The power of an individual is a struggle for individual independence, which can be seen when controlling influences requires others to listen and obey. The struggle for human independence changes an individual’s personality and how they act towards others. This power struggle is obvious in the verse novel, Muscle, written by Matthew Schreuder (2007). Muscle is set in Western Sydney in a modern day society, focusing on a group of teenagers that race around in “hotted-up” cars heightening their ego. This same portrayal of power is revealed in the action film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), directed by Justin Lin. This film is set in modern day Japan, with high tech cars and adrenaline filled racing. Themes that will be discussed in this essay are; the power of the Individual, Sexual Power / Powerlessness, and the power of Peer-Pressure / the Power of the Group.
In the “Summernats” chapter of Muscle, group power is shown as Nick and his mates travel to Canberra in a
‘convoy of cars’ to watch the Summernats. Schrueder portrays imagery of the cars driving in formation down the road ‘the Camaro streaks ahead first’. This suggests that Sam and the group of boys are looking for an adventure and a good time. ‘Canberra’s streets are a hot haze of cars with foreign licence plates’, confirming plenty of people with customised cars are like the boys, here to boost their egos. This is a clear example of group power in Muscle.
The power of the group is demonstrated in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, when Sean and DK (Drift King) have a disagreement resulting in a race down a mountain, with the loser having to leave town ‘for good’. Here Sean is left with two options, win and stay in Tokyo and regain his individual power, or lose the race and get sent back to America, where he will be sent to a Juvenile detention centre for reckless driving. Sean and DK both have customised cars, similar to the cars driven in Muscle. When racing and...