Antwone Fisher: a Story Young African-American Man's Struggle with His Career at the Naby

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  • Topic: Antwone Fisher, Tate, Family
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  • Published : February 25, 2013
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An Analysis of Antwone Fisher
Joe Corn

Abstract
Antwone Fisher is a story about a young man and his life as he grows from an abandoned child to a young petty officer in the Navy. But the crux of the story centers on his reactions to all of the negative events of his life. It is based a true story and has some reoccurring themes throughout. However, despite these reoccurrences, the messages are subtle and this where the soul of the story resides.

An Analysis of Antwone Fisher

The movie Antwone Fisher is a personal narrative about a young African-American man’s struggle with his past. The main character is Antwone Fisher, a Navy Petty Officer whose father was killed two months before his birth and mother abandoned him shortly after his birth. Antwone is raised in an abusive foster home by Rev. Tate and his wife Ms. Tate. After an argument with Ms. Tate, Antwone is kicked out of the foster home and forced into a life of homelessness as a teenager for a short period of time and then joins the Navy. Once aboard ship, he is directly involved in a fight and is sent to see a Navy psychiatrist, Dr. Jerome Davenport. Antwone’s reluctance to talk to Dr. Davenport during the initial visit, results in Dr. Davenport informing Antwone that his first session doesn’t start until he begins to talk and that there will only be a total of three sessions. Eventually, the two develop a working relationship that evolves into something more meaningful as Antwone begins to open up and talk about his past. The movie begins with Antwone dreaming of himself as a young boy, standing out in a field all alone facing a barn. He is greeted by a man who takes his hand and leads him into the barn filled with his all of his ancestors standing around a long table. The table is covered with food and as Antwone is lead to the head of the table, he takes a seat. A plate of pancakes is placed before him. Abruptly, the sound of a cow bell followed by the sound of a gunshot awakens Antwone out of his dream and he realizes he is actually lying in his bunk aboard ship. This dream is significant for a couple of reasons. The fact that Antwone is surrounded by all of his ancestors implies how much Antwone wants to have a sense of belonging and acceptance within the context of a family. Taking a seat at the head of the table represents the desire to feel proud about his family, as opposed to shame about the lack of his familial upbringing. This dream is not the only incident of its kind, as Antwone’s past is played out through a series of recollections that gives the viewer insight into whom Antwone Fisher is and why he behaves the way he does. After awakening from the dream, Antwone heads to the ship’s bathroom to groom himself for the day ahead. While Fisher wipes his face, a Caucasian shipmate asks “Is there something on your face.” Fisher ignites into a rage, punching and choking him. This incident aboard ship is another indication of the anger that resides within Fisher. More importantly, understanding why this anger is present is central to understanding the character. Through his visits with Dr. Davenport, Antwone slowly begins to recount his past; including instances of abuse and neglect he suffered at the hands of Miss. Tate while growing up. In the first session, which does not begin until Antwone decides to talk, he tells Dr. Davenport about how his mother failed to come claim him after her release from prison and Antwone spends the first two years of his life in an orphanage. Dr. Davenport then asks the question, “How does this make you feel.” Antwone exclaims, “Rainy days.” “Kids expect it to rain sometimes but for one kid it rained too much.” This is a subtle but important metaphor that Antwone uses to describe how he felt as a child; like a kid who wants to go out and play but can’t because of “rainy days.” Again in this case, the subtlety in what is not being said by the client is just as important as what is being said. This description...
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