American Gangster Every country, every society and every limited circle of people has its own rules, traditions, norms, and laws that create acceptable patterns of behavior. It does not matter whether you are at a workplace or in a company of your friends – the restrictions are everywhere. Principles of propriety, standards of behavior and boundaries of decency are used for making order in the human interactions with each other. However, despite strict governmental regulations and severe social directions of specified states, there are always some troublemakers, who are in hurry to violate rules. A lot of scientists have tried to find any explanation of such tendency, analyzing conditions of life and possible incentives that push potential criminals to break the law. There are several theories that show main reasons of deviance. Bright example that illustrates theory on practice is a movie by Ridley Scott named “American Gangster”, which is based on true events about famous in 1960s and 1970s criminal, Frank Lucas.
The film tells a story about offspring of poor black family, who for about fifteen years has served for Bumpy Johnson, playing a role of his bodyguard, assistant, driver and collector. After death of his patron Frank substitutes Mr. Johnson, totally imitating his deeds and behavior. During the war in Vietnam with a help of military plains, using coffins of dead soldiers, Mr. Lucas manages to supply heroin to the United States, eliminating middlemen and selling his product twice as good for half as much. Abruptly Frank liquidates competition and his business gains incredible turns, providing him with opportunity to transfer own family from poverty to luxury.
From the scientific point Frank’s behavior grounds on differential-association theory that attributes a major role of causing deviance to the environment. Hence, working with Bumpy for so many years, Frank has got under influence of criminality that affects his consciousness and world perception. When a person constantly interacts with specific types of interlocutors, he unintentionally obtains habits, thoughts, manners and actions of such people, because everyone is able to fall under somebody’s influence to a larger or less degree. In this respect, Frank Lucas, finding himself in criminal surroundings and being imposed of deviant thinking, chooses a road of felony.
Seeing an example of Mr. Johnson, Frank does not find another way to make himself rich, because he has not been aware about other possible options to achieve his goals. In addition, being born in a poor family, Frank realizes his weak possibility to overcome stereotypes and prejudices of surrounding people and to rise from poverty fairly, earning an honest livelihood. As a representative of the lower social strata, Frank faces a lot of obstacles, which can be easily gotten over with a help of law-breaking. According to the notions of various specialists, there is an evident discrepancy of availability to achieve personal goals for the members of different social classes. Therefore Frank Lucas, comprehending that the road to become solvent with a help of honest methods is closed to him, experiences anomie, which leads to deviance. This is quite predictable due to the criminal situation in the USA that appeared in 1960s, when society was totally corrupted and when police officer’s action of reporting about founded million of dollars was accepted as abnormality.
It is obvious that Frank’s deeds are illegal and can not be justified and acquitted, however, taking into account his background and conditions of life before setting own business, the viewers of the movie may feel compassion to the main hero. It is undoubtedly that Mr. Lucas breaks the law and with active distribution of narcotics causes a lot of deaths especially among youth. However, he expresses sympathy to poor people as we can see it in the episode when Frank dispenses turkeys among population. Also despite his deviant behavior, Frank cherishes loyalty, stating, “The most important in business is honesty, integrity and hard work, family, never forgetting where we came from. See, you are what you are in this world, that’s either one of two things. Either you’re somebody or you’re nobody”.
According to Richie Roberts’ statement about the fact that Frank “represents progress”, it can be concluded that Mr. Lucas has managed to achieve considerable results in a plan to make his life better. It is definite that from the point of morality and law he is considered to be a criminal that should be behind the bars, but from the point of own happiness Frank Lucas is a real fighter for private goals and prosperity.
Works Cited
American Gangster. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Cuba Gooding, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Universal Pictures, 2007. DVD.

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