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Sling Blade Paper

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Slingblade Paper

The film Slingblade depicts a mentally challenged man, Karl Childers, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and his trials and tribulations of life. When he comes out of the mental institution he was residing in, he meets a boy named Frank who accepts him as a human being like no one had previously done to him. The whole movie shows how this intricate mentally retarded man; who was domesticated from all his time in the mental house adapts to the outside world. Throughout all the foul judgment and harsh words sent his way, he maintains a certain level of sanity and civilness throughout the madness. The beginning of the movie starts and he tells his tales of his murders. Now what's the first thing you always assume about a murderer? That they are a bad person and took another persons life, and should pay the harsh penalty for it. However, throughout this movie Karl shows how much of a caring and compassionate person he truly is. Any assumptions you had for him at the beginning of the movie can basically be thrown out the window about a half hour into the movie.

The first major test of this movie was the transition from one world to another that Karl has to go through. This transition shows how hard it is to go from an enclosed, tiny world to an unpredictable, giant world where something is always going on around you. Karl first came to terms with the fact that he would have to adapt to this new world when he talked to a reporter in his latter days in the mental institution. He is talking to Woolridge, who runs the mental institution, and he says to him, "I reckon I'm gonna have to get used to looking at pretty people... I reckon I'm gonna have to get used to them looking at me too." This shows he has some recognition of what life outside the box is going to be like, he shows, throughout his mental disabilities that he has comprehension for how he is going to have to adapt to live his new life.

The second major scene which shows him making the transition from one world to another is the scene when he makes friends with the boy. This shows his first adaptation he actually makes outside of the mental institution. He shows that he is capable of leading a normal life despite his mental condition and terrible past. At the beginning of the movie, when you hear that he maliciously murdered two people, you think that he is a terrible and vicious person. This is really the first scene when you find out how caring he truly is. He sees the boy who needs help carrying the laundry home, and offers to give him a hand. This was a great move on his behalf, because he ended up becoming best friends with this boy and even breaking out of character and engaging in a friendly football game with him and his friends. This is something you'd expect from your friendly neighborhood father, not someone who previously committed a double murder. These two scenes are towards the beginning of the movie and are merely foreshadowing to show that Karl is indeed a caring person and can live a meaningful and compassionate life.

The last montage of scenes in the movie where Karl goes around and talks to all the people he cares about is really the icing on the cake. He shows that throughout his life, he has truly done what he thought was best for people he truly cared about. Even if this meant he would have to sit in a padded room for the rest of his life. His first murder he thought he was helping his mother out of a terrible situation that she was in. Even though his mother and father neglected him and made him live in a shack out back, he still cared for his mother enough to come to her defense, or so he thought. He thought she was getting raped by the neighborhood goon, Jesse Dixon.



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