American Beauty Film Analysis
The film American Beauty was a complex story of a “traditional American family” as seen by the media. The intriguing part of the film was that it showed what happens behind the doors of a “typical American family” or a family that put on a persona of a typical family. The Family Crucible written family psychiatrist Augustus Y. Napier, PhD, with Carl Whitaker, M.D. it tells a story of an American family who initially seeks counseling because of the abnormal and rebellious behavior of their adolescent daughter. The family in the book seeks family therapy only after individual therapy for the adolescent daughter seemed to fail in solving the behavioral issues the family was dealing with from the adolescent daughter. Many aspects of family dynamics were drawn to the surface both in the film about the Burnham family and the book about the Brice family. The three family dynamics or principles that were common and most pertinent to both families were triangulation, scapegoating, and lack of communication due to stress. Both the film, American Beauty and the book, The Family Crucible will demonstrate all three of these principles multiple times throughout their unique stories.
Triangulation as a principle of family dynamics is defined as a two people using a third person in their emotional, physical, and or psychological communication either by rejecting or accepting this third party or person as in the case of the families into their arguments or ideas. Both families demonstrate examples of triangulation under different circumstances. One of the most obvious examples of triangulation in the Brice family is the role of Mrs. Brice’s mother. Her mother is the one she talks to about everything including issues that should most likely be discussed with Mr. Brice as they are regarding their marital relationship and the role of the mother getting involved seems to make matters worse or even issues that would normally be a conversation...
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