Conflict In Jaws

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The novel and film Jaws both focus on the story set forth by a rogue shark disturbing the peace of Amity Island. Peter Benchley, author of the novel, describes the great fish as a self preserver who obeys its own instincts to survive. The protagonist introduced in both contexts, Chief Martin Brody, is faced to save the island from the “malevolent” shark. Outside of the external conflict of nature that Chief Brody has to face, he struggles to overturn the efforts of the mayor and islanders to keep the beach open. Through the direct and indirect characterization of Brody it is clear that Jaws is more than a story about a shark eating monster terrorizing a peaceful island. This is seen when looking through the conflicts that Chief Brody must…show more content…
The story focuses on the conflicts Chief Brody must face in an Island that he calls home, but does not belong in. Martin Brody who has been working as the chief of police yearns to be accepted into the community. Alienated with a fear of water causes a huge hindrance in Chief Brody’s job. Even though Chief Brody is aware of his importance and states, “ Unofficially, I figure it is my responsibility to keep the people who live here as safe as I can, and at the moment it is my judgement that means closing the beaches for a couple of days” (Benchley 11). His constant anxiety of the water causes Brody to feel less of himself and as result lets the mayor step over him. Aware that Brody has a responsibility and duty in Amity island, he lets Mayor Vaughan gain control and power over him by keeping the beaches open. Brody acknowledges that the only way for him to gain acceptance is to get rid of the shark and face his biggest fear. As a result, Brody seeks help from Quint, a fish hunter, and together with the help of Hooper, they set out to find the great white shark. Ultimately, the shark dies of anoxia and Brody swims back to shore as the hero of the island ( Benchley…show more content…
The major theme man versus man is seen throughout the novel by Brody who has to face the efforts of the mayor. Even though the best solution is to clearly close down the beach; Mayor Vaughan consistently refuses to shut down the beach for longer than a 24 hour period. In the film, Mayor Vaughan convinces the most powerful elected official to lie about the accident report concerning the first shark attack. The coroner states the accident was caused by a boat and it is an exaggeration to close down the beach (Jaws). Through this, it is clear that Mayor Vaughan has a tremendous amount of power not only over Chief Brody, but Amity Island as a whole. The major theme man versus society is also seen throughout the film. Brody desires to be accepted into the Amity Island community, however; Amity Island is its own culture of islanders that are only accepting of themselves. Even though Brody has been living in Amity Island for years, the islanders have always seen him as an outsider. This is seen when looking at the scene when Ellen, Brody’s wife, questions when her and her family can call themselves “islanders”. The evident response from Brody was never (Jaws)! The major theme man versus himself is also seen throughout the novel. In the beginning of the story, Chief Brody states that he could not remember the last time he ever went swimming and was not sure whether he still
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