Freedom Writers- Theme Essay:
The film Freedom Writers directed by Richard La Gravenese is an American film based on the story of a dedicated and idealistic teacher named Erin Gruwell, who inspires and teaches her class of belligerent students that there is hope for a life outside gang violence and death. Through unconventional teaching methods and devotion, Erin eventually teaches her pupils to appreciate and desire a proper education. The film itself inquiries into several concepts regarding significant and polemical matters, such as: acceptance, racial conflict, bravery, trust and respect. Perhaps one of the more concentrated concepts of the film, which is not listed above, is the importance and worth of education. This notion is distinctly displayed through the characters of Erin, Erin’s pupils, opposing teachers, Scott and numerous other characters in the film. It is also shown and developed through the usage of specific dialogue, environment, symbolism, and other film techniques.
The importance and worth of education is first conveyed at the beginning of the film through the conflicts and differences between Erin, several of the other teachers and members of the school board. An extract from one of the first dialogues between Erin and Margaret, is the first sign of how education is going to be perceived throughout the film. The quote, “By the time you’re defending a kid in a courtroom, the battle’s already lost. I think the real fighting should happen here, in the classroom,” said by Erin to Margaret, evidently displays her view that acquiring an education is vital to secure a sound and prosperous future. By “fighting” I believe Erin is trying to indicate her belief that guiding some students along the correct path can be a struggle, especially because of the external difficulties many of them have to face, but that the end results make it worthwhile. Erin’s view seems to be that if enough effort is put into educating students they will not revert back to crime in later years. Thing strong opinion contrasts considerably with the view of Margaret, who shows woe when commenting on voluntary integration. Margaret seems wary when noticing Erin’s overwhelming optimism towards her troublesome students; students Margaret considers to be intractable. Margaret goes on to warn Erin not to wear her pearl necklace to class but despite this warning, Erin wears it around the school constantly. This symbolizes the trust Erin has in her students and her abilities to teach her students right from wrong. This is an example of the film technique of specific dialogue which was used in the film.
This concept is expanded later when Erin requests that Margaret give the children in her class proper books and resources. Her request is met with an apathetic response that due to the nature of the children in her class, the students would have to use the inexpensive booklets they were accustomed to. In reaction to this, Erin takes on two more occupations in...