Antwone demonstrates difficulty forming relationships to abandonment issues he developed as a child. Antwone’s father left him after being shot by an ex-girlfriend. His mother was incarcerated most of his childhood and did not take him back after being released. His best friend Jesse was killed in front of him after a botched robbery. Antwone states his feelings that Jesse is the lucky one for being dead and not having to fight anymore. Abuse
Mrs. Tate, Antwone Fisher’s foster mother, verbally humiliates Antwone calling him and his brothers “nigga” instead of their actual names. Antwone and his brothers buy into Tate's view of their low self worth to the point they can tell who she is talking to by the way she says “nigguh”. Besides the verbal abuse, Tate regularly beats Antwone and locks him in dark rooms for hours on end. When Antwone finally demonstrated resistance to Tate’s beatings she used what Antwone calls “other ways” by playing upon Antwone’s pyrophobia (fear of fire). Tate’s cruelty is further exposed when she refuses to let Antwone go out and accuses him of stealing money (which he intended to use to go out to a concert). Antwone denies the unfounded accusation and states he got the money raking lawns. Tate demands he give the money to her explaining that “ a dumb nigguh like you wouldn’t know what to do with it.”Antwone is also sexually abused by Nadine Tate multiple times. He can only turn to his best friend Jesse to help him. The psychological effects demonstrate themselves as Antwone gets older by his inability to develop relationships with women (most particularly Cheryl). The abusive background leads to the rage Antwone feels as an adult who considers that the world conspires against him and that nothing good ever happens to him. Race
The subject of race comes up multiple times in the film. The first is at the beginning of the film when Antwone feels a white sailor is mocking him for the way his face looks when he...