Theory Assignment on American History X
This movie tells the story of a young man, from Southern California, that is the product of several unfortunate incidents, and his misguided search trying to answer the question why his life is the way it is. I. Daniel appeared to be dealing with the adolescent stage. