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Dead Man Walking (Senior Year Essay Catholic School Report)

544 words - 3 pages

December 17, 2010
What scene or image from the film stood out to you? Why?

The film Dead Man Walking is a very powerful motion picture, one that captures the most natural and deep aspects of the human spirit. Throughout this film there are many powerful scenes. What is most powerful about this film is its ability to evoke thoughts of love and sympathy, for both innocent people and savage killers. Sister Helen exemplifies what it means to be a caring individual throughout this film, and Matthew Poncelet shows why even humans who have done the gravest wrongs are still capable of change, and deserve their dignity. Of all the scenes in Dead Man Walking, the most powerful is the resolution to the film’s conflict, the ...view middle of the document...

Sister tells him that the truth has set him free. At this point, the emotional power this scene carries begin. A man, though about to die, has found comfort in what a nun has preached to him. He has taken faith on the way to his death. The next dramatic part of this scene is when the curtain to the execution room is lifted, and Matthew is elevated on his execution bed. He proceeds to say his last words. Matthew tells Mr. Delacroix that he is sorry for what he has done to his son, and says he wants to leave the world with his heart free of hatred. He then tells Mr. and Mrs. Percy that he hopes his death will bring them relief. Finally, he closes his last speech by saying that he believes killing is wrong, whether he is committing it or they are committing it. He is then lowered, and prepares to die. Matthew then looks at Sister Helen and tells her that he loves her, and she responds by saying the same. As the poisonous chemicals are sent into Matthew’s bloodstream, he thinks of the murder and rape he committed. A true change of character can be scene. Just in flashbacks, a change can be seen from savage, hateful, untamed behavior to a calm, humble, remorseful, loving complexion. This contributes to the emotionality of the scene.
An ending that shows a change of character, remorseful last words, love and forgiveness, and the strength of the human character makes it the most powerful scene of Dead Man Walking. Most remarkable in the execution scene is the strength of Matthew. His faith and ability to change and humble himself demonstrate true strength. This film shows why life must always be respected, because even the worst of all human beings are capable of reform, and that human dignity must always be respected.

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