The Many Faces of Anger

  • Anger is an emotion that has many faces. There is the anger that is righteous and needs to be expressed for the benefit of society and personal health.
  • There is also the volatile emotion of suppressed anger which is ultimately expressed in many inappropriate ways in personal and social interactions and can become a dangerous use of anger.
  • The movies I am discussing this month are about anger and its manifestation in many and complex forms.

Recently we saw the expression of long held anger by large numbers of people of different ethnicity explode in our country. When anger is suppressed for long periods of time, the lack of justice will lead to the righteous explosion of anger. This anger was expressed last month on our streets and for the most part non-violently and may ultimately end up making long delayed and welcome changes in the way our police departments do their work and will ultimately lead to more democracy not only for black people whose rights have long been marginal, but for more protections of the rights of all of us.

Societal anger against injustice is only one side of human anger.

To be human is to want recognition and justice whether we are a racial minority, a women, a gay person or a trans-sexual. This is a just and human struggle which is the end result of many centuries and in many countries of the fight for human rights for all. Why is this so difficult and why is this taking so long to achieve? This is a world struggle that has gone on for centuries. It is a continuing struggle for just rights against people with unusual wealth and power and people with vested interests who do not want their world to change. Change is however inevitable. The more we learn and grow and develop as a civilized society, the more the world will change. That will be the challenge and the struggle for us now and for future generations. We all must learn how to live with change for the benefit of all.

Societal anger against injustice is only one side of human anger. There is the personal anger that all of us may feel when our lives and dreams are unfulfilled. In 2020 we are fortunate that we have therapists to help us learn how to cope with the complexity of modern relationships and modern living.

There is also the more dangerous manifestation of anger which is repressed anger. That is the anger we feel about our lives from which we try to escape with drugs, or liquor or violence against others. It can become hatred against someone different and it can also become domestic violence. It is hard to fix because the people who displace their anger in this way often will not get the professional help they need to heal themselves. Anger used well against injustice is a benefit to humanity, but anger displaced can make us ill both personally and as a society and needs to be addressed and treated and healed.


The Offence, starring Sean Connery (1973).

The Offense with Sean Connery– A Movie about Displaced Anger

Thapped— An Indian-Hindi Movie About Domestic Abuse

This month I saw two movies which showed how anger can damage human lives.

The first was The Offence with Sean Connery. It was an emotionally charged movie about a police detective in a position of power who uses the destructive power of his personal anger (which becomes violent and dangerous abuse) against the outside world.

The second movie Thappad (translation–The Slap) a 2020 Indian- Hindi drama film directed by Anubhav Sinha and produced by him and Bhushan Kumar is an Indian-Hindi movie about upper class society in India and what one woman does when she is slapped by her husband for the first time in their marriage. It is about the subtle and not so subtle abuse endured by many woman not only in India, but elsewhere in the world. It explores man-woman relationships and what all women of any country women really want. –to be treated with respect as human beings.

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June Stepansky

June Stepansky is a published writer and poet who writes books and articles about happiness, self-improvement and social and political issues. Free books by June Stepansky A Different Voice—free self-help book Kaleidoscope—free poetry book

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