“The Village” (2004)
The Village is a film that captures an ancient American social context, which described community organization during the 19th century. M. Night Shyamalan uses community organization in fighting a common enemy in the film, which is achieved in distinct ways. Elders, most importantly, are used as an embodiment of authority in protecting the community from outside attacks (Shyamalan & Shyamalan, 2005). Nevertheless, this discussion aims at analyzing the film by integrating human psychology characters among different characters. Essentially, social agreements – with long-term consequences on human well-being – could cause a psychological change in social behavior among affected people of a given community.
First, it is important to understand the behavioral attributes of the character, Lucius Hunt, who presents psychological viewpoints for this analysis. Lucius is described as a courageous and brave young man who dares to approach the elders for a request (Shyamalan & Shyamalan, 2005). He wants to trespass the village borders and enter the forbidden area in search of medicine for an ailing community member. Lucius lost his father after a strange illness affected the entire village. Community elders, as noted in the film, seem to relate the illness with an agreement, which prohibits villagers from trespassing into the woods.
The death of a loved one could cause devastating social psychology consequences if stress levels are not effectively managed. Lucius, since his father died, has been curious to visit the forbidden area surrounding the Covington where the community resides. In this perspective, the social psychology change in Lucius is motivated by the desire to find the cure of a strange illness, which he fears could wipe out the community if ignored (Katz, 2014). This is to acknowledge that Lucius is ready to save his community despite a legislative barrier consented between the village elders and creatures surrounding the community.
Aside from his father’s death, there are factors that could be associated with the social psychological change as evidenced in Lucius Hunt. For instance, this character seems unconvinced by Ivy’s blindness whenever he visits her homestead. According to the film, Ivy is emotionally attracted to Lucius Hunt, and she claims that there is the presence of a strange color around him (Shyamalan & Shyamalan, 2005). Ivy claims that she sees that color despite her blindness and uses the same line whenever the name Lucius comes up. Nevertheless, Ivy contributes to the social psychological change evidenced in the latter.
When keenly perceived, the influence of Ivy on Lucius’ change contributes significantly to a series of events that adversely affect the Covington community. Most parents experience this change in social behavior among teenagers whenever there is the presence of opposite sex in a social setup (Martínez, et al. 2019). The change manifests itself in different human actions and character traits such as excessive excitement, enhanced self-confidence, or high ego levels. Since Lucius seems to be of this age category, there is a likelihood that his communication with Walker (a village elder and Ivy’s father) is affected by Ivy’s presence. Most importantly, Lucius’ braveness and commitment to saving the community from extinction encourages him to request for permission despite being denied several times.
It is also important to recognize the influence of the human defense mechanism in facilitating individual and community protection. From a psychological point of view, human beings protect themselves uniquely with reference to their respective biological structure. For instance, masculine people use aggression to protect themselves from both physical and emotional attacks. Basing this argument on the film, both Covington and its community members have adopted defense mechanisms that protect the village from attacks of different nature (Shyamalan & Shyamalan, 2005). These include the pact signed between the community and the surrounding creature, which details consequences of trespassing the identified border.
Lucius illustrates a unique defense mechanism, which is intended to protect him from any acts that might diminish his self-confidence and personal worth. Fellow villagers describe him as a strange individual who prefers being alone. However, the community perceives him as a brave person who would use his intellectual capacity to save a situation (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). His defense mechanism could be categorized as non-violent and optimizes on silence in solving conflicts. For instance, Kitty Walker is his rival when it comes to competing for Ivy’s emotional attention. However, Lucius does not involve him in a confrontation as he is focused on getting medical help beyond the forbidden area of Covington borders. As a result, he ends up ignoring Ivy’s quest for emotional attention whenever he visited Walker to seek permission of moving beyond the wood in search of a medical cure for the disease that killed his father.
Social agreements, describing a community’s existence with neighbors, could lead to psychological changes in numerous ways. The Village presents an interesting plot, which captures a social agreement between the elders of Covington, Pennsylvania, and creatures in a surrounding society. This pact subjects the villagers to different psychological changes including mental illnesses and social, behavioral change.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Toward a psychology of optimal experience. In Flow and the foundations of positive psychology (pp. 209-226). Springer, Dordrecht.
Katz, I. (2014). Stigma: A social psychological analysis. Psychology Press.
Martínez, I., Murgui, S., Garcia, O. F., & Garcia, F. (2019). Parenting in the digital era: Protective and risk parenting styles for traditional bullying and cyberbullying victimization. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 84-92.
Shah, S. S., & Verma, R. (2018). A Comparative Study on the Usage of Ego Defense Mechanisms between College Girls and Working and Non-Working Women. International Journal of Indian Psychology, Volume 6, Issue 1,(No. 4), 6, 70.
M. Night Shyamalan (Producer) & M. Night Shyamalan (Director). (2005). The Village 2004 [Motion Pictures]. USA: Touchstone Pictures.