Sleeping with the Enemy

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SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY ESSAY
The movie Sleeping with the Enemy seems like a perfect movie for a family violence class. The movie illustrated many of the emotions and situations that are consistent with family or domestic violence. Many people think that family violence only occurs among poor, troubled families that have many problems and stress. This is not always the case. Even a successful, seemingly mild mannered person such as Laura Burney's husband in this movie can be obsessive and abuse. At the beginning of the movie, Mr. Burney seemed caring, but with a hint of obsession. He was always looking for his wife and everything she was involved in. As the movie went on, we realize that he also has an obsession with material things such as placement of towels and canned foods. Mr. Burney then shows us his violent side when he jealously accuses Laura or having the neighbor doctor over and having watched him from the house. He then physically abuses her in a fit of uncontrollable rage. After the abuse, he follows a pattern consistent with the cycle of violence we have spoken about in class. He makes up with Laura by buying gifts and flowers, and then everything is calm again. It is obvious that Laura fears her husband and is submissive to him in every way so as to avoid confrontation. His obsession is further realized when they have a discussion about a late dinner six months ago, due to her mother's death. At this time, there was mention of a previous beating. Many times abused spouses will tolerate their situation and are afraid of change. In this movie, Laura had planned escaping her husband for a long time by taking swimming classes and making a plan. She decided to end the relationship by faking her death because she knew that her husband would not let her get away. After Mr. Burney discovers that Laura had taken swimming lessons and found her ring, he entered a demented stage and was determined find her and ensure that nobody else could be with her....
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