This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Scarface and Strain Theory

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


Tony Montana escaped Cuba to achieve the American Dream. But his idea of the American Dream is vastly different from majority of other immigrants. The film has many instances of strain theory.

Strain theory was brought about by Robert K. Merton back in the 1930’s. He theorized that crime happens because of the societal pressure put onto individuals that do not necessarily have the means to do achieve their goals.

Tony Montana came to America with one thing in mind: making it to the big time. Starting out with a murder to get himself the green card required for entry, it was clear that Montana was willing to do anything to get himself to the top. He works his way up the food chain throughout the film, and eventually becomes the biggest drug lord in the state of Florida. But, all of the pressure from his colleagues, the police, and his own paranoia eventually gets the better of him. In the end, all the pressure on him signals his downfall, a truly legendary scene.

The first instances of strain theory is when Tony and his friend are in the refugee camp. He was asked to do a favor by killing somebody within the camp, and in exchange he would be guaranteed a green card. Tony took the opportunity to defy the social norms because he did not have the means to obtain a green card by himself.

Another example of strain theory is when Tony and his friend Manny go to kill his former boss, Frank Lopez. Granted, Tony did have an excuse to kill him, as Frank sent assassins to kill him in the previous scene. Yet, Tony used the opportunity to get higher up on the food chain and defied social norms even further.

Another example that has less to do with Tony’s American Dream is the way he handled the situation between Gina Montana and Manny. Tony was extremely protective of his kid sister, even from his own friend. Tony went beyond social norms with killing Manny on the spot for being in a relationship with his sister. Tony defied social norms because most people do not kill their sister’s romantic interests with circumstances such as these. Early in the movie, when Tony was in the large tub, he said ‘I don’t need him,’ he was referring to his friend Manny. It could be related to the killing of Manny, where Tony still believes he does not need him to achieve his goals and kills him over something that should not have escalated to that level.

Scarface is a great example of Strain Theory. He was willing to do anything to achieve and get what he wanted. From killing one person in a refugee camp, to killing his longtime friend, he defied the norms set by society.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Scarface and Strain Theory. (2019, Jun 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from
“Scarface and Strain Theory.” GradesFixer, 27 Jun. 2019,
Scarface and Strain Theory. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Dec. 2022].
Scarface and Strain Theory [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jun 27 [cited 2022 Dec 1]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    Get expert help for your assignment!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Get your paper order now