"In a world like this"-response to the film Seven

“It’s dismissive to call him a lunatic.”  This line along with the title of this post really struck a cord with me in this film.  Our prompt in our class forum asks: What makes a person’s actions “evil” or “psychotic?”  What’s the real difference between insane and sane?  So, I’d like to open that up more here.  

John Doe feels justified in what he’s doing.  He is on a mission to remind and expose the evils in the world one heinous sin at a time.  Morgan Freeman’s character confesses his fear of being a father and “bringing up a child in a world like this” early in the film.  I think that definitely sets the tone for the whole story.  Doe sees the evil in the world and clearly feels that it needs to be exposed and punished.  Needless to say that is an extremely dangerous motive.  Throughout history he have stories of people acting under the instructions of their God or for a higher purpose.  Why is it we are more willing to accept their stories if they happened in ancient writing and not now?  Is it just hindsight that allows us to accept their stories.  If John Doe really existed in our world, how would he be viewed in 5, 10, 50, or 100 years.  History books are written by the victors.  With the information written now about Bundy and others, I don’t see how they could ever be seen as anything other than evil.  But when you have a person like Doe who views himself as a preacher, would people in the future ever see him as anything other than a killer?  I can’t even begin to answer this because it all depends on what values society will hold.  George Washington is a hero to the USA but was viewed as a rebel and criminal to the English in the 1700s.  But how do they view him now if at all?

2 thoughts on “"In a world like this"-response to the film Seven”

  1. If we could somehow get an unbiased, fact-only, telling of world history, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what stories change? You brought up a good point about Washington, and how history is written by the victors. I wonder how many stories get covered up or changed before they are put in the books.

  2. The thing about those who are looked up to is that they usually promise something good. In victory, Washington promised freedom. In believing in the Bible, followers are promised salvation. John Doe didn’t really promise anything. He just wanted to prove a point, right? He almost serves as a terrorist–don’t sin or he’ll torture you to death. I don’t know, that might be a differentiation.

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