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    Relationships in Over the Hedge Essay

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    Interpersonal Communication is defined as the theory that claims people make relationship decisions based upon comparing cost and rewards. In the movie “Over the Hedge,” the raccoon, RJ, started his relationship with the other animals because he needed them. RJ tried to gain the trust of the animals by introducing them to ideas and food that they knew nothing of. Although Verne, the turtle was skeptical, RJ’s “know it all” and new and innovative ideas had an appeal to the other animals. In the beginning, RJ weighed his cost and rewards.

    He saw a relationship with the other animals would be beneficial to his cause. RJ had to have a wagon filled with food within one week to repay a bear that he had tried to steal from. He knew that the only way that he could fulfill this order is if he had the help of others. On the other hand, the other animals weighed their cost and reward as well. They saw that RJ knew how to get food. His ideas would help them fill up their winter storage within one week instead of the 200 plus days that it usually took them. Verne saw that a relationship with RJ wasn’t beneficial.

    He saw that he was just using them and that a relationship with him would bring harm to the “family”. For example, in the beginning, when Verne was sent to see what it was like “over the hedge” he came back and told the “family” a big tale. Meanwhile, RJ was up in the tree listening. He was probably weighing his cost and rewards because after this he decided to introduce himself to the family. He had already decided that he would benefit from a relationship with the animal. The animals also saw a reward in a relationship with RJ because he could help they get food.

    A unit made up of any number of persons who live or have lived in a relationship with one another over time in a common living space who are usually but not always , united by marriage or kinship is defined as a family. The characters, Verne, Hammy, Stella, Ozzie, Vincent, Lou and Penny lived together as an extended family. Although they are not related by blood, they are defined as a family because they share the same living space. They even collect food for winter hibernation together. The family has a high level of investment, commitment and trust they are dependent on one another and make decisions together.

    An example of this is when the animals (not Verne) had decided that they would invite RJ to become part of the family (the first time). They had salvaged a baby car seat that doubled as a chair, a remote control and hotwired some cables. This was a gesture to let him know that they were welcoming him into the family. The family’s ability to modify or change is adaptability. For the most part, the family is very adaptable, well not Verne in the beginning. The family was open to the new ideas that RJ was introducing to them. Verne was very skeptical in the beginning.

    In my opinion the family was cohesive in that they were caring of one another. An example of this was on the first time they went out to salvage food, Verne was off to the side and didn’t agree with having RJ in the family. Ozzie went out with RJ. Verne thought that Ozzie was hurt and he was very saddened when he thought Ozzie was hurt. Another example of both cohesion and adaptability was on the last salvage Verne decided to go along with the family’s decision to retrieve the food that he had lost. In the beginning, Verne led the animals he was the one that awoke first from their hibernation.

    The family trusted him to lead them. Even sending him to find out what was over the hedge. When RJ came with all his new ideas and new food the family was attracted his leadership qualities and slick talking. They eventually let RJ lead because he knew how to get food and not only did he know how to get food he knew how to get to the new food that he introduced them to. There are 5 ways to exert power. As per “Interpersonal Communication text” they are 1. Legitimate power, – power that is based in respect for a position that a person holds, 2.

    Referent power defined as power that comes from attraction to another person or the charisma a person possesses 3. Expert power- is based on a person’s knowledge and experience. Reward power –is based on another person’s ability to satisfy needs and 5. Coercive power involves the use of sanctions or punishment to influence others. In the movie titled “Over the Hedge”. Verne was in a position of power. This was an example of legitimate power. The other animals respected him and thus he was in a position of power. When RJ came along the animals were attracted to his charisma, and personal knowledge.

    This is an example of a person in referent and expert power. In addition, RJ was also allowed to take power because he would be able to satisfy the animal’s needs. This was an example of reward power. Over the course of the film, the changes that I observed were the relationship between the family and Verne. In the beginning Verne was a trusted leader. Once RJ came the family transferred their trust to him and allowed him to lead them. Verne lost some of his appeal to the family after he called them naive and stupid. Another change that happed was between Tiger the cat and Stella the skunk.

    Stella was beatified and de- ‘funked” so that she could attract tiger to get his tag so that the animals could gain access to a house for food. Tiger was initially abrasive and stand offish until Stella stood up to him. Tiger was attracted to that. In Stella and Tigers case they are an example of passionate love. This is a love that serves to establish attraction to, interest in and focus on one person. Tiger was attracted to Stella because she spoke up to him and she became attractive to him. He noticed her eyes and was unable to see her flaw (stink smell).

    Stella was attracted to Tiger because he was “the one” that could overlook her stink. In Stella’s case I believe this is an example of Predicted outcome Value. She assessed the potential of relationship to meet her self image. Conflict management style is a consistent pattern or approach that person uses to manage disagreement with others. In the movie titled “Over the hedge” the character RJ and the bear disagree because RJ tried to steal items that the bear had salvaged for his winter hibernation. Rj the bear is a very angry and confrontational. RJ realizes that there is no winning with the bear and is very accommodating to the bear.

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    Relationships in Over the Hedge Essay. (2018, Jul 25). Retrieved from

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