Billy Elliot

Topics: Gender role, Role, Mining Pages: 2 (461 words) Published: November 19, 2006
An important relationship in the visual text Billy Elliot, directed by Stephen Daldry, is that between Billy and his father Jackie. Their relationship is a complete exemplification to the idea of gender role stereotypes. With Jackie being a typical hard man who sees no prospect outside of the mining industry, and Billy, who possesses a great deal of talent toward the deeply taboo art of ballet, the conflict of gender role expectations is amplified. Because of Jackie and Billy's relationship, the viewer can therefore understand the fact that Billy faces a major challenge, as far as gender roles are concerned, if he chooses to pursue a life of Ballet.

Jackie gives powerful illustration to the stereotypical psyche of male roles in society. His identity as a miner of North England during the miners' strike and ex-champion boxer already reverberates the fact that he holds very traditionalistic male values. He literally cannot perceive life outside of the mining industry "Why would I want to go to London?" "There are no mines in London" In effect, when Jackie sees his son Billy in dancing school behind his back for the first time, there is major repercussion, "You, out, now!" He then drags Billy back home and informs him that "Lads do football... or boxing... or wrestling, Not friggin' ballet", expressing his views of gender role. Billy then questions him "I don't see what's wrong with it", to which Jackie replies "You know quite nicely what's wrong with it" Jackie expects his son Billy to realize the fact that ballet is supposed to be a pastime for girls or ‘poofs', portraying gender role stereotypes and, for all the above reasons posed, we can see the struggle in which Billy must conquer.

Billy's key role, in terms of his relationship with Jackie, is to prove that ballet isn't merely for sissies. Jackie overcomes his stereotypes toward gender role as he begins to realize the true potential in which Billy possesses, and, in turn, even gives up on the miners...
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