come. He has taken the lives of two young teenagers and the families want revenge. The families are for the death penalty and that is what they have been waiting for, for Matthew Poncelet. In Dead Man Walking, there is a scene where the nun, Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon) is outside of the prison with protestors and the camera angle focuses o the protestors sign. It says “an eye for an eye (Matthew 5:38-39), a life for a life”. The quote comes form the Old Testament also known as the Hebrew bible. The New Testament states “whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also”(Luke 6:29). The director is trying to show us how the Old Testament and the New Testament contradict each other yet; they have a relation beca...


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...ng everything he will leave behind. He is no longer thinking about himself instead he is worrying about the families he has hurt and his own family that he is leaving behind. However, now that it is his time, he has found love and the true meaning behind it.
To conclude, the movie is filled with hatred, evil, faith, doubt, love and so on. While watching the movie, we see how the director has involved transcendence, metaphors, and striking images that the viewer is drawn to. Helen had something to accomplish with Matthew, which is the need for redemption and the sacraments of the Christian church. We notice the religious people and there actions throughout the movie. It shows us how different faith is to each individual and the way they see the Old and New Testament. Surprisingly, many follow the Old Testament but do not chare any thoughts with the New Testament.

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