Characterization of the Film Sling Blade

Published: 2021-09-30 05:15:04
essay essay

Category: Film, Characterization

Type of paper: Essay

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The scene in Sling Blade which our class watched effectively created characterization for the character known as Carl. To begin the scene, it starts with Carl sitting and listening to a fellow in the same institution. A doctor interrupts his talking and says “there are some people for you to see”. The look on the man interrupted is dumbfounded. I can infer this is because Carl doesn't receive many visitors. This is the author’s first note of characterization. It shows that Carl wasn't a very popular man.
Also throughout the scene there are dimmed lights, which make the audience believe that Carl is a dark person. He killed a man, and he never talks, all daunting characteristics which also contribute to the dark persona Carl seems to be carrying. The doctor continues to talk to Carl with precautions before they enter the interviewing room. He does this by using a tranquil voice and informing Carl “it’s a woman” which makes us question Carl’s character. Carl could be sexist, he might have killed a woman, or the doctor may just be saying this to persuade Carl into going.
The doctor then enters a room with two women, he makes one of them leave, he turns the lights off, and then informs the interviewer that “Carl doesn't like to answer questions”. The detail that the doctor is taking so many reforms to reassure Carl’s satisfaction is rightly acknowledged by the interviewer when she asks what is stopping him from killing again. It also proves that the minor details shown by the doctor are proof that he doesn't believe Carl is ready to leave. This is a massive reflection on Carl’s character, showing that he is like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.



Carl finally enters the room and the audience is able to hear his first words. The transition can be felt by the viewer when the camera focuses in on Carl. His speech is raspy, and he is confined in his posture, fiddling with his hands. This shows low self-esteem which is also conveyed in his interview. He opens up to everyone in the room. He expresses his difficult childhood which creates empathy and pathos within the audience. This is the main transition, when the audience starts to feel sorrow towards the man who grew up in the barn, who was picked on in school, and who was fed “pretty regular”.
The man sounds as if he was being raised as an animal, and yet the way he conveyed his story sounded as if he was complacent with the way his parents raised him. Carl characterized his dad by saying “my father was a hard working man, more than I can say for myself”. This describes Carl as a man with values. This intriguing man, known as Carl, has been characterized by many separate factors. All of which create someone who has great psychological obstacles which can make the average person understand further why Carl committed the crime he did.

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