Unforgiven (1992)

370 Words2 Pages
In what ways is unforgiven generically unconventional? Unforgiven is generically unconventional in that, what would be illegal practices in today’s society are portrayed as a norm – namely prostitution, physical punishment and premeditated homicide. This becomes apparent in the use of conversation following the opening scene, where punishment is planned for the cowboys. The prostitutes are treated as objects by the bar man, who insists that they are ‘damaged property’. He also points out that no one ‘is going to want to pay money for cut-up whore’ – as in, in his eyes, the woman is now incompetent for superficial reasons. Alice dismisses these disrespectful statements, hardened by her way of life. Instead of the cowboys being imprisoned, they are planned to be subjected to a whipping, which Little Bill feels is an adequate punishment. This punishment could be seen as both an adequate deterrent and fair; however, the morality of this as a formal punishment is subjective. Instead, the cowboys are fined. This is seen as inadequate justice by the women of the brothel, who avenge by hiring two cowboys to murder the two men, despite one of the men seeking forgiveness for his unjust actions. Surely premeditated homicide is a more immoral crime than the unjust physical violence that was inflicted by the man. The ways of life depicted in unforgiven show how their society could be considered unconventional – their society is different from what is generally accepted in ours. However, due to how different their way of life is, these norms could be considered just. In choosing to break with convention, what has Clint Eastwood achieved? By breaking with convention, Clint Eastwood has depicted another, hardened, way of life. The scenes in this film challenge the perception of the viewer, allowing the viewer to possibly empathize with the characters on the

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