Dead Man Walking


People in society today have changed their feelings towards humanity and
religious practises. This change is seen clearly in the movie “Dead Man
Walking.” The characters go through changes in their view of religion and their
feelings about human morality and humanity towards each other. The characters
of Sister Helen, Matthew, and the victims parents all went through these changes
during the movie for different reasons.

These emotional changes that the characters went through are very common.
Everyone changes their ideals and morals depending on their situation.
Matthew\'s ideals changed because he feared that he was going to die alone.
Sister Helen\'s feelings changed because she saw a side of Matthew that no one
else was able to see. The parents of the victim “Hope” were filled with revenge
because of what Matthew did, not why he did it. The father of the victim “
Walter” was very sympathetic, he understanding of what Matthew was going through.


SISTER HELEN

Sister Helen was very unsure about what she was doing in life. She
became a nun to give back to the community which gave her good Christian morals
and values. By becoming a nun she was able to teach others to respect life and
become more like Jesus (A Son of God). As a child Sister Helen was taught to be
very supportive and to give this support to those who needed her help.

When confronted with Matthew, Sister Helen tries to see the good in him
and show him the respect she believes he deserves. She believes that there is
good in all man and that every person deserves respect. Sister Helen
understands that what Matthew did was wrong, but she also knows that every
person is worth more than their worst act, and that ,“No man deserves to die . .
.”. In Sister Helen\'s mind every man deserves a chance. From insight into her
background and Christian upbringing Sister Helen is able to see and feel for
Matthew as a person and not as an object of “...scum or as a monster...”.

The media\'s understanding and the victims parents understanding is that
Sister Helen believes that Matthew was wronged by the system. They feel like
they have been betrayed by a God\'s messenger (Sister Helen). To them Sister
Helen is on Matthew\'s side by helping him find God. Sister Helen is being torn
apart because she does no want to hurt anyone\'s feelings. She is compassionate
and sympathetic to everyone\'s feelings, but does not mean to hurt any by her
actions of helping a murderer find God.

At the end of the movie Sister Helen wants Matthew to see a face of love
(Hers) not one of hate and resentment (The Victims Parents). This means a lot
to her because she has seen Matthew the person no longer Matthew the monster.
Sister Helen felt compassionate towards Matthew because of the person he had
become through getting to know her and understand what she believed and wanted.

MATTHEW

At the beginning of the movie Matthew is rude and abrupt to Sister Helen
that\'s what happens on death row, “... you start to hate and resent everyone.”
Matthew never thought that he would be visiting with a nun. Soon Matthew trusts
Sister Helen and persuades her to help him by filing a petition not to kill him
by lethal injection. This was a turning point in his attitude in understanding
right and wrong. Matthew thinks that he got screwed by the system that\'s why
he\'s going to die, not because he did something wrong. Matthew never had anyone
that really cared about him except Sister Helen. Matthew was always lonely and
only cared about number one ( Himself ). By talking and sharing with Sister
Helen he starts to understand what he did was wrong.

Matthew\'s mother was asked to pled for his life. This allowed the media
and the parents of the victims to see him as someone\'s child much like their
own, and to explain that he was good boy not a monster. She explained in court
that he had, “...had a hard life but he was a good boy.” Matthew wanted to
protect his mother and not let her see him on trial for what he did. Matthew
wanted to keep his pride by not seeing his mother crying for him. He wanted her
to be happy and to not worry about him. This compassion is crucial to the total
change in ideals and morals that Matthew has now (After knowing Sister Helen).

Matthew was going through a