The Green Mile

Topics: Death Penalty, Electric chair, Émile Durkheim Pages: 3 (1021 words) Published: November 1, 2012
“The Green Mile”

Lacie Conner
Grayson Community College
Sociology 13 27 October 2012

In the movie The Green Mile there are 3 different sociological theories and concepts that are useful in considering how societies look at behaviors in life within the time and place. One theory you will see is that Emile Durkheim known as the functionalist applies throughout the movie. Terms that you will see in this movie include: conflict theory which is a theoretical framework that views society as an unequal system that brings about conflict and change. (pg. 8) Also you will see alienation which refers to a person of powerless, meaningless, and general criticism toward the political process. (pg 259) Lastly you will see segregation which is forced separation because of factors such as race, gender, or ethnicity. (pg 183) The story of this movie is about the execution of John Coffey, a wrongly accused man who has a gift that allows him to heal the wounded and sick. It is called The Green Mile because the floor that went to the execution chair was green. A guard named Paul becomes close to John and realizes the true moral of the story.

The conflict theory is a theoretical framework that views society as an unequal system that brings about conflict and change. John Coffey endures this through the whole movie. Just because he is black he was accused of killing the two little girls without anyone even questioning it or looking to see if someone else might have been to blame. Was he guilty or not? Not one person tried to find out if he had even done it or not. Yes, when they found him he was holding the girls but they didn’t even ask what happened, they just sent him to prison. He was called horrible names for being black by the people who lived in the town and he never got a chance to defend himself. Along with all of this he had a never ending struggle between life and death. John Coffey may have held the status as “wise fool” yet he...
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