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Institutionalized

The genre of individualism, INS stories pit the individual against the collective, often with cataclysmic and catastrophic results. Every INS story contains a “group” – a family, an organization, or a business that is unique; a “choice” expressed in an individual’s ongoing conflict with the “system”; and one of three “sacrifices” that must be made: join it, burn it down, or destroy self. INS stories may contain a “Brando” – one who exists solely to reveal the institution’s flaws, a “Naif” – usually one who eventually becomes the hero, and/or a “Company Man” – an automaton entrenched within the system. The Company Man usually suffers from sexual dysfunction or even insanity. INS examples: American Beauty, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, M*A*S*H, Animal House, 9 to 5, Network, Pulp Fiction, The Devil Wears Prada, Wall Street, The Hurt Locker
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