Film: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

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Film: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Joanna Drayton returns unexpectedly from Hawaii to announce her engagement to an intelligent, accomplished, world traveling doctor. The only problem with the intended union is that he is African American and she is white. The Drayton’s come face to face with their own principles and realize that their daughter is the way they brought her up to be – non-prejudicial. Turmoil and anxiety ensue as Joanna insists that her parents give their approval by the end of the night. A dinner with both sets of parents follows, where the parents must come to terms with the bi-racial marriage. This film gives an insightful look into the realities of interracial marriage and proves to be useful in examining the components of interpersonal relationships. Communication apprehension is a nervousness, an unwillingness to communicate. It refers to anxiety about communication interaction. People who develop negative feelings and predict negative results as function of engaging in communication interactions suffer from this. John exhibits the afore described apprehension when he communicates with his parents. A specific example from the film would be when he speaks with them on the telephone and tells them about Joanna and his plans to marry her. He chooses to omit the fact that Joanna is white. He avoids telling his parents this because he fears their reaction to the information. He mentions he will write to them on the way to Geneva about the details; however, his plans are foiled when Joanna invites them over to dinner and he is forced to face it head on when they pick them up from the airport. Joanna puts on a facade of optimism, assuring John that her parents see nothing of color - after all she was brought up under liberal parents who taught her color of skin was nothing of concern. In all actuality she was slightly nervous about exposing the information. She chooses first to tell her mother about the outstanding accomplishments and qualities of John, attempting to get her to accept him for the person he is before revealing to her the seeming minuscule difference. Joanna doesn’t actually tell her mother that John is of a different origin before he enters the room, surprising her. When a culture is transmitted from one generation to another, we call it enculturation. This is a process by which you learn the ... ... middle of paper ... ... of the families display aspects of feminine and masculine cultures, but not each in its entirety. For example, John takes on the role of the feminine culture because he states he will not marry Joanna unless her parent’s approve, attempting to use compromise and negotiation to come to a solution. Joanna takes on the role of the masculine culture because she expects her parents to approve and deliberately confronts the conflict by inviting John’s parents over for dinner. She faces the situation head on, without reservation - forcing both sets of parents to deal with the decision directly. Interracial marriages are quite common in the now, however this film is still relevant in the present. Apart from the fact that prejudices still exist today and probably will for a long time, I am sure that many parents would have similar reactions and thoughts as the parents in this film had. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner served as an excellent tool for me to connect the information from the text book with real life experiences. It adequately depicts numerous types of communication and communication skills, giving me a better understanding of the material.
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