Culture and Social Construction in Gran Torino Essay example

Culture and Social Construction in Gran Torino Essay example

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The film “Gran Torino” has many examples of “self” vs “subject” and the issues one faces when it comes to aspects of culture and social construction, the film highlights the modern conditions surrounding many aspects of these two examples. Walt Kowalski whose wife just recently died and who is a Korean War veteran has a difficult time getting along with people who do not hold the same views and values that he does. Some of these people are his children, relatives, and neighbors. He lives in an era that he does not understand and does not agree with. Since his wife died he stopped communicating with people. Walt lives next door to a Hmong family and slowly befriends them. He has a very difficult time with this at first but as the days go on you can see him progressively become more comfortable with them. One of the reasons he was a little uncomfortable communicating with his neighbors is the fact that he once fought and killed these people on the battlegrounds of Korea. When analyzing the film “Gran Torino” through the work of Foucault ,Panopticism, one can clearly see that Walt could be classified as the “watcher” and his neighbors as those being watched. There are many scenes in the movie in which Walt is taking the role of the “watcher”, one of them being when the neighbor across the street struggles with carrying her groceries inside while a group of teenagers walk by without asking if she needs help. Another would be when he is at his wife’s funereal and his grandchildren are being very disrespectful by not wearing the appropriate clothing or using their cellphones. Walt’s social and cultural construction differs from those around him. The teenagers who do not help the lady with her groceries stand against all that Wal...


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...ing a war veteran being one of the most effective, Walt also worked in the automobile industry and had a very traditional a patriotic way of going about situations. An example would be Walt’s disappointment in his son’s choice of automobile; he believed that his son should have bought something made in the United States rather than Japan. His guilt also plays a major role in how he lives his life; he has killed and seen people being killed while he was at war. This subjectivity can explain why Walt acts the way he does and what influences Walt’s judgments about reality and how one should act. These three pieces of literature can all be linked together and connected to the film “Gran Torino”. When looking through the lens of Foucault’s ,Panopticism one can see the depth meaning of Walt’s actions and how he treats those around him, and also how they treat him.

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