Notes on Gran Torino

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Walt Kowalski
Attitudes
* Refuses to offer any help e.g. – when his son insists to help Walt replies, ‘ no, I need them now not next week’ and says to Ashley ‘ No, you probably just painted your nails....’ both of these dialogues show disaffection and estrangement * Racism: ‘I thought you slopes are meant to be good at maths. ‘What are you fish heads looking at? * Walt has a strong sense of identity and purpose although he has inner conflict, ‘I’m not useless, I maintain my own property’ * He knows more about death than living

* He doesn’t admit his true feelings ‘ are you kidding me, he tried to steal my car’ when Sue asks him if he likes Thao

Personality
* Walt is always disappointed, ‘there’s nothing we can do that won’t disappoint the old man’ – Mitch * Due to being a war veteran, Walt did not have the will or knowledge of how to relate with his two sons-‘ I didn’t know how....it has been bugging me my whole life’ * ‘I’ve been called a lot of things but never funny’ * ‘I’m not a good man’- guilty about his life in the war Relationship with other characters

* Hatred and racism toward the Hmong family in the beginning – ‘Damn Barbarians’ * Does not show reverence to Fr Janovich – ‘you’re just an overeducated twenty seven year old virgin, who likes to hold the hands of superstitious old ladies and promise them eternity’ * After Walt unwillingly saves Thao during the fight with the gang, he gradually befriends him and starts to show concern for him, ‘I need to man you up a little’ Values

* His Gran Torino- Walt is always seen cleaning/polishing/admiring his car ‘That’s right, ain’t she pretty’ he says to Daisy while the theme song softly plays in the background * Values privacy/his property –‘get off my lawn’

* Tidiness/maintenance – his house is very clean and the grass is green, this is juxtaposed with the Lor family’s house whose grass is dry and house is completely dishevelled * Lighter – ‘First...
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