Faculty of Health Sciences
November 24, 2014
Dr. Tien Nguyen
John Patrick Shanley’s “Joe Versus The Volcano” tells a story of Joe Banks, a man suffering from an incurable disease, given only a few months left to live. With his impending demise in mind, he sets out to live out the rest of his life how he sees fit. The selected clip is from a scene in the film where Banks is told by his doctor, Dr. Ellison, about his terminal disease. Banks walks into the doctor’s office, after being called in repeatedly by the secretary, and sits down to speak about his ailments and possible causes. Ellison then reveals to him …show more content…
At the beginning of the encounter, Banks is anxious to discover the source of his ailments, assuming a submissive role. Ellison strengthens his dominant role as he allows Banks to take guesses at the diagnosis, as if toying with his patient like a game of cat and mouse. When the diagnosis was delivered, Banks attempted to take dominance by claiming that he did not feel well at all despite the terminal illness’ lack of symptoms, attacking the doctor’s diagnosis with skepticism. Ellison returned the submissive role back to Banks by explaining the gravity of the situation, to which Banks settled down and asked “What am I going to do?”. Leary’s model proposes a rule that states that dominant or submissive behaviour stimulates opposite behaviour in others, and the rule suggests that the roles can be reversed if one party chooses to do so. After learning his fate, Dr. Ellison suggests that Joe go on a vacation. Enraged at his lack of options Banks begins to lash out while approaching the doctor’s desk, forcing Ellison to submissively suggest Banks to seek a “second opinion” as if to free himself out of the corner he had been backed into. The scene portrayed a constant power struggle, a form of tug-and-war, between doctor and …show more content…
Banks asked closed questions, searching for short answers for question pertaining his condition (ex. Curability of his disease, length of remaining lifespan), while Ellison asked open questions, attempting to collect thoughts from his patient to provide the appropriate therapeutic and medical care. The encounter also followed the phases of an interview, beginning in the preparation phase. As he sat in the waiting room, Banks seemed to be dreading the diagnosis; being a hypochondriac, he expected the worst. In the initiation phase Ellison made first contact by asking Banks about his current health state, and a little bit of background information. In the exploration phase Ellison informs Banks of his condition a prediction of what his immediate future holds. In the termination phase Banks asks about what his next move should be, to which Ellison closes the interview with a final piece of advice.
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4. Joe versus the volcano [Motion picture]. (2002). United States