A Critique on ‘Dogville’


Somewhere out there, a small town has an unwelcome, suspicious visitor. Grace’s arrival gives the township of Dogville the uneasiness that which they never had before. This beautiful stranger is on the run from a team of gangsters. The town, with the help of Tom’s persuasion, reluctantly agrees to keep and hide her. But the town wouldn’t just accept Grace without anything in return. Grace accepted the deal that she will be working for all the citizens of the town.

The search of the team of gangsters has reached the quiet town. The risk of keeping Grace got higher for the people of Dogville and thus their demands on Grace got higher as well. Now, Grace is starting to see what kind of people they really are. But she herself has her own secret, the kind that no one in Dogville would have expected of her. And such ignorance may just cost the whole town its tranquility or even worse its existence.

Issues foregrounded:

The movie is about a lot of things and incredibly a profound one. But the parts nearest to me are probably how fragile human morality and how it is easily corrupted, how justice eliminates evil, the showing of humanity’s dark side and how an innocent compassion can turn into the very reason why it prosecutes.


Man by order of nature is the highest form of being. We, humans, are supposed to be the most intellectually capable animal. We have the capability of understanding matters that none in the animal kingdom could equal. We are the only animal that can think beyond the stars and the universe. Our mind is simply limitless and our capability to think is infinite. And yet, even with our unique gift, we still can’t a full grasp of our emotions.

Emotions, though not limited to humans only, are proof that it is never always only abut our ability to think. Our ability to feel is just as important if not more important. Human emotions however are just as complex as us, humans, either.

Our character that which other people perceive of you is the very manifestation of our capability to control our emotions. If you have full control of your emotions, you understand yourself very much. Therefore, your reasoning and level of rationality are high. Thus, it is just natural that you become better of a person. Or is it?

The nature of man wanting and needing to be free is a desiring emotion that lives in the deepest of his soul. In the past, many had been deprived of freedom. One would ask, ‘Didn’t they have a choice?’ Perhaps they were put in a very difficult situation in which it seemed hopeless to get out. They probably just succumbed to such hopelessness and remained unfree instead. Death they might have thought was rather a better option.

But many too have fought hard to be free eventhough they knew it was losing battle anyway. It didn’t matter to them if they lost. What mattered was that they tried to fight for their right to be free.

Justice may not have been seen by those who didn’t try and those who did but lost, but it will surely be given to them in one way or another. One must not think that justice should come or be given immediately. One must understand that for justice to be given accordingly, it must take its time before it is presented. Only then that justice is met without violating the natural process.

Justice is conscience. It is not personal conscience but rather the whole of humanity’s. If one recognizes the voice of his own conscience, he also recognizes the voice of justice.

Conscience is another unique quality of human beings. It is the motivation deriving directly and logically from ethical and or moral principles that governs a person’s thoughts and actions. It is common to all men. This particular attribute of humans, though I may not be sure if it is exclusive to humans, is I believe that voice inside of us that speaks to us all the time perhaps to guide us and tell us that everytime we do bad thing(s), it warns us that somewhere unknowable is watching. Conscience is our inner god. Therefore, we should always think twice before we commit such.

Human morality is fragile. It can be easily corrupted. There are two sides of it. One is the quality of being in accord with standards of right ad good conduct. Second is the ignorance that comes along with it. The latter can be the very root of evil. For no one to know the truth is a sin itself.

One can be good but at the same time he shouldn’t be ignorant either. People could really corrupt you. And your ignorance will be their justification for doing it. Instead of making justice eliminates evil, it is evil that eliminates the essence of justice.

Trusting is another weakness of man and is usually attributed to ignorance. Man can be very trusting. Actually, man should be trusting but he also reserves the right to doubt. Doubting is not a sin. It is a protective measure. It is part of the formation of trust. Once you get rid of your doubt, trust is formed and it is usually long-lived.

Imagine if you would be put in a situation where there are no freedom, justice and trusting. How would one behave and react to such nature? Man has many means in which to deal with this kind of predicament. But these means are more of a manifestation of his emotional stability and intellectual efficiency.

Humans have the qualities of the best and the worst intellectually and emotionally.

Man is not and will never be like animals. The difference between the two is that we humans can choose with all our intentions to be cruel to them but never the other way around. This tendency is one of many traits that man has that proves how dark we can all become.

Our actions affect other people. And I can still remember someone told me that, ‘Our existence hurts other people. That’s why we should do good things to them.’ Good deeds beget good consequences like gratituity, compassion and in the process trust is returned, bonds are formed and human morality is strengthened.


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