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The Concepts of Racism and Capital Punishment in the Movie Green Mile

The Green Mile was a suspense film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name. The title indicated that the floor of death row was green and it was the last mile to the execution room. Paul Edgecomb with other officers who were in charge of prison used to witness death and they were apathetic until a tall, tender and kind black named John Coffey came here. John Coffey got a magical gift from god and he cured Paul’s urinary infection and saved others’ lives. All he did make Paul and his friends felt the joy of life, but the inhospitality and hatred within people always hurt Coffey’s virtuous heart. Finally, Coffey chose to take the green path.

John was helpful and kind with a sweet and virtuous soul. However, he experienced repulsive humanity and then he chose to die to stop suffering pain. After an unexpected touch, John’s brain automatically played a scene that Bill killed two girls with their love. Which was Bill told two girls: “If you make any noise, I will kill your sister instead of you.” Those two girls loved each other, so neither of them made any noise. John was innocent and but he was blamed by others on this issue. When Del was suffering the abnormal electrocution due to Percy’s operational error on purpose, John could feel all hurt. Del was liberated, but John he had to feel those painful feelings, because he was a god’s miracle that inspires John to get rid of pain. One more thing that changed John was Percy always did something cruel to prisoners. Once he stepped on a mouse that was kept by Del and he regarded the mouse as a close friend. John was so sad and he helped to cure and wanted to punish Percy the same time. John was essential to the story because he was a symbol of god. He helped people and kept all things in order, but he saw human’s ugly parts a lot. Finally, he chose to give up and back to heaven.

The theme of this film is racism. The story was taken place in the 1930s, when racism was a massive issue. Furthermore, all the guards were white but prisoners were not, except Bill. When John was escorted to jail at the first time, Percy always shouted at him and treated him as an animal. Those scenes let people feel white people were superior and black people were lower class. Because of racism, John didn’t get a fair chance. When Paul began to doubt John’s guilt, he came to a lawyer’s home to figure out. But the lawyer said:” In many ways, a good mongrel dog is like a Negro.” John’s lawyer should defense him, but he looked down on him and even compared John with a mongrel dog. He believed John was guilty, so he certainly didn’t try to defense but gave up. A prisoner who stayed with John in the same prison named Wild Bill always called John a nigger. Once he said to guards:” Niggers should have their own electric chair, white man should sit in no nigger electric chair.” In fact, Bill was the person who raped and murdered two little girls and John was his scapegoat. Bill was heartless and unscrupulous, but he actually thought he’s in high status. Once I saw a social survey video, a white man got on a bus, but he pretended he forgot to bring money, the driver let him on, but then they changed to a black man, the driver didn’t. Another time, I stood a subway station and listened that a young man said something abusive about China and Chinese suddenly and left with anger. Those examples show that racism still exists and every race may face the problem. I disgusted racism because we are all humans, and our basic human rights should be treated equally. Every race has its own strength; there is no reason to discriminate others. Thus, human beings should get along with each other peacefully.

I totally disagree capital punishment. Based on my research, Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976. Instead, the maximum penalty changed to 25 years without parole. The reason was there were some wrongfully convicted, which means someone has been founded innocent after convicted and spending time in jail. For example, Donald Marshall was convicted of in 1971, stabbing murder of Sandy Seale in Sydney. He was acquitted in 1983 after spending 11 years in prison. In the film, John was innocent and a really nice person, but he still be punished. That is really unfair and cruel for their families. This can connect with [article 11] ,everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to presumed innocent until proven guilty. They have no tangible proof still sentence someone to death. Also, there are still lots of countries or regions using cruel, traditional way to carry out capital punishment. In the movie, they used electric chair and we all saw how painful were they before they went to heaven. This can connect with [article 5], no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In spite of using less painful way, such as injection, prisoner may regret and become a kind person, Del was a murder, but he has changed, he becomes outgoing and kind, he even does a show with his mouse to make others laugh. Capital punishment should remove the evils from the people, it shouldn’t be a form of revenge, since prisoners changed to virtuous, why we still have to kill them? Based on [article 3], everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Moreover, it is an added cost to the government and taxpayers’ money. Why we have to pay for someone’s fault? We can use those money to construct country. life imprisonment is already a painful enough way to suffer, capital punishment has no advantage but cruel and wasting.

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