Depiction Of Betrayal And Conflict In Literature And Films

Betrayal is no less than a sin. Ranging from treachery to betraying a friend, the act is unacceptable as it violates moral values of the person itself and people around him/her. At some point in life, our vulnerable natures go through circumstances that no one desires. “The one betrayed is often brought to a standstill because the shock is so great. ” In Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, Tally comes across the conflict that challenges her worst fear. Her choice of betraying Shay portrays how in her eyes, beauty is more valuable than friendship. A person’s moral values are at stake when one has to choose between forgiving the sinner or giving them the taste of their own medicine. Such conflicts are evident in “The Knowing” by Abel Tesfaye where the narrator starts an affair with someone other than his partner as a revenge. He’s influenced by people around him. Likewise, weather plays a major role in intensifying the atmosphere of events. In “The Lion King” directed by Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers, Scar disrupts the natural order by murdering Mufasa, results in betraying his brother and tribe. Mufasa’s death brings heavy thunderstorms and drought upon the kingdom. Thus, conflict ensues when characters betray one another for self interest and personal benefits.

Tally a 15 year old girl resides in a dystopian world in which external beauty is held in higher regard than the person’s true self. At age 16, citizens undergo cosmetic surgery to adhere society’s criteria of physical beauty. Westerfeld described them as “pretties” whose lives are free of any worries. Shay reveals that the surgery alters not just their physical appearances but also their minds in order to control what define as ‘pretties”. Shay invites Tally on a voyage to escape the government and spend their lives as their raw self but she refuses. She promises Shay that she would not tell anyone about her rebellious plans. The conflict arises when the government confronts Tally and demands Shay’s location. She’s presented with two options; she either discloses her friend’s location or stays an ugly for the rest of her life. Tally was living her worst nightmare. She was betrayed by her dearest friend Peris, who was a “pretty”. Peris's attitude would make her feel inferior. It would target her insecurities. People value physical appearance more as “it is tied to people’s perceptions of their social status”. However, her greed for physical beauty is immediately exhibited in her decision to assist the government even if she had to betray Shay. She is well familiar with feeling of grief that manifests itself into someone who is betrayed. Instead of being sincere towards Shay, Tally approaches the situation as a self-serving individual, who can go to any extent for her own benefits. However, by the end of the play she confessed her deeds to Shay that “she came to betray her. '

Similar behaviour is illustrated by the protagonist in The knowing. In The Knowing, the narrator is betrayed by his significant other. He tackles the conflict; person vs self and person vs person. Consequently, he decided to seek revenge instead of forgiving his partner. With his mind filled with grief and anger, the narrator occasionally commits adultery to hurt the culprit for violating the foundation of all relationships. Breaking his trust. In the song, he states “the more of you the merrier” bluntly expressing that there are many girls like her out there and he can spend his nights with as many as he wants. Instead of forgiving his partner for being unfaithful, the narrator chooses to give his partner a taste of her own medicine. This is one of the common reactions to betrayal in which the person that is betrayed holds intentions to emotionally hurt their betrayer. Julie Fitness describes that the reason “that motivates betrayed individuals to take revenge on their betrayers? is that revenge helps “even the score” between the two parties” and it also makes the betrayer suffer. More over, the music video consists a lot of imagery and history references to Haile Selassie late King of Ethiopia. Abel explained himself as the descendant of Haile Selassie I. The leader of a country is presumed to be strong both physically and emotionally. Similarly the narrator clarified his emotional state saying that “she probably thought that she’d break his heart she probably thought that she'd make him cry’ but he’s not hurt. The setting of a scene is a key aspect in intensifying reader’s mood and evoking similar feelings as the characters in the story. For example, a rainy day usually portrays a sad and gloomy mood to the text.

In The Lion King, changes in weather are noticeably in-sync with character’s mood. Scar betrayed his brother and the pride in order to gain the throne. His lust of power is dominant over his moral values and ends up killing his own brother, Mufasa, the king. Consequently, this leads Simba to exile himself, leaving Scar as the only heir. As the movie starts, the kingdom is shown to be full of life. Love and prosperity is seen everywhere. Weather is forever pleasant and there’s food for every animal to share. In contrast, while Scar started ruling the land, weather and land conditions start to change drastically. The Kingdom was shook by heavy thunderstorms following a long period of drought. The drought caused half of the species to migrate. Such miserable events, represent how Scar’s betrayal has violated moral values and lead to Mufasa’s death. The movie uses weather to depict character’s mood and the misfortune that occured to the kingdom due to disturbance in the natural order. In addition, it is believed that the drought is caused by Mufasa as he is now “a demigod who acquired supernatural powers that allowed him to control the clouds”.

In many other works, destinations are used as imagery to portray every aspect of the story. For example, in Uglies the New Pretty town is described to have luxurious apartments and mansions. However, the beauty blinds the viewer from the real truth. Pretties are heartless, selfish, numb minded individuals who prefer beauty over mind. When David describes how those who live in the New Pretty Town first see your face ‘and react to symmetry, skin tone, the shape of your eyes. ” he also mentioned that the surgery “program” their minds to react this way. They judge your personality based on these physical traits. This shows how their luxurious and privileged lifestyle influences them and transformed their mental state from normal to self-obsessed individuals.

Winding up, betrayal is one of many human traits that fall on the negative of them the spectrum. The spectrum of moral values. Conflict ensues when characters betray one another for self interest and personal benefits. It is evident how personal needs and wants can dominate our minds and oppress us to commit dreadful deeds like treachery and betraying a friend. In all three presented works, betrayal triggered conflict, negative feelings like revenge and disturbed the mood along with the atmosphere. </p>

10 October 2020
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