Philosophy & Moral Theories in Movies

Some movies are deeper than watching some actors in a nice story. Some movies like to present certain moral values and philosophies. They may be direct and straight to the point or complex giving the audience some space to figure out the value behind the movie. Either way, writers want to succeed in delivering certain values to their audience, even presenting their philosophies or criticizing some negatives in society.

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Allow me to start with this short story.

A woman went to catch a train; she was well dressed and seemed like a working lady. She had her purse and another bag. When she arrived there, she knew that the train was delayed for some time. So she went to buy a packet of candy, a newspaper, and a book. Then she waited on a bench. A little girl was sitting on the same bench. The girl smiled at the woman who sat down and began to read in the newspaper.

After a while the woman grabbed candy from the packet, the little girl looked at her and smiled. Then the girl took one too. The woman was surprised. Then she took another and the girl smiled and took another one too. The woman became more surprised at how rude is this girl.

Every time the woman took a candy, the girl took one after her and smiled. Each time the girl waited for the woman to take one first. Finally, there was only one left, the girl smiled as if telling the woman “you can take it “. Now the woman became angrier.

When the train arrived, the woman hurried to catch it and the girl looked at her and smiled again. By now the woman was very furious that she did not greet the girl in any way but looked at her with resentment.

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She took her seat on the train, opened her bag to place the newspaper, and pick her book. And what did she find? She found her packet of candy in the bag. She never took it out.

I think this story tells us that everyone must not jump to any conclusion or judge anyone so quickly. This judgment may affect his behavior in a way that he might regret. Do not judge anyone unless you are in his shoe.

IF this advice is told pointedly to anyone, he may not consider it, but when this value is placed in a good story, it can hit the hearts of the audience and begin thinking about it.

It does not say “Be patient “or “Do not judge others “or “be kind to everyone “. It just leaves everyone to think about the value behind the story. Whatever he sees from it, it will be valuable and worth the hard work.

I think that is what movies like “Forest Gump”, “Matrix”, “Green Mill” or “Fight club” depend on. Those movies depend on showing certain moral values and philosophies which are not clearly shown and demonstrated. Those moves depend on presenting some symbols which make us pay close attention. Writers leave a space for the audience to think and choose what is the best value pictured through the movie.

Moral values are certain standards that control one’s behavior; Moral values guide us to know what is right and what is wrong. What is good and what is evil.

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While philosophy is the system of values and beliefs one lives with. It is one’s point of view in life.

Both moral values and philosophies are affected by culture, society, and religion. They are even developed or improved over time.

We can take “Fight Club ” as an example, the most important message of this movie is that if one wants to achieve perfection in his life, He will never be happy since perfection is never possible. This movie is a criticism of the way of life today.

This movie has a certain symbol which is soap. One may think that soap is a symbol for cleaning. That is the philosophy here because everyone must be clean so he could start over again. Also, soap was used in making a bomb. It also shows how anyone has a dark side and his moral values control the appearance of this dark side.

While “Forest Gump” shows how a normal person who knows that he is mentally limited can do so many changes in his life and affects others only by being sincere and true. Knowing one’s capabilities and believing in them is more effective than ignorance or hiding behind a curtain picture that we draw for ourselves.

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

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W. Clement Stone quotes

As for “Green Mill” – It shows how people’s internal peace affects their behavior and attitude. It shows how appearance could be deceiving and not solid enough to judge others especially their hearts. Not every shining metal is gold.

It shows how good men behave and how everything is possible. Although criticized various other aspects, it still gives a value that should be considered.

Finally, those movies and many others although being complex, try to deliver a certain value to their audience or at least open doors for discussion. In both ways, they succeed to put those moral values inside the frame of life again.

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Paperroni. 2021. "Philosophy & Moral Theories in Movies." November 3, 2021. https://paperroni.com/philosophy-and-amp-moral-theories-in-movies/.

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Paperroni. (2021) 'Philosophy & Moral Theories in Movies'. 3 November.

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