Essay about Hidden Themes in "American Beauty"

Essay about Hidden Themes in "American Beauty"

Length: 849 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In American movies there are many times basic plots, hidden themes and subliminal messages. Most of the time the producer is trying to make a point that is not clear to the audience. American Beauty is one such movie. The movie contains affection in two homosexual neighbors, a homophobic father, and a mysterious relationship between an average man and his teen neighbor.
American Beauty focuses on the last year of Lester Burnham’s life. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is married to Carolyn Burnham (Annette Betting), and their marriage is picture perfect on the outside, but the perfection is only superficially. Their marriage is based on projecting one image- a picture perfect suburbia lifestyle when it is in fact quite the opposite.
Colonel Frank Fitts (Chris Cooper) is the new neighbor who is presented to the audience as a homophobic man. He is constantly hating on and putting down the homosexual couple in the neighborhood. So what is homophobia? The Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines homophobia as “an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.” The film American Beauty represents this behavior through the character of Colonel Fitts.
The movie American Beauty portrays this kind of homophobic behavior in some
Castañeda 2
way. One of the characters in the movie is homophobic and this behavior leads him to commit a murder at the end of the film. There are many reasons for homophobic behavior, one of them is that the person displaying this kind of behavior may be a homosexual too and uses anger and discrimination to hide his/her own insecurities and fears.
Colonel Fitts in the movie is constantly putting down his homosexual neighbors and filling his son’s head with hate...


... middle of paper ...


...ee if his suspicious were correct and ends up kissing Lester. Finding out that Lester was not a homosexual and that his actions were all for nothing, he feels so ashamed of what he did and doesn’t want anybody to find out about his homosexual tendencies so he murders Lester. The Colonel shot Lester because he realizes that he himself is a gay man, living a lie; afraid of the truth, afraid of people knowing his sexual preference, afraid of losing his family, and afraid of facing himself. This just shows how homophobia can lead a person to commit something drastic like this or worse.
American Beauty takes us deep inside ourselves and invites us to lose the fear of
truly knowing ourselves. If we pretend we are someone we are not, if we desperately hold on to the lies we force ourselves to live, then we only succeed in becoming more lonely and separated.






Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Complex Themes Hidden in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... He was Gatsby’s first neighbor, Daisy’s cousin, Tom’s high school friend, Jordan’s “lover”. Moreover, Nick was a trustworthy person and so he could tell the detailed story from many different points of view. As he says:"I'm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores" (1.3) Nick tells us that many of the characters opened their hearts to him and told him their “stories”. And yes, it is true that we learned about a lot of stories while reading the book among them are Gatsby’s love for Daisy, Tom’s secret mistress, Daisy’s sadness and affair and Jordan’s dishonesty....   [tags: narrator, lonesome, wealth]

Better Essays
1703 words (4.9 pages)

Timeline of American Beauty Essay

- Not long ago, a woman’s success was measured by the success of her husband and her domestic prowess. Today, a woman is presumed successful if she can emulate the standards of beauty portrayed in the media. Unfortunately, this subliminally enforced standard is unattainable to some women, regardless of the quality of their character. Let’s examine how western women went from being pioneering superheroes, to people who measure their worth against airbrushed photographs of impossibly beautiful women....   [tags: Beauty]

Better Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Interpersonal Conflict in the film American Beauty

- When first presented with this assignment, I got very excited to be able to do a paper on this film. I remember seeing this film as a teenager and did not understand the point of it at all, but as I grew up I began to understand it completely. The movie American Beauty is about a family that is going through a very tough time because of lack of communication. There is a lack of communication between the mother and father and of course that puts a damper on the parents relationship with the child....   [tags: communication, american beauty, conflict]

Better Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

The Hidden Story Of Sleeping Beauty And Maleficent Essay

- The Hidden Story of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent A love story is a genre of popular fiction in which characters fall in love. Although, the basis of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent are love stories, there are more important themes to these stories than the romance portrayed in these fairytales, which Disney touches on, but Robert Stromberg brings more emphasis to; evil from different perspectives, the act of rape, and the theory that love conquers all. In Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is the typical evil character like in all the other Disney films, but in Stromberg’s version, it shows how evil arises in different characters throughout the film including Maleficent....   [tags: Love, Romance, Interpersonal relationship]

Better Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

The State of Despair in American Beauty Essay

- The State of Despair in American Beauty In life, everyone must make choices. Choices give an individual the freedom to decide upon the path to which they will follow. Since it’s beginnings, the film making industry has focused on showing the direct relationship between the choices that people make and the resulting consequences they must face. In the movie American Beauty, the character of Lester Burnham must make many important choices that could either lead to his ultimate happiness, or draw him further into his despair....   [tags: American Beauty Films Movies Essays]

Better Essays
1418 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Miss All- American Beauty

- An American Beauty rose, as known as Miss All- American Beauty is a fragrant hybrid tea rose, capable of lasting long as a cut flower. The rose is known as America’s national flower. Unfortunately it is prone to decaying and rusting (Jo). In Sam Mendes’ award- winning film American Beauty, these roses can be found throughout. Besides the roses, each character involved is chasing after their version of American beauty. The film’s title is appropriate, it is the reason that the whole plot revolves around the characters’ form of American beauty....   [tags: fragant, rose, girl, beauty]

Better Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

Female Beauty Pageants Essay

- Beauty pageants seem to serve no apparent purpose for societal reasons. They denigrate the image of females as far as gender equality goes. There is many different ranges of beauty pageants all over the world. Females can be as small as 2 months. Many girls dream to become Miss U.S.A or Miss World. It seems to give the idea that you have to be beautiful and be up to the judges expectations of how a beauty queen should act and looks like.  They have a negative effect on the people in today’s society especially the younger female population....   [tags: Beauty ]

Better Essays
1038 words (3 pages)

Review of American Beauty Essay

- Review of American Beauty The 1999 Academy Award winning movie American Beauty has many major plots and shows the reality of American life. This movie uses symbolism to get ideas across in many different situations and it shows the actuality of life, it is not always what it looks like on the outside. Lester and Carolyn Burnham seem like they have a perfect marriage and a perfect family life while in turn they are having a lot of marriage problems. Lester is going through a midlife crisis; he quits his high-paying job for a fast food service job at Mr....   [tags: Film Movie American Beauty Essays]

Better Essays
522 words (1.5 pages)

The Film American Beauty Essay

- The Film American Beauty      In life, everyone must make choices. Choices give an individual the freedom to decide the path which they will follow. In the movie American Beauty, each of the characters has a choice he or she needs to make. The main character, Lester Burnham, is faced with many choices that could either lead to his ultimate happiness or draw him further into his despair. Carolyn Burnham, Lester's wife, is faced with a loveless marriage that exists only because she does not possess the willingness to break the cycle....   [tags: Movie Films American Beauty Essays]

Better Essays
3373 words (9.6 pages)

American Beauty Essay

- American Beauty American Beauty tells the story of one man's search for happiness. The film introduces the audience to Lester Burnham, an ordinary- looking married man and father in his forties. Lester is in a loveless marriage. Lester's wife, Carolyn, is so wrapped-up in her real estate career that Lester often claims that Carolyn doesn't even acknowledge him. Furthermore, Lester's daughter, Jane, is completely distant, often claiming how "pathetic" she thinks her father is. Moreover, Lester has dedicated fourteen years to his occupation, and suddenly, he is in danger of losing his job due to downsizing....   [tags: Film Movies American Beauty Essays]

Free Essays
3047 words (8.7 pages)