Study Guide

Jaws The Supernatural

The Supernatural

Jaws is, among other things, a classic monster movie. Almost from the first frame of the movie, the audience knows that the shark is more than just a shark (although it takes the film's characters some time to realize that). There's something sinister, mythic, monstrous, and even demonic about this animal. It's not behaving the way other animals behave. It's too big, too strong, too fast, and it seems invincible as it absorbs hooks, bullets, and harpoons. It's so smart and so relentless that it seems to have a will beyond just mindless instinct. Does it feel more than just hunger? Is there anger? Vengeance, even? One thing's for sure: This is no ordinary fish.

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. Is it just us, or does Quint's death scene have a sacrificial, otherworldly feel to it?
  2. Do you think the "shark's-eye view" camera angle (underwater, looking up at succulent swimmers) makes the shark seem more unearthly or more like an animal?
  3. Not much is actually said to explicitly suggest that the shark is supernatural. Can you think of any visual cues that this thing is not of this earth?

Chew on This

What appears to be otherworldly behavior is just instinctive sharky behavior that humans just don't understand.

Jaws is totes a Christian allegory in which the Holy Trinity—Brody, Hooper, and Quint—battle and ultimately defeat the shark, i.e., the devil.

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