The Rocket Essay

1186 words - 5 pages

The Rocket 5Running Head: FRENCH CANADIAN DISCRIMINATIONThe Rocket: A Film Review Depicting a Theme of French Canadian DiscriminationJessica Marasco0348583Dr. Michel JohnsonKINE 101011/05/07The film "The Rocket" is the biographical story of hockey legend Maurice Richard, that uses sports to highlight historical bigotry. The movie highlights the discrimination that faced French Canadians at the time of Richard's hockey career. This caused Richard to be torn between his desire to play hockey, and the pressure to give voice to an emerging nationalism. The movie depicts the sociological theme of French Canadian discrimination demonstrated by the language barrier, racial harassments, and physical assault between Maurice Richard and English speaking Canadian and American society. Maurice Richard remains a French Canadian icon, who always fought injustice, on the level of hockey, because that was his domain. This related to the French Canadian population, who projected their hopes and dreams onto the "Rocket".The language barrier between the French and English speaking people played a huge role in French Canadian discrimination. At the time, the control of Quebec's economic sphere had largely been dominated by English Canadian and American investors. This is demonstrated at the very beginning of the film, when a 17 year old Maurice rushes from his grinding machine shop job to the championship game at an outdoor rink because his Anglophone boss kept him late as punishment for talking to a French union activist. This language barrier continues into Richard's hockey career. The Montreal Canadian players mention in the film that none of the coaches, managers and owners spoke French. They are only given instructions in English, and when they do not reply or understand they are viewed as unintelligent. This is evident when Maurice Richard ties Joe Malone's 27 year old record of 44 goals in a season. The newspaper article the next day read to Maurice Richard by a fellow teammate says "they talk about the game, the record, and your lousy English." Maurice eventual publishes an article in a newspaper about his frustration about his mistreatment. This led to the Montreal Canadian's coach Dick Irvin to congratulate his team on their Stanley Cup with a few words said in French. This was rare occurrence, displaying Irvin's respect of his talented French Canadian players. Along with the language barrier that Maurice faced, he was attacked with racial harassments.Maurice Richard was tormented with racial harassments throughout the film. He was asked by his barber in the film what Dick Irvin had said to Maurice that made them win series during the Stanley cup playoffs. Dick Irvin had said to his players "You Frenchies are all alike. It is in your blood! You are nothing but a cowardly, no spunk, no stiffer from the chicken droppings". This disrespect made Maurice want to prove his coach wrong, inadvertently trying to prove English society's disproval of the French, by...

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