Theme Of Conformity And Obedience In Cool Hand Luke

1350 Words 6 Pages
Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 film that portrays the experiences of a prisoner who refuses to adhere to the orders given to him in jail. This inmate Luke’s rebellious behaviour is in opposition with the general sense of conformity illustrated by the other prisoners. An individual can choose to conform and be obedient to authority, or to be non-compliant which can result in severe punishment. This paper will examine how conformity and obedience are strictly enforced and how non-conformity is punished in Cool Hand Luke through the social psychological themes of obedience to authority, conformity, and non-conformity. Obedience to authority is a theme that is frequently expressed through the inmates in the film. This is seen through the onerous rules …show more content…
This is due to the many threats issued by those of higher authority in the jail to ensure compliance. For example, the floorwalker, Carl, announced that those who do not comply with a long list of rules, including remembering their number, getting into their bunk before eight, keeping their pants clean, and speaking quietly, will be subject to a night in “the box”. The box is a term used to describe a small, enclosed space that prisoners can be isolated in (Carroll & Rosenberg, 1967).The floorwalker uses the social influence strategy of overtly threatening the prisoners in order to get them to comply with the orders. There are two components or subjects involved the source and the target. The source is Carl, as he is the one threatening the prisoners with the box and his targets, (the people he is attempting to influence) , are the prisoners. Thus, individuals conform due to threats imposed upon them by authority figures (Delamater & Meyers, 2010: 198). Non-conformity is discouraged in this example, since if one decides to reject the rules imposed upon them, they are subject to harsh forms of punishment such as

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