Gran Torino: the Isolation of Walt from the World Around Him

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      The movie, Gran Torino, is about an old war veteran who has just lost his wife. He is alienated from his family and lives alone with his dog. He suffers from a terminal illness but doesn’t tell anyone. When one of his neighbors, Tao, is pressured into trying to steal Walt’s Gran Torino he gets caught by Walt, and Tao’s mother makes him work for Walt in order to make up for trying to steal his car. The more Tao works for Walt, the more they begin to respect each other. Eventually, Walt helps Tao become more of a man by getting him a job and teaching him how to act. Tao and the Hmong community help Walt realize he needs redemption. A major theme in Gran Torino is alienation. You see this through Walt’s relationships with his neighbors, his kids, and Father Janovich. Throughout the movie, it is very evident that Walt is alienated from his kids. You see this during their mom’s funeral when Walt’s sons, Mitch and Steve, are complaining about him and don’t seem to be too worried about his well-being. Part of the reason is his high expectations he has for his sons. You see how his kids feel about him at the funeral when one says, “My point is that there’s nothing anyone can do that won’t disappoint the Old Man. It’s inevitable. That’s why we stopped doing Thanksgivings; the deal with the boat motor, the broken bird bath, it’s always something.” This shows how his sons just got sick of trying to get his approval and gave up. Another time you see this alienation is when Mitch and his wife try to talk to Walt about moving to a retirement home. They don’t seem to care what Walt wants. The most apparent incident is when Walt tries to reach out to his son when he gets his test results back revealing that he has some fatal illness or disease of some sort. His son doesn’t even listen and tells him he doesn’t have time. Unfortunately, his relationship with his sons does not improve much throughout the movie. Even after he has died and they are listening to his will,...
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