The desire for power is one we all hold. But what are we ultimately searching for? Respect? Recognition? Fame? Disassociation? The answer is often unclear, but it is one of great interest. In the film “Crash”, several of the characters fall in and out of positions of power. Anthony (a young African American car thief), and Officer John Ryan (a middle aged Caucasian police officer) are perhaps the two most notable. Anthony and John have many similarities that may contribute to their desire for power. They both have arduous, trying ways of making a living. They both have the ability to work and live autonomously. Finally, they both possess symbols that signify power - weapons and the male gender. The desire to acquire and maintain power over others is highlighted through the actions of Anthony and John.
The way in which the two characters attain and maintain their lifestyle differs greatly. Legality may be the foremost of these differences. Where John works as an enforcer of the law, Anthony defies it. The power that is held by authoritative members of society, such as police officers, is strong and often misused. It is not rare to find a “power – tripping” cop, one that is overwhelmed with the position they hold, or an officer that uses their power for their own selfish desires. Power is just as prevalent amongst criminals, whether they exert power over other criminals, or over society. Both Anthony and John, whilst “on the job”, demonstrate a hunger for power. The overruling, belittling and degradation of others are common behaviours for the two. A notable scene is when Officer John Ryan pulls over an African American couple-Cameron Thayer, and his wife Christine Thayer, after witnessing what he believes to be an act of fellatio preformed by Christine on her husband. John and his partner then proceed to physically search the couple for weapons. John’s search of Christine soon becomes sexual assault, possibly motivated...