The Life of David Gale

1376 words 6 pages
Moi Gonzalez
Lynnette Beers-McCormick
English 103
July 3, 2013
“No Lifeguard on Duty”
Capital Punishment is when a person is put to death for a crime they committed. While most americans continue to support execution, there is always the few who are against it. One of the main arguments against capital punishment is that someone can wrongfully be charged for a crime they did not commit and then wrongfully have their life taken away. In the film, The Life of David Gale, the director, Alan Parker, tells of the story of a man who is sentenced to capital punishment for a crime, which he makes the audience believe, did not commit. With its over-reliance on pathos, its weak use of logos, and its tricky use of symbolism, the film
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This can also frustrate the audience and make them feel as if every wrongfully convicted person is going through the same withdraws as David. Having the audience feel that way because of the correct use of pathos persuades them into siding with David.
Symbolism, which represents concepts or ideas, was also used in the film. There is a scene where David is staying at a motel and he is trying to contact his wife and son on the phone. The scene shows David being frustrated on the phone, and while in the same scene, it is cutting to a sign at the pool from the motel reading, “No lifeguard on duty”. The pool has no water, instead it is filled with mud. There are kids jumping up and down on the mud and in their faces you can see the joy and excitement they are having while jumping on the muddy pool mess. This scene is a great use of symbolism because it mirrors David’s life at that moment. David represents the mud in the pool, the kids represent the court system that wrongfully accused him of rape. He is so belittled by the court and with no job or family he feels like mud on the floor with everyone stepping all over him. Then there is the sign, which represents there is nobody around that can save him while he is drowning deeper. The concepts used in that scene are very powerful in a more exaggerated point of view. Another example of symbolism used in the film is with David’s son. His son gave


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