The Village: Types of Norms

Every society has its own norms which are quite different from other groups of people. In M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Village,” mild norms which are commonly called folkways are highly evident due to the setting and restrictions presented in the film.One of the most distinct folkways shown in the film is the gesture of hand-shaking between the people in the village. It is in the form of a congratulatory handshake which is commonly performed as an act of greeting or best wishing. This type of handshake was shown in the wedding night of Kitty Walker and Christop Crane between Edward Walker and the other villagers who were congratulating him. Physical appearance also plays a large part in determining particular folkways in the society of the village. The villagers’ daily clothing is characterized by regular Sunday dresses while the men are equipped with bowler hats and formal suits. It is also noticeable that all the villagers take lunch together everyday which enforces a much united and organized society.

One of the common consequences of not conforming to the society’s folkways is shown when Edward Walker refused to touch Alice Hunt’s hands in the wedding night of Kitty Walker and Christop Crane. Warm handshake is a common gesture in the village which became an issue with regard to Edward not touching Alice. Hunt’s son, Lucius, implied that Edward was in love with her because he never touches her. Lucius conception of Edward’s avoidance of touching his mother shows the consequence of a folkway being ignored. Several notions could arise once a certain folkway is not performed by a member of a society. Folkways are clearly just mild rules of a certain society primarily enforced for the sake of convenience and politeness. It does not always produce serious punishments once ignored, but it brings about a simple form of fulfillment to the members of the group.


  1. The Village. Dir. M. Night Shyamalan. Perf. Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix. United States of America: Touchstone Pictures, 2004.

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The Village: Types of Norms. (2017, Mar 13). Retrieved from