Realism of Violence in Film and Literiture

Works of realism involve the text, unlike idealism, to create a familiar or relatable-in-reality. The golden age of realism was on the 19th during the movement of romanticism, more commonly linked to the reaction paintings to the french revolution. Realism at the time had been a way of portraying specific heroic portrayal of individuals used a combination of both realistic and idealist to create a specific portrays which they wanted to appear as real.

In terms of victimisation in the 21st and 20th century, there was a common use of realism in the literature and media in thriller texts to creates a more effective situation in the texts because of the possibility of the event being real. Victimisation is key to showing to the public unconsciously a specific theme in a film, usually linked to drugs, alcohol, violence and sex but also to question the current (when the text was made and now) issues which are occurring. This essay will be analysing how texts use realism in texts to highlight victimisation in texts.


The novel was written by Anthony Burgess, Clockwork Orange, written in 1962 as a reaction to the Russian Revolution when there was an adaption to the political system by Stalin. Kubrick rebooting the story into a film form would have been when the audience of the 1960s would have been 10 years older, making the movie a 10 year anniversary which would have been a phenomenon at the release. The film had included the same “new language” as the novel such as “Droogs” (friend) which was based on the Russian language. The satirical book was most controversial for the use of, like the previous, sex, violence and drug references. The film adaption by Stanley Kubrick had been banned for periods of time because of the reaction outbreak of violence influenced by the movie. The novel is set in an unspecified future in London. London had been more censored in terms of knowledge of Russia’s political suffering so this novel would have been set there because London had been through the change in the industry and may have undergone such a political change and this would discern them from the idea of it because of the possible horrible outbreak. The choice in not specifying time gives the novel a timeless feel as if to say that this situation is plausible, not necessarily tomorrow but is leading up to it with the controversial politics occurring.

Alex has a very significant scene in the book which is the first rape scene when he and his Droog friends attack an author and rape the wife. This book, however, concerns itself with the themes of growing out of old habits and the acceptance from others of one’s past. The author from this scene has later accepted Alex as a guest which reverses the hierarchy in terms of power, however, there is a mutual acceptance between the pair. Alex’s character is originally perceived as a character who puts others under victim like states but is later become a victim of the government, similar to the situation at the time of the Russians who had Stalin as ruler and after his death the collapse of the country.


Since the beginning of Stephe King’s career as a novelist, he has swum the depths of individualised victimisation and become well know for his use of extreme circumstance against characters in novels, including Carrie being drenched in pig’s blood by her class peers in Carrie (1973) and The Stand (1978) handgun rape scene. King’s novels are usually boarder-line unreal, usually taking a plausible situation and going one step further to insanity. His common use of violent symbol and motifs such as Guns, Blood and isolation which creates his our auteur. In the novel Misery, written in 1990 by said author, the male protagonist Paul Sheldon has been in a car crash and is found and cared for by Annie Wilkes, his “number one fan”. It is questioning whether her intentions, as both a career and a fan, is to care and coax him or to purely exploit her power. King had actually written this novel, under the influence of drugs, as a reflection to the how his fans reacted to his more recent novel of the time. His fans had believed that the novel he wrote didn’t have the same violent quality as his other novels, similar to the character Paul and him writing the novels Misery. “Take the psychotic nurse in Misery, which I wrote when I was having such a tough time with dope. I knew what I was writing about. There was never question. Annie was my drug problem, and she was my number-one fan. God, she never wanted to leave.”

The first chapter compared to the end of the novel is an example of the deadly relationship between the two and the victimisation. The scene is when Annie first uses artificial respiration (mouth-to-mouth) to revive Paul after his car crash. Although she is bringing him to life, it is described from the narration of Paul (first person) that Paul is in a form being rape by Annie. “When she took her lips away this time he did not let her breath out but pushed it and whooped

in a gigantic breath of his own. Shoved it out. Waited for his unseen chest to go up again on its

own, as it had been doing his whole life without any help from him. When it didn’t, he gave

another giant whooping gasp, and then he was breathing again on his own, and doing it as fast as

he could flush the smell and taste of her out of him.” was one if the last few paragraphs in part one chapter one. King used italics in the words “let” and “pushed”. This was specified by the author to encapsulate Paul’s disturbed feelings by the whole scene. This section is very manipulative and clear in terms of Pauls personal emotions towards the event. In the public’s mind, we have been commonly been portrayed the revival of people back to life is like being given back a life, especially as a child in fairy tales such as Snow White by the Grimm Brothers and Sleeping Beauty By Charles Perrault who had been fables where the protagonist was brought back to life and went through and inspiring reawakening. In the case of Paul, he felt like he was forced into the situation of being brought back to life and was clearly feeling existential feelings and suicidal

This novel, although written in first-person which gives a perspective of the victimisation of Paul, we have yet to see if Annie was undergoing any trauma of victimisation, aside from in part 2 and 3 when Paul assumes that Annie has been undergoing the possible chance of self-inflicted pain. This would have been because from the perspective of Stephen King, who wrote the novel based on his experience with his disappointed fans, it does create the issue of the novel not having a two-sided argument of the victimisation however it does feel more realistic because, in reality, we are unable to go back and forth between understanding the different people.


The film Silence of the Lamb Directed by Jonathan Demme wasn’t a much as a controversy as the previous because this film had been released around the same time as “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Halloween” which makes this film almost appear as censored. It wasn’t the worst film but at the time some of the phrases will never be thought about the same way, especially when cannibal Hannibal Lector say “I’m having an old friend for dinner.” This film makes us question whether there can possibly is a change in character’s who may be victims.

