The Namesake and West Side Story Essay

The Namesake and West Side Story Essay

Length: 2258 words (6.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise’s West Side Story (USA, 1961), a classic American film, and Mira Nair’s The Namesake (USA, 2006), a more contemporary film, both tell the story of young adults seeking out the American Dream. In both West Side Story and The Namesake, we see young people taking chances at love, while living out their lives and the American Dream. We experience the challenges that come with interracial relationships and the cultural influences that sadly put an end to the relationships. Both movies capture the lives of two different ethnic groups, Puerto Ricans and Bengalis, shining a light on issues of diversity such as race, interracial relationships, and cultural assimilation. While telling the stories of American immigrants, West Side Story and The Namesake touch upon the most pressing issues affecting immigrant groups at two very different times in American history. From the highflying musical numbers of West Side Story to the heartfelt moments in The Namesake, each film has a unique way of canvasing the issues of diversity immigrants face on their quest for the American Dream.
In West Side Story, as the camera swings grandly down out of the sky, the audience discovers the Jets, a gang of tough kids, twitching restlessly in a playground park. As the camera continues to descend it captures bodies moving gracefully and fiercely in frequent spontaneous bursts of dance. As the strong blend of drama, dance, and music unfolds, the story of the Sharks and the Jets and their endless fighting begins to unfold as West Side Story. The film tells the story of two of New York City’s rival gangs, the Sharks (a Puerto Rican gang) and the Jets (a white European Immigrant gang), and their endless feuding. Both gangs are continu...


... middle of paper ...


... Redrawing South
Asian American Citizenship in the Shadow of 9/11.” Journal of Transnational
American Studies (2011): 1- 22.

Crowther, Bosley. “West Side Story.” New York Times. Modified October 19, 1961, wwww.nytimes.com/movie/review?res.

Ghosh, Cyril. The Politics of The American Dream: Democratic Inclusion in Contemporary American Political Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2012.

Mukherjee, Ishani. “The masala of globalism: Repositioning ‘dis/placement’ in the films of
Mira Nair.” Studies in South Asian Film & Media 2 (2010): 85-106.

Negron- Muntaner, Francis. “Feeling Pretty: West Side Story and Puerto Rican Identity
Discourses.” Social Text (2000): 83-106.

West, Rachel. “Stereotypes in West Side Story.” Teen Ink. Accessed November 20th, 2013, www.teenink.com/hot_topics/pride_prejudice/article/403220/Stereotypes-in-West-Side-Story.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

A Summary of West Side Story Essays

- West Side Story      The drama/musical, which parodies the story of Romeo & Juliet, takes place in a city of New York, probably in the early 50’s late 40’s. It is a tale of two rival gangs, which despises the other in a vicious circle of hate. Riff leader of the Jets; a group mainly of Polish origin and the Sharks of Spanish origin with their leader Bernardo. It seems as though the two rivals have been at their quarrels since before the story took place. Through mysterious fate the neutral one’s from either side meet....   [tags: West Side Story]

Free Essays
378 words (1.1 pages)

Essay on Prejudices in "The West Side Story" by Arthur Laurents

- The book West Side Story written by Arthur Laurents is set in the mid 1950’s, created as modern version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story is a romantic tragedy about two characters that are supposedly completely different and aren’t accepted when they fall in love. The “difference’s” between these characters is centered on the prejudice’s they had against each other. Prejudice is a harsh opinion or feeling formed previously without any knowledge or reason. The Jets and the Sharks used many prejudices against other races, sex, and age....   [tags: West Side Story, Arthur Laurents, Shakespeare, Rom]

Term Papers
806 words (2.3 pages)

Analysis of West Side Story Essay

- Analysis of West Side Story West Side Story came out in 1961 as a melodramatic musical that took place in New York. It takes the same theme as Shakespeare's, Romeo and Juliet, in that it is about two lovers whose relationship is not accepted by others because of conflicting backgrounds. The artistic intensions of this film are implicitly stated everywhere throughout the film. All of the dancing, singing, acting and pretend fighting was done thoroughly and very well, although the miking and mixing during the pretend fighting did not seem realistic....   [tags: Film West Side Story Movie Essays Papers]

Term Papers
1149 words (3.3 pages)

West Side : Film Review Essay

- The film West Side takes place in New York City where a Polish- American gang, referred to as the Jets, competes against a Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks, to own the neighborhood streets. The central theme of this film is passionate love that defies friendships, family and other factors. To add to that, the dominating genre of the film is a musical involving drama and romance. To begin with, in this film, Richard Beymer (Tony) is the former leader of the jet that lives with Riff, works at Docs store and is in love with Maria....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, Maria]

Term Papers
1080 words (3.1 pages)

The Importance of West Side Story Essay

- West Side Story is one of the great contributors to musical theatre, in particular Broadway where it originally opened on September 26 1957 at the Winter garden Theatre. The production ran for 732 performances before entering the world of film in 1961. However, I believe its significance lies in the heart of the theatre where the audience is subjected to different styles of music, dance and of course an adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In fact, Leonard Bernstein first decided to call his play East Side Story but opted against it, due to social relevancy....   [tags: Music]

Term Papers
994 words (2.8 pages)

West Side Story The Musical Essay

- West Side Story The Musical *No Works Cited West Side Story is one of the most influential musicals of all time. It's integration of dance and song into the plot was very innovative, because even though it had been done before, it had never been done this well. Jerome Robbins had thought of an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet to a Broadway musical in 1949. He began discussions with librettist Arthur Laurents and composer Leonard Bernstein of a musical called East Side Story, with a plot concentrating on a Catholic girl and a Jewish boy....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
508 words (1.5 pages)

Prejudice In West Side Story Essay

- In the book West Side Story by Arthur Laurents there were many prejudices. Prejudice is a favoring or dislike of something without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. There were prejudices in West Side Story that had to do with the types of people, their races and sex. Sometimes prejudice can be in small doses and can be meaningless, other times prejudice can be very serious and cause death. Prejudice was the theme of this story, there are many examples.For instance, an act of prejudice in West Side Story was the Puerto Ricans disliking the Americans and vice versa....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
506 words (1.4 pages)

West Side Story Essay

- In 1961, West Side Story, a filmed version of the hit Broadway musical that was inspired by William Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet," was released to viewers, who just could not resist the energy and excitement of the movie. Thirty-eight years later, viewers, like myself, still cannot resist it. I had never seen the film, which was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, before, but I had always wondered why people loved this multi award-winning movie so much. After viewing the film, I think that it deserved the ten Academy Awards that it won because it has withstood the test of time and it truly is a remarkable film....   [tags: essays research papers]

Term Papers
751 words (2.1 pages)

West Side Story Essay

- West Side Story In this musical, it uses several types of narratives, for example, after the fight between the Jets and Puerto Ricans, after the police leave, they enter the ally and the girl is begging to join the gang saying how much she wants to fight is a part of narrative sexuality (B 34). The girl is more of a tom boy who wants to be like one of the guys. Also, in the West Side Story, it uses many camera angles and distances. One example is the high-angle shot (B 49). In the very beginning the camera shows an overview of the West Side....   [tags: essays research papers]

Term Papers
543 words (1.6 pages)

West Side Story Essay

- West Side Story Day 4: 2-page essay The West Side Story portrays the lives of two different gangs living in America, as well as their beliefs and examples of living a good life. The expectations of what people consider the good life to be may vary on a person’s morals and their dreams of what life is truly about. In this movie, whether or not these characters were good people, lived a good life, or lived in a good society is a very controversial topic. The characters of the West Side Story were not good people....   [tags: essays research papers]

Term Papers
733 words (2.1 pages)