FAMILY IN “THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931)” 5
Familyin “The Public Enemy (1931)”
Familyin “The Public Enemy (1931)”
Afamily is defined in different ways and at different perspectivesbased on the context and experiences of a person. Despite being abasic social unit that influences the society around it, a familyremains a dynamic topic whose description has varied over time. Todiscuss the family and the definitions that the social unit thispaper reviews and analysis the movie “ThePublic Enemy (1931)”produced by William. In regard to the analysis, this paper willexplore the family as a social unit that is affected by the actionsof each and every member in the family and the society.
Themovie “ThePublic Enemy (1931)”revolves around the lives of two young men who venture into crimedespite having solid background and support of a solid family. Inparticular, the movie focuses on the family of Tom, his brother Mikeand their ever loving mother. The description of the mother in theentire movie as a doting parent illustrates the type of love thatdefines a family. In all the scenes that the mother is involved, themovie portrays a family as a haven of love, care and concern as thewoman gets to show her sons the life she wants for them.
However,the family is described as a unit that allows people to interact withthe larger social unit of a society. This is because the family is aunit within a large societal unit that involves different pressuresespecially for kids as they grow. Weiser (17) argues that everyperson has a way of living and determining their liberal lifeespecially in the democratic world. In line with this point, themovie shows how Tom decided to lead his life despite the love of hisdoting mother. The destiny of the two boys, Tom and Matt, who live ingood families is influenced by their peers to join crime.
Thesociety is strong in influencing the behavior of people despite theupbringing in a family. As depicted in the movie, a family is definedas a place of growing values and shaping behavior of kids. However,the society is portrayed as having even a stronger influence of suchchildren. This is illustrated when Tom and Matt are influenced andconvinced by Putty Nose to join them and live a life of steeling. Asfurther promises them protection in case they are in problem, usingall the languages available to convenience them. This scene shows howthe society is strong in defining a person’s course of action thatis against the values gained in a family.
Thereception of the movie from people of different backgrounds wasacceptable. Considering that it was released during the time when thefilm industry was not as developed as today. Despite this, peopleappreciated the definition of a family is a unit of socializationthat does not overprotect the members by secluding them from thelarger social units. Many people agree to the fact that the moviedepicts a family as a simple unit that allows kids to make their ownchoices. In the movie, the two boys made their decisions to ventureinto crime without the influence of their family (Wellman, “ThePublic Enemy”).In fact, as they were still engaging in the bootlegging work, hisbrother Mike tried to convince him otherwise but in vain.
Peoplefrom all backgrounds also appreciate the way the movie shows a familywith having good times and bad times, especially in relation to therelationship between the family members. As Tom grew up, he had agood time with the mother and his brother mike as he shared in thewarmth of the family. However, his life became the source of badtimes when he decided to engage in crime, leading to fights andescapes from the police. This is in addition to the pain that wasgoing through in the mother’s mind as she thought of what happenedwith her son.
Thedirector of this movie reacted positively to the outcomes of themovie. This is because he was successful in communicating hisintention to define as a social unit whose members share in thefeelings and experiences of the other family. By introducing the badtimes that tom went through, the director wanted to show that theywere also bad times for his doting mother and his concerned brother.In particular, Tom led to very emotional times after he was shot bythe rival gang, burns and was hospitalized (Wellman, “ThePublic Enemy”).One particular scene that the director of the movie included is thatof Tom beating his wife with grapes. The director indicated overmedia interviews that he added the scene from what he faces at homeespecially when dealing with his wife.
Inconclusion, a family is presented as a haven of care and love and asocial unit of teaching values, especially for growing kids. However,the family does not seclude a person from the larger society, therebygiving all the members a choice to live their own life. Through thereview of the movie, Tom and Matt were used by the director to definefamily and cultural values.
Weiser,Sarah. KidsRule.DukeUniversity Press, London. 2007. Print
Wellman,Williams. "ThePublic Enemy."DVD. New York.