Fred Wes states that one cannot actually “directly motivate another person” but can in fact create a motivational environment, in which a person themselves becomes motivated. This is exactly what Mrs. Wilkinson did for Billy Elliot; she set an environment where Billy was able to flourish. When Billy first notices the girls practicing ballet, he decides to join, and while many may say that ballet is for girls and judge boys for trying it, Mrs. Wilkinson did not say anything that may discourage him. In fact she does the opposite, upon seeing the interest in the dancing, she asks him to join in. This shows that she has a heart that does not judge, whereas many people would have said that ballet is not for boys, here was Mrs. Wilkinson asking him to join in. She understands that people have talents. Unless others encourage them to follow those talents they will not get far. Talent is not based on gender-roles. Another example of Mrs. Wilkinson being a motivator is when she provides free of charge ballet lessons. It is obvious that Mrs. Wilkinson wanted to see Billy succeed in this career, with no personal gain whatsoever. While others discouraged any behavior that made a man ‘less manly’,...
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...art. She was not jealous of his potential but rather encouraged it by setting a perfect environment. She was a mother-like figure because she knew that everyone needs that moral support, especially when someone lacks that support at home, such as Billy. She understood that times were difficult and things for his family were particularly difficult because of the recent loss. She provided the tough love that a young boy such as Billy Elliot needed in order to grow. Her character brings a success to the movie almost as much as Billy Elliot’s character. She was the spark of Billy Elliot.
Billy Elliot. Dir. Stephen Daldry. 2000. Film.
Friesen, Wes. "How Do You Motivate People?." In - Plant Graphics, 63.5 (2013): 38.
Psychology Today. "Empty Nest Syndrome." Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness.
Sussex Publishers, LLC, 4 Mar. 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
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