In the screenplay, Josh seeks for validation, acceptance and respect from his parents and peers. He is pushed to extreme measures of gun violence to gain acceptance and kills Katie, Jesse, Michael, Emily, Matt and his parents. Besides Josh himself, Josh’s parents, Katie and grandpa are also greatly responsible for pushing Josh to extreme measures of gun violence in order to be accepted among his peers and family.
Josh’s parents are responsible for pushing Josh to extreme measures of gun violence in order to be accepted among his peers and family as Josh and his parents lacked of communication. Due to the lack of communication, Josh’s parents do not understand him. They do not understand what Josh needs in life; affection and validation. “Remember when you taught me the outfielders glove, dad, and caught a high-fly in the Little League championship game and you carried me off the field? Why can't it be like that? “ Josh yearns for his dad to give him the same acknowledgment he gave when Josh was young. Josh wants acceptance for who he is from his parents. Josh is” sick of them being disappointed in him”. “ I wanted to kill you but I didn’t want you dead. How else could I tell you... without you interrupting?” Josh wants his parents to appreciate him as his son, to be proud of him always and to encourage him constantly.
Due to the lack of communication, Josh’s parents allow themselves to be manipulated by Josh when getting a gun, which leads Josh to misinterpret a false sense of authority given by his parents. To Josh,” Divide and Conquer. Works every time”. This false sense of authority also leads Josh to yearn for instant recognition and respect in school. He feels that he should be the one who calls the shots around in school instead of being bullied or jeered by his peers.
Due to the lack of communication, Josh’s parents do not know that Josh is looking out for their acceptance; not material wealth. Josh’s parents misinterpret that by pampering Josh, and giving him anything he wants, Josh will be satisfied and happy. Josh’s parents “raised him wrong”, they “tried to give him a good life but all they did was feed his appetite”. Josh’s parents’ excessive pampering lead Josh to yearn for instant results. Likewise, “you get me the rifle and I’ll bring home all A’s on my next report card”, Josh demands his rifle first before putting in effort to get all A’s for his results; Josh is used to getting what he wants first instead of working hard for it. If Josh trains hard, he can be popular as a football star, even “his football coach praised his team spirit”; but it requires time and effort. As Josh is used to being provided with things like “ an expensive mountain bike” which he wants immediately; he does not want to put in effort to gain instant recognition and acceptance in the school. In Josh’s view, “ A gun in your hand is a PH.D”, “It’s an A-plus”, “When you have a gun you can take on anybody... he champ wrestler”. Therefore, Josh chooses an immediate and efficient way to gain respect while raising his status and to sustain himself in the high school environment- by using gun violence. Josh is tired of his parents being disappointed in him, therefore the lack of communication leads to his ever-growing frustration which slowly builds up to an insurmountable level to a point where he can no longer tolerate and kills his parents. Since Josh lacks of the acceptance at home with his parents, Josh seeks for validation and respect in school. Thus the only way to gain respect instantaneously is to misuse gun violence, which leads to Josh’s irresponsible act of killing his peers.
Katie is also responsible for Josh’s irrational act of killing his peers and parents using gun violence. Katie is Josh’s ex-girlfriend, and she is supposedly the one who understands Josh. However, Katie repeatedly rejects Josh as a...