A Critical Analysis Of Oz Essay Research

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A Critical Analysis Of Oz Essay, Research Paper “Inmates of ‘Oz’ are Evil” “Oz” is an eight episode miniseries drama which is shown on HBO Wednesday evenings at ten o’clock. It is necessary to note that since HBO is a cable television network, it is not subject to the same restrictions that are placed upon basic networks. Oz is the nickname for the Oswald Maximum Security Prison. The setting is Emerald City, or “Em City” as referred to by the inmates. The warden is Leo Glynn, and the “Em City” creator and administrator is Tim McManus. The inmates of Oz span every ethnic, religious and social class background. It would take too much to name all of the characters, and there is no main character because the show spends time dealing with each character’s

situation equally, especially since they all intertwine. The inmates are broken up into ten groups by McManus with four inmates in each group so as to even the population. The groups are as follows: bikers, Aryans, Italians, gangsters, Irish, gays, Christians, Latinos, Muslims and “others”. Each groups has one leader as a representative in the “Em City Council” which helps to attempt a community atmosphere within the prison according to McManus’ idea. The population is supposed to reflect real prisons with 70% of inmates who are colored. There is one character that represents the predominantly white-collar viewer, Tobias Beecher, an attorney who is serving a sentence for vehicular manslaughter. He involuntarily hit and killed a young girl on a bicycle. He is in the

“others” grouping. Our reactions to what is going on inside of Oz mirrors his. As the setting and the characters should imply, “Oz” is, on the surface, about the struggles amongst men inside a prison that has representation from almost every group present in our society today. The struggles are not always between the inmates either. The warden, administrator, guards, and even the mayor play a vital role in the unveiling of the creator’s vision. There are a vast majority of underlying themes contained within the plot of “Oz.” Much of our society and its problems are thrown into this small cell block for the world to view at its pleasure. One sub-theme that is present in most of the issues faced within the prison is the question, and presumable answer, of whether or

not man is truly evil. This has been a philosophical question argued for centuries. “Oz” present us with ample evidence for the pro side to this argument. When discussing this question, it’s best to think of man in his primitive state in which he is alone and fending for himself. At this point it is agreed that man does what he has to in order to survive, no matter what it takes. In “Oz,” the inmates are thrown into prison with nothing. Everything they had in the outside world as far as possessions, friends, family, pride and peace of mind is taken away once they enter Em City. In this sense, the inmates can be compared to primitive man. They are thrown into a world where all they have are themselves with their main goal being to survive at any cost. This is when the

evil shows through. No one really cares about anyone. By taking a close look at just the first episode, it is easy to see where the writer is going in terms of portraying this theme of evilness in man and man’s inhumanity to man. The audience mainly sees, and more importantly identifies, with most of the action through the eyes and mind of Tobias Beecher, a white, disbarred lawyer, who is serving a sentence for vehicular manslaughter while driving drunk. The first episode shows Beecher being placed in a cell pod with Adabese, a black muscle-bound thug who belongs to the “gangster” grouping. Each new inmate is placed with an older inmate of the prison in order for them to get some guidance. Beecher receives Dino Ortolani as his sponsor who teaches him little about anything.