« A True Learning Experience | Main | good intentions »

September 20, 2005

stronger than me

Robbins and Prejean, Dead Man Walking: The Shooting Script -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

I'd like to talk about the strength that Matt had throughout the whole play. If you're like me you wonder why he has to be a pain in the **** all of the time. However, if I as a reader don't take into account my emotions and look deeper into what Matt is actually doing, I can see that his qualities are actually qualities that I would want to have.

Matt. I just let it flow. I told mama that I loved her. I talked to each of the boys. I hated to say good-bye. I told them that if I get a chance I'll call 'em back right before I go.

This is the first point in the play that Matt lowers his tough guy mentality and opens up to his family and his friend. He seems to keep it hidden all this time; that takes strength. I know that if I was in Matt's situation, and would know that I was going to die in 6 days or something like that, I would definitely be letting it "flow" a lot sooner than he did.

I feel that Matt had to be extremely strong emotionally to want to hang on to his secret for that long. The will power that's shown is so intense. His new found openness may be his way of reconciliation. But, if it was, why did he wait so long. I wish that I had the will power that Matt has. I wouldn't want it to hide my inner feelings, but in other things in my life. It seems that Matt just needed someone to trust. Luckily, Helen was that person and she seemed to draw it out of him.

For some reason, Helen's situation with Matt seems to run parallel with the story of Helen Keller. I don't know why this popped into my head, but I guess, Helen is trying to pull something out of Matt, and Helen Keller's nanny is trying to pull something out of her. It just seems like the same situation. Is it weird that I pulled that out of nowhere?

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at September 20, 2005 07:55 AM

Comments

Interesting. Teaching is at the core of "The Miracle Worker" (the Helen Keller play).

What lessons are being taught in this movie? (I'll probably slip and call it a "play," but maybe "drama" covers things more generally.)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 20, 2005 10:58 AM

Yes it's weird that you pulled that out of nowhere, but I do see a connection since you did say that. I agree with you though, Matt had alot of strength. I think that Helen was even stronger. How hard it must have been to get close to this person, knowing that he was only going to die. Not only that, but she gained his trust. I respect her alot.

Posted by: Chera Pupi at September 20, 2005 11:01 AM

I do not see how Matt had strength. In the end when he knew he only had a few days to live he was still being a totally asshole. He was scarcastic and rude and said things that were going to intentionally hurt people. For example, if he had to do it all over agaisn he would "do something useful like join a terrorist group and bomb government buildings." I think Matt was a coward and no one should look up to those qualites. When he finally did loosen up and admit that he rapes that girl and killed the man he was scared. It wasn't strength that made him cry it was his cowardness. He finally realized that he was going to die and no one was there that had the power to change his future. He would not have changed if he wasn't going to die. He was an asshole all the way up to his death.

Posted by: Gina at September 20, 2005 01:53 PM

Very interesting connection, Andy. I can see the parallels between Annie Sullivan (Helen Keller's teacher) and Helen in the movie. They both struggled with something that no one else was willing to do. Actually, that also reminds me of Aticus in To Kill a Mockingbird. He also did a job no one else was willing to do when he represented Tom Robinson, and he took a lot of crap for it, just as Helen does in Dead Man Walking. And both characters seemed to do it because they felt it was the right thing to do, not being sure they could really save their lives.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 20, 2005 03:44 PM

I really respected Helen, too. She got criticized a lot by the public but stuck by Matt's side. Without Sister Helen, I think Matt never would have admitted the crimes or had as much faith when he died.

Posted by: Amanda at September 20, 2005 04:06 PM

I agree in some ways with Andrew, but i feel different also. Yes Matt did display strength in facing the death penalty. He was strong for his family. But he was weak because he lied and deinied what he had done.

Posted by: Rachel Prichard at September 20, 2005 10:26 PM

Post a comment




Remember Me?