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The Interpersonal Conflict in Television or Film paper

The Interpersonal Conflict in Television or Film paper

Student Name……………………


The Interpersonal Conflict in Television or Film paper

This paper discuss interpersonal conflict that was not handled properly in the movie

Shutter Island by Leonardo Dicaprio 2010 directed by Martin Scorseses. The assessment is based

on the book sections of Bevan and Sole 2014. In section 9.2 the best way to resolve interpersonal

conflict is through collaboration which in the identified episode of the movie shutter island is


Conflict is an “expressed struggle, meaning that one or both parties must communicate

about the conflict in some verbal or nonverbal manner” (Bevan &Sole,2014:Ch.9.2). There are

key issues surrounding interpersonal conflict namely choices affecting each other,

interdependency, incompatible goals, perception that the other is getting in the way of the other

(ibid,Ch.9.2). This is kind of interpersonal conflict is brought clearly in the movie Shutter Island

in the episode between Ted and Dr Cawley. The following is an extract of part of the interpersonal


Teddy: Doctor, we gonna need access to the personal files of everyone here, the
medical staff, the nurses, the guards, the orderlies, everyone who was working
Doctor Cawley: I will take your request under consideration
Teddy: this is not a request doctor, this is a federal facility and a dangerous
prisoner has escaped!
Doctor Cawley: A patient!
Teddy: A patient has escaped now, you will comply or
Dr Cawley: All I can say is I will see what I can do
In the end Dr Cawley does concede to the request of Teddy through accommodation. He simply

allows Teddy to have his way which is an improper way of handling the conflict as shall be seen.

The Interpersonal Conflict in Television or Film paper

The other strategy employed is that of competition. Competition, involves a high concern for

yourself and a low concern for the other party in the conflict (Bevan & Sole, 2014:Sec. 9.2). A

competitive style is evident when an individual engages in aggressive or competitive behavior as

exhibited by Teddy in this case is critical, keen on win-lose orientation, and engages in direct

confrontation (ibid, Ch.9.2). However this does not solve the conflict but simply heightens the


The third strategy in conflict resolution in the episode is compromise, in which there is a

moderate concern both for yourself and for the other person (Bevan, 2014:Ch.9.2). The doctor

allows Teddy his way. The doctor avoids further escalated tension by agreeing to summon the staff

in the evening as well by giving Teddy the green light to join in the search of the escapee.

Nevertheless the best strategy which is missing from the episode is that of collaboration.

This is when one “has a high concern for self and for the other person, you will most likely use

the. When using this style, an individual creates a win-win situation for both parties—one where

both parties feel fully satisfied and support the decision or solution that they have reached” (Bevan,


Finally the episode has revealed defective interpersonal conflict solving strategies namely

competition, accommodation and compromise. Nevertheless the interpersonal conflict could have

been resolved by employing the collaboration method.

The Interpersonal Conflict in Television or Film paper


Bevan, J & Sole, K. Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.)
[Electronic version]. (Retrieved From)