Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile Movie: Death, Compassion, Sacrifice

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Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile Movie: Death, Compassion, Sacrifice

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The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont was fundamentally made to show the harm that human beings inflict on others in their society. Its major themes were death, compassion, sacrifice and how these themes link todays society. Green Mile was a term referring to death row in Louisiana State Penintiary, where prisoners were held as they waited for their execution to take place. The movie illustrates the true nature of death penalty, showing how cruel and barbaric it was.

One of the main themes in The Green Mile is death; it is a major theme throughout the whole film. This then leaves the viewers to think deeply about their own fate. It is an obvious theme, considering the film takes place on death row. However, further analysis reveals a deeper meaning than men dying in an electric chair for their crimes. And I think about all of us. Walking our own green mile, each in our own time. Paul said. The viewer discovers that The Green Mile itself is a metaphor for death. Paul compared life on the Green Mile to life for a free citizen, because both lifestyles will end in the same way. Death is unavoidable. For the prisoner as they have a set number of days until their execution, so their Green Mile is relatively short. A free citizen is uncertain about the time of their death, some people never even think about it, like they are going to live forever, but when the day of reckoning comes, both the prisoner and the free citizen face the same fate. Life is uncertain and anything can happen in but death is however not. Hence this is a very powerful theme that is constant throughout the film.

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The theme of compassion is very much a part of the film. One part especially shows this truth. Percy, a prison guard, crushes Eduard “Del” Delacroix’s pet mouse, Mr Jingles, which the prisoner loved more than life itself. This cruel act displays Percy’s extreme lack of compassion and how little he cares about other people. Also, this action blazes they way for another heartless act of ruthlessness. When Percy is scheduled to be the executioner on death row, he deliberately does something wrong. Instead of taking the standard precautions to make death by the electric chair swift and painless, Percy’s mistake makes the death of Eduard Delacroix go slowly and painfully. After causing this death, Percy receives what he deserves and is never seen again. Throughout Percy’s time on the Green Mile he uses his powers of his aunt being high up in the ranks to abuse the prisoners on death row. This shows that he is abusing the prisoner for his own enjoyment and that he has no compassion for others or respect. This then indicates that none of his colleagues and prisoners has compassion and respect for him and shows the type of person Percy is. Some real-life examples would be anyone who volunteers their time or money for another without expecting a reward, just to better another’s life. Some examples are CFS volunteers, people who work at homeless shelters and many more. The compassion not only is a theme throughout the film but in today’s society as well.

The other theme that’s relevant to the film is sacrifice. When a towering black man named John Coffey is sentenced to death by the electric chair, the prison guards assume that he was as guilty as other death row prisoner but later they start to believe that he is being punished for a crime that he did not commit. They learn that John was found holding two dead girls, which thought to have killed them. The truth was that he was trying to use his God-given gift of healing to save the murdered children. The prison guards make it their mission to keep John Coffey from experiencing the death, which so many before had faced. They had a plan for Coffey’s salvation all worked out. Surprisingly, when they asked Coffey if he wanted to escape, he replied that he could not stand all the misery and hate going on in the world, and he wanted to die. This part of the film is a very good example of the theme sacrifices in the film. John Coffey made the ultimate sacrifice for the betterment of mankind. An example of sacrifice from the real world is when Martin Luther King Jr, Sacrificed his life for the advancement of African Americans. While he didn’t knowingly die for the cause, he obviously knew he was putting himself in danger for a cause he cared about, especially with all the death threats coming his way. This is an example that most people can relate to sometime or someone they know.

The film presents the themes of death, compassion and sacrifice. The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont, as a whole is an excellent example of death, compassion and sacrifice because the characters in the film hold these qualities, and their actions affect the outcome of the film. The films themes also relate to our society today.

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