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Negative Expectations And The Film While You Were Sleeping

.. with other Christians. The family needs to realize this and then make a decision to be regular goers or not. Society plays a part in the expectations put upon people as well. Through television, newspapers, magazines and movies people are simplified and reduced to a few traits. When people think of a certain type of person they imply the traits seen in society and base there judgments accordingly (Cooper 17).

Men are seen as hard working, unemotional, savage and dominating. While the stereotypical woman is emotional, refined, detailed and submissive. In school, young women are often limited to domestic training while men study in the areas of math and science. This perpetuates gender roles and stereotypes rather than allowing young people to explore new opportunities (Youth Sourcebook 1). Sexism, gender roles and stereotypes are all reactions to negative social expectations. In the film, Lucy plays to several stereotypes; her relationship with her cat illustrates the stereotype that single females turn to pets for companionship.

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In addition, Lucy plays the gender role of being the helpless girl that cannot make decisions for her. Throughout the movie, she asks her co-workers for help. Further, she is told what to do by Sam, regarding the proper time and way of telling the truth to the family. The impact of societys expectations expands into different areas other then gender. A social statute is also an area where society has expectations. Certain occupations receive praise and are envied, while others that are least equal are looked down upon. Society would not function without garbage workers, tollbooth operators, sub-way attendants and many other jobs.

Theses jobs are long, boring and require hard work and skill. Yet, they receive little praise and respect. In a scene from While You Were Sleeping, Lucy buys a hot dog everyday from the same vender. The vender, however, never remembers the she condiments she gets, he also forgets the small talk that they share. Nevertheless, when her boss, Jerry, asks for a usual hot dog the vender knows exactly what he gets. Society holds Jerry up because he is in charge of more people and has greater responsibility then Lucy even though Jerry works comfortable hours, has holidays off and is paid better.

While both jobs are needed, it is an unfair and negative expectation that implies that bosses deserve greater respect and acknowledgement then common workers. Perhaps the greatest and most common negative expectations are the ones that are given by our peers. The expectations from others can be from one person or from a group. People can form expectations that are to demanding or not demanding enough, that help both, parities or that are selfish. Expectations become negative when the person invoking the expectations forces the idea on the unwilling person (Bently 76).

When a person expects someone to live up to a certain standard instead of accepting him or her for who they are is wrong, and can become detrimental to the person being imposed upon. In the film, Sam expects people to carry out a task for him so that things can run smoothly. Sam is closely attached to the Callaghan family so he does not want to see them hurt. When he finds out that Lucy is not really Peters fiance, he tells Lucy to play along. His reasoning is that the family would be hurt severely by the truth so Lucy must not tell anyone what really happened.

By doing this he is asking Lucy to give up her life and be deceitful by pretending to be something she is not. All this so a family can feel better for a brief time before the truth is eventually found out. Sams expectation of Lucy is negative because he is only concerned with himself and his familys current wants, not for Lucys. Later in the film, once Peter wakes up form his coma, Sam talks to him about his expectation for him and Lucy. Sam tells Peter that she is the best thing for him and even calls him a putz if he does not marry her right away.

After hearing this talk Peter proposes to Lucy and they plan a wedding even though neither of them truly want to. Sams expectations of others caused lies and hardship and could have yielded a marriage between to people that never knew or even loved each other. The expectations of the Callaghan family on Lucy also proved to be strenuous. Lucy is given a guilt trip to show up at family events. When she explains the situation to her boss.

Her boss says You dont join them (a family) like you do the Marines (While You Were Sleeping). But this is what they wanted. They expected Lucy to become a part of their family and were intent on making this expectation a reality. The Callaghan family also rushes the marriage, they do not wait for Lucy and Peter to chose a date but they decide on having the wedding as soon as possible. Negative expectations enclose us everyday. They drive us to react and believe in things we would normally not.

The film While You Were Sleeping displays these expectations in the story of Lucy Moderatz. Negative expectations are in our traditions, society, our peers and ourselves. Bibliography Works Cited Bently, Joseph C. The Counselors Role. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968.

Cameron, John. An American Tradition. Newsweek 21 Mar. 1992: 57-58. Cooper, Harris M.

and Thomas L. Good. Pygmalion Grows Up: Studies in the Expectation Communication Process. New York: Longman, 1983. Merton, R. K.

The Self-fulfilling Prophecy. Antioch Review. 8 (1948) 193-210. Stotland, Ezra. The Psychology of Hope. San Francisco, 1969.

Talbot, Edward and Robert White. Some Aspects of Self-conception and Role Demand in a Therapeutic Community. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 63.2 (1994) 338-345. While You Were Sleeping.

Dir. Jon Turteltaub. With Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher and Peter Boyle. Caravan Pictures, 1995. 103 minutes.

Youth Sourcebook on Sustainable Development. Winnipeg: IISD, 1995. Online. Internet. http://iisd.ca/youth/ysbk058.htm. Sociology Essays.

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