Communication Theories Seen in Edward Scissorhands

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The 1990 film Edward Scissorhands demonstrates many communication theories and concepts. This movie is an excellent example for many interpersonal communication concepts and theories because it focuses on Edward’s interpersonal communication with the other characters. This is interesting because for all of Edward’s life, he has only interacted with one person, leaving him with very weak communication skills. Having only communicated with his creator, an elderly inventor, Edward lacks interpersonal skills with virtually every person he meets after being brought home with Peg. He appears nervous and hesitant when Peg approaches him, but he quickly adapts to a completely different lifestyle, going from being almost completely isolated to constantly being surrounded by people. The new world is so different from what he has ever known that his communication skills are so weak, that he often poses as a threat to the other characters’ safety.

A specific interpersonal communication theory that the film exemplifies really well is uncertainty reduction theory. This theory states that when a person is around someone that they do not know very well, they often feel uncomfortable until getting to know them better. In the film, when Peg first brings Edward into town, many of the women overreact: Peg’s answering machine is full of messages from the concerned women. They trick Peg into agreeing to have a barbecue so that they can be acquainted with Edward. At the barbecue, Edward is constantly being approached by different women, and even some men. They ask him many questions and bring up discussions which are mainly focused around his scissorhands. This is clearly indicative of uncertainty reduction because his scissorhands are a source of discomfort for them, causing them to repeatedly bring them up to Edward.

Another interpersonal communication theory that the film exemplifies really well is in-group and out-group patterns. For example, the women of Peg’s community and...
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