There is a scene when Hannibal Lector had to bite off a policeman’s nose. In the jail, Hannibal was incapable of violence but much of his actions were implied but he was unable to go through with his impulses. It had gotten to a point prior as to whether the character had been mistreated in jail as he hadn’t yet to cause any havoc but it’s when he escapes do we see his violent side by biting off his nose.


Following this in 2014, Gone girl directed by David Fincher has been a film phenomenon and will go down in history. It was based on Gillian Flynn’s novels by the same name. The style of the film is similar to Fight Club (1999) with the eerie atmosphere and smooth style of filming. The film, like the previous, uses violence, drugs and sex to make the film emphasise on the victimising qualities of the situation of both the main character but the film does have the question throughout the film of who’s the victim and who’s the assaulter. The film is based on the two characters Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) who are married but in the film, it follows the journey of how their relationship was delusional and is analysed after the disappearance of Amy on their fifth anniversary.The film has commonly been analysed for the change in gender themes and the criticism of it. The gender quality of the film adds to the theme of victimisation as it is typically analysed whether it is fair the victimise females simply because of their gender. Amy’s character undergoes multiple situations after being revealed in the film to have been framing Nick for her disappearance, which involves both being highlighted as victims of both their own and each other, including hitting herself with a hammer, faking a rape crime and. Gone Girl was made not to retell a story but rather to present us with a fictional situation which questions our own comfort with victims of different forms in reality. Flynn has a recurring auteur of writing her female protagonists s being stung independent women who undergo sort of violence, some scenes written with not her own experiences but rather the experiences of other from her journalist career. “Men write about that all the time, the darkness within and hat you inherit from you parents as far as your psychological wiring goes. I felt that wasn’t there as much for women, and I was very interested in it.”

The best example of to analyse in terms of her and his victimisation is when Amy calls Desi, her ex-boyfriend, for her and ends us murdering him while having sex. The scene itself seems incredibly sick, especially with her later reaction by covering herself with blood and framing Desi for her rape. As horrible as the scene is, David Fincher and Gillian Flynn ensure to create a scene which is a combination of plausible and disturbing to get the questionable victimising through to the audience and confuse their opinions of whether her actions we plan bat-shit-crazy or can be called off as reasoned. Although Amy wanted to get out of her relationship with Nick because of what she viewed as a misogynistic and one-sided relationship, her way of revenge is out of order and not necessary.

The film uses some key techniques, such as low-key lighting, saturated colours, smooth camera movements, typically mid shots and etc to ensure to film had the conventions which could make the film a real situation but at the same time contain features which could make it an insane-to-be-plausible film, like any other thriller. This is including this chosen scene.

Amy’s character was very specified by the writer in terms of her characteristics – blonde, female, European, wealthy. This is what can add to the victimising of her, or rather the counter victimising. The film has some conventions of Neo-Noir, meaning they have included a “strong yet helpless and sexy female” however this film depicts and abuses this character into becoming an overly independent character who use her privilege of her character to her defence and could be considered as anti-feminist as she was using her characteristic of being a female and trying to portray herself as being helpless so she would get away with her abusive actions. She had framed Desi of rape by covering herself in her blood, manipulating her clothing to look like she was forced and posed inform of the security cameras of a way that she was pleading for help in order to portray herself as being helpless yet she was in reality very aware of her actions being manipulative of the whole situation. Amy’s character is brilliant in terms of being an unreliable narrator for the audience and this add to the frustration from the audience of her being believed but the media, community and partially ourselves. We are able to put ourselves in the situation of a member from the film who believed her because of her extreme actions of being believed for her insane plan of revenge.

Gone Girl reflects the confusion in a marriage case and questions the relationship of pairs, especially those in long-term relationships, because of the chance of pairs. Violence and victimisation in film are used as a way to show manipulation in pairs in reality. It reflects the extent of what people would go through to get back at those who ‘betrayed us’. Flynn is aware of how to write the film in a way which makes the audience a part of the story and clearly identifies the audience as being partially voyeurs because of their choice in watching the victimising and forming conflicted opinions, designed by the director and writer, to ensure an effect showing the situation of a crime – looking at the manipulation of the situation from both sides. Gone Girl is made so it has the conventions to be a real situation but it contains the situation which makes the audience question the reality of it.

Gone Girl has been an evolution in terms of the viewing of victims. As previously mentioned, Misery looks at the issue from only author Paul’s perspective, Clockwork Orange looks at the issue from the perspective of violent teen Alex and Silence of the Lamb mainly looks from the perspective of main detective Jodie but this is one of the few films which includes the perspective of both Amy and Nick which, although takes away from the idea of looking into the film like a partner of the protagonist, this adds to the depth and changes the audience’s position in the event from a friend of the character to an opinionated bystander.

The realist style of texts, used in the analysed texts, all share a common use of the technique as if to give a more effective feel of the situation. In most thriller texts, including the examples which have been analysed, there is a combination of a male and female protagonist who are out under circumstances to have negative reactions to each other. It usually concerns over a satirical linked theme such as the reaction to a current affair, either being a personal or worldwide event such as the Russian Revolution of the 1960s and the commentary to the legal actions and media coverage of law cases in the 21st century. Texts alway need some sort of link to reality in order to the audience to understand the issue, especially victimisation. Victimisation is an issue which can’t be ignored but without the link to realism in texts, can be scrutinised to the extent of disqualifying in society as an issue. The serious attitudes and extreme style of portraying victims in texts are what makes people more questionable about their actions.



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