Unemployment and the Gradual Destruction of the Middle Class Essay

Unemployment and the Gradual Destruction of the Middle Class Essay

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Although Los Angeles has become renowned for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and all of the glitz and glamour affiliated with Hollywood and the entertainment industry, the poverty-stricken, less desirable areas of the City of Angels are often looked down upon and, in some cases, are even completely forgotten about. F. Gary Gray’s Friday, the 1995 comedy starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tommy Lister, Jr., and John Witherspoon, provides viewers with an uplifting perspective of a day in the life of those who reside in South Los Angeles – an area greatly influenced and affected by crime, poverty, and unemployment. In comparison with the more desirable stereotypes of Los Angeles, it is evident that there is a clear socio-economic divide that separates the upper class – most of which consists of Caucasians who reside in very affluent neighborhoods – from the lower class, which is mainly comprised of a multicultural demographic that can only afford to live in the less desirable neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Friday succeeds in depicting the reality and nature of this socio-economic divide, and even manages to do so in a manner that not only enlightens viewers of the severity of the consequences of the divide on inner city youth, but also engages viewers due to its easygoing and humorous nature.
Fundamentally, Friday is a primary example of the traditional “ghetto-noir” film genre – a stylistic classification of 1990s films that intends to address the circumstances that African-Americans face and struggle with in an urban and predominantly Caucasian society. Throughout the duration of the film, Friday features Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker), and chronicles the struggles and hardships – albeit in a ...


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...you?” Here, for example, it is evident that Gray is not only literally transmitting this message from Willie to Craig, but is also inviting male viewers within the target audience to consider their own masculinity and whether or not the use of firearms is enough to validate their own sexuality. Today, and as a result of the high amount of crime and illegal activity that occurs on a daily basis, many within South Los Angeles feel as if they are “tough” if they can go out and commit an illegal act without being caught by the police or kill another human being. Contrary to that widespread and flawed belief, however, that is simply not the case – and F. Gary Gray includes this particular instance, along with a number of others, to encourage members of the inner city to better themselves and not give into the sense of corruption commonly associated with South Los Angeles.

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