Study Guide

Jaws Society and Class

Society and Class

It goes without saying that the shark isn't the only dangerous force in Jaws. Amity Island's exclusive, tight-knit society is nearly as big a menace to itself as any predator could be. Maybe the shark is the crisis that brings out out the underlying divisiveness that was there all along. Brody vs. Vaughn and the business interests, Hooper vs. Quint, islanders vs. tourists: These all complicate the major task at hand, which is to get rid of the shark and protect the beachgoers.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. What is it about Amity Island that makes its society unique? How do these attributes contribute to the shark problem?
  2. You could say there are only two types of people on Amity: islanders (insiders) and everybody else (outsiders). What do the insiders have in common? What do the outsiders have in common?
  3. Why does the film portray the bounty hunters as bumbling idiots?

Chew on This

Although Chief Brody shows his outsider-ness in many ways throughout the film, he has insider cred by the time the credits roll.

The film is pretty unsympathetic to Mayor Vaughn's concern about the economic survival of the town.

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