Essay on Movie Analysis: American History X

Essay on Movie Analysis: American History X

Length: 1365 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The movie I decided to analyze for this course was American History X (1998), which stars Edward Norton. Though this movie isn’t widely known, it is one of the more interesting movies I have seen. It’s probably one of the best films that depict the Neo Nazi plague on American culture. The film takes place from the mid to late 1990’s during the Internet boom, and touches on subjects from affirmative action to Rodney King. One of the highlights of this movie that really relates to one of the key aspects of this course is the deterrence of capital punishment. Edward Norton’s portrayal as the grief stricken older brother who turns to racist ideologies and violence to cope with his fathers death, completely disregards the consequences of his actions as he brutally murders someone in front of his family for trying to steal his car. The unstable mentality that he developed after his father’s death really goes hand-to-hand specifically with Isaac Ehrlich’s study of capital punishment and deterrence. Although this movie is entirely fictional, a lot of the central themes (racism, crime punishment, gang pervasiveness, and one’s own vulnerability) are accurate representations of the very problems that essentially afflict us as a society.
One of the more prevalent themes of this movie is racism, and how prejudicial mindsets ultimately lead to one’s own demise. The movie outlines how racism, among other things, can adversely affect someone’s judgment. After the father died, we see how the family gradually deteriorates financially as well as emotionally after Derek (the older brother played by Edward Norton) turns to a neo Nazi gang for an outlet, which eventually influences his younger brother Danny (played by Edward Furlong) to follow down ...


... middle of paper ...


... supremacist gang, to rioting in an Asian owned grocery store, to finally brutally murdering someone. We observe as family ties become increasingly strained in every way, the viewer can easily conclude that Derek’s racism as well as his eventual influence on his younger brother ultimately contributed to their own downfall. As controversial as this movie maybe for the offensive language and brutal violence, it is a movie that deserves to be seen, and even discussed. It really provides insight into some factors within society that cannot be contained by the law or even deterred by even the harshest punishments. Even though American society is becoming more modernized as time goes by in terms of tolerance, racism will unfortunately always be prevalent in society and inevitably it will also lead some individuals to violently express their distorted mentalities.




Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Notorious Indie Films: American History X Essay

- AMERICAN HISTORY X In the opening scene, we see a white supremacist by the name of Danny Vinyard sitting in the principals office, waiting to be punished. As he goes into the office, we hear and see Danny's history teacher, Mr. Murray , explaining to the principal, Dr. Robert Sweeney, that Danny wrote a book report on Mein Kampf, a book talking about Hitler and his memoirs. Murray tells Dr. Sweeney that he is offended by Danny's essay and he wants to see him punished. Instead, Sweeney asks Murray to leave and asks Danny to step in into his office....   [tags: movie and story line analysis]

Strong Essays
684 words (2 pages)

Analysis of the Movie Forrest Gump Essay

- I have never really met another character quite like Forrest Gump in a movie. And for that matter, I have never quite seen a movie like “Forrest Gump,” either. In order to describe Forrest Gump, it will take quite an amount of work to make the movie seem more conventional, or normal. The movie is a coined a comedy, I guess. It could be a drama film though, or even a dream. This movie is very magical and creates quite the picture of emotions for anyone who views it. The film by Eric Roth, has the view of a modern fiction story, which is very uncommon for the modern movies now a days....   [tags: emotions, movie, film]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Movie Analysis : The Movie Crash Essay

- The movie Crash involves multiple storylines of individuals of different races and how they all correlate and interact. The movie involves individuals of races that include: white, African American, Asian, and Latino and how their lives intersect and involve racism towards one another. The term racism is the direct treatment of or violence against someone because of his or her race (Cite?). The movie shows different scenes of specific story lines to portray racism is a personal choice and individuals can be cured of their racism....   [tags: Racism, African American, Race, Race]

Strong Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Essay Movie Analysis : The Movie ' The Thing '

- The film industry suffers from ups and downs. The industry itself is always making new things happen from older ideas. The remaking of classic films has become a common thing; however, some are remade very poorly. The film industry decided to remake the film “The thing”. The film is a very unique remake because it acts as a prequel to the original film. The original film was made in 1982 and the remake was made in 2011. The original film was a very unique horror film, and so was the remake. These films both share similar stories, as well as the remakes little twist to the original story....   [tags: Film, Horror film, Horror, Psychoanalysis]

Strong Essays
2030 words (5.8 pages)

Essay Analysis Of The Movie ' War Room '

- In Hollywood there is also a lack of representation with executives because the most of the power resides in people that are ethnically white. Brent Lang and Dave McNary believe that black films are usually not picked up by studios because very few people in powerful positions are black. Therefore, most studios don’t understand what would appeal to black audiences. This causes analysts to undervalue the potential profit of black films, turning executives away from being interested in pursuing black film projects....   [tags: Film, African American, Racism, White American]

Strong Essays
1042 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of The Movie ' Glory ' Essay

- Glory is an American War film produced in 1989. The movie is about the first all-African-American regiment to be a part of the Union Army during the American Civil War. It is based upon letters written by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who was the commanding officer in charge of the first African America regiment. The regiment was known as the 54th Massachusetts, and it is famous for the heroic actions that took place during the Battle of Fort Wagner, where Colonel Shaw volunteered his men to lead the charge....   [tags: American Civil War, African American]

Strong Essays
2619 words (7.5 pages)

Movie Analysis : ' The Great Debaters ' Essay example

- My four films are 1. Maid in Manhattan (2008) 2. Mulan (1998)3. The Great Debaters (2007) 4.To kill a Mocking Bird (1962). In the U.S. history, Film, as a product of patriarchal ideology, reflects a stereotype of women’s unfairness in reflecting women’s lives. Therefore, in the face of the oppression of male hegemonies film work, feminist films are intended to interpret women’s issue from a feminist point of view to explore women’s activities and women’s theme. However, there are stereotypes of female characters in traditional films....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Strong Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' Gone With The Wind '

- There has been a pressing issue of the lack of diversity in mainstream media in front and behind the camera. For many years the face of Hollywood was white, occupying roles as actors, directors, screenwriters and other prominent positions in the industry. Due to racial discrimination in the 19th and 20th century Hollywood would would avoid casting African American actors, instead they would cast whites and paint their faces black which led to the term ‘Blackface’. However blackface died out in the 1930’s due to the negative connotations of bigotry and racism....   [tags: Racism, Race, White American, Colored]

Strong Essays
791 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Director David Cronenberg's Movie 'A History of Violence'

- Director David Cronenberg’s movie “A History of Violence” brings a little-known graphic novel to life. The protagonist, Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen), seems to be living the ideal life when it suddenly takes a turn for the worse. Two robbers attempt to hold up his diner in a little Indiana town, until Tom stops them by slamming a hot glass coffee pot into the face of one and shooting three gunshots into the chest of the other. The scene’s carnage is heightened as bits of flesh dangle off the shattered bone of one robber while he chokes on the blood from his own body....   [tags: film analysis]

Strong Essays
2146 words (6.1 pages)

Analysis Of The Movie ' Walkout ' Essays

- The movie “Walkout” is about the school system in East Los Angeles in the late 1960’s. During this time Mexican Americans were treated unfairly and were seen as second class citizens. The story goes through the different aspects that Mexican American/ Chicano students had to put up with within their own schools. They wanted and deserved equal education, but were constantly shut down by the city. This movie contains the four characteristics of Mexican American Art, which is what gives this movies such a strong and meaningful message....   [tags: Mexican American, United States, New Mexico]

Strong Essays
716 words (2 pages)