Stephen King, the Modern Hobbes
One of the numerous novels by Stephen King was filmed in 2007, The Mist.
The story takes place in a small town, where a portion of citizens is stuck in the supermarket when a misery mist storm approaches. They become foods of some blood-thirsted creatures that have never been seen. People at this supermarket do whatever it takes to survive.
It’s such a great movie that it takes me another turn to watch it over again after some acquaintance to Hobbes’ and Locke’s’ view about the state of nature. After a second watch of this film, I think Stephen King is more a fan of Hobbes than Locke’s.
From the plot, characters are going through the state of nature in the supermarket where there is no authority or governance. People depend on themselves to keep themselves away and alive from the unknown creatures.
Among the trapped citizens, there are two sides, one side lead by a successful New York attorney who insists going out the supermarket and check what’s going on; one (main characters) insists its wiser to stay in where they are. People with same thoughts group together and figure what can be done to survive. Clearly Stephen King is buying Hobbes’ idea that people in the state of nature has the right to preserve oneself based on his/her own judgment for what is right and what is wrong.
Under this unpredictable and chaos situation, everyone is scared and some irrational too. There are several scenes depicting how people just care for their own lives when it comes to extreme and dreadful situation.
Besides, a zealous and religious extremist (Mrs. Carmody) provoked to sacrifice a soldier and a boy. This projects Hobbes’ theory that conflict will be further enhanced by disagreement in religious views and moral judgments in the state of nature.
At the end, the government takes a large-scale rescue to look for the remaining survivors and brings the movie to the end.
In my own perspective, Stephen King agrees a lot on Hobbes about human nature based on what he depicts in his novels; that human natures are flawed creatures, and based on this particular circumstance, a state of governance is necessary to maintain the society by power.