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Gran Torino: Challenging Stereotypes Essay

1609 words - 6 pages

The film Gran Torino directed by Client Eastwood challenges The issues of stereotypes through the attributes of contemporary assumptions of status, gender and ethnicity. Exploring the themes of absence of a male dominate figure, enabling protagonist Theo to be a feminine figure exploits the idea of gender portrays the Hmong men to be stereotyped.Ethnicity and status also express multiple meanings through the cinematography and the Hollywood narrative style illustrates many representation  of the western and eastern cultures These key terms gender, ethnicity  and status all intertwine with each other during the entire film. The Hmong culture have been stereotyped by the western culture concerning that the American way is the only way which evidently challenges the ideas and ideologies of the Hmong society. the film illustrates the idea of realism but underlines the factor that cultures outside of America should obtain the manners and ideas of an American to survive in society. there is clear indication that classical Hollywood narrative, mis en scene and cinematography style can support stereotypes about gender, ethnicity and status. 
The issue of gender in Grain Torino portrays gender through the characters of Walt Kowalski as the male dominate figure and Theo as a feminine figure. This symbolizes the attributes that Theo is a form of representation that is a class of a fixed female figure rather than a powerful dominant male. This draws on the ideologies of Walt‘s white American culture versus Theo’s Hmong culture. This is clearly exposed in the sequence when Walt finally enters into Theo’s home, where there are numerous people form the Hmong society are feasting. As Walt travels through the house he is exposed to the lack of masculinity in Theo’s life, and the audience are introduced to a more feminized Theo. He is framed as a house wife/maid rather than a boy. Theo is washing the dishes; he is controlled by his mother, sister and grandmother. He has no dominance what so ever, as Walt watches Theo be the feminine figure. The theme here illustrates this séance as a lack of male dominance. 
Alternatively also there is an enormous concentration on the male gender and the female characters are shadowed. Ultimately Sue, Theo's mother and grand mother and all Hmong women are represented to be immobilized and have no abilities to speak for themselves. We see this throughout the film as Theo's mother feels the need to have Walt as a protector and understand that Theo will repay for his mistakes of trying to steal his ran torn. the audience experience the lack of English by sue translating her mothers word to English to wards Walt, this illustrates how  the female figure exploits the idea of incapability . This is also shown in how Sue is framed against h three young African American "thugs" who harasses Sue and white ' useless' boyfriend who had the inaptly to protect Sue from the 'thugs.' The editing of this sequence cuts to a mid shot of...

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