The messages and values in The Wicker Man are displayed trough the main character, Sergeant Neil Howie and the inhabitants of Summerisle. As Neil attempts to search for missing girl Rowan Morrison, these values clash and cause great problems for Neil as his beliefs contradict those of the people he is trying to gain information and co-operation from.
It is clear from the opening scene that Neil's opinions and practices will not fit in with that of the islander's. Traditional folk music plays as the soundtrack as Neil flies over the remote Scottish highlands to arrive on the island. A wide shot is used here to show the binary opposites of a plane and the natural beauty of the island. It is made clear to the audience that Neil's modern
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Strict religious values weren't as important and it was beginning to seem old fashioned to believe in sex after marriage. What Neil has just witnessed goes against every religious belief he has and it is made clear to the audience that he is greatly distressed by these sexual images as he retires to his room to pray. Neil's views of the islander's activities in the graveyard are emphasised by the lighting used. The graveyard is dark, representing evil and is contrasted with Neil's bedroom, which is lit using high-lighting and considered holy as it is where he prays. We do, however, see Neil's morals and values being tested. As Neil is trying to get to sleep, Willow (the barmaid) attempts to seduce him. As the camera cuts between the naked woman and a suffering Neil, the audience can see that lust is taking over his religious morals. A wall has become the only barrier between them, as the juxtaposition of their values is being tested. This scene also establishes the film as kailyard as Willow is being presented as a mythical creature trying to tempt men. We then see the stark contrast in Willow's values the following morning as she clams that being engaged shouldn't stop you from committing adultery as her low morals are the complete opposite to Neil's belief that you shouldn't' have sex before marriage.
The island's Pagan activities are a great contrast to Neil's traditional Christian values. The warning Neil receives from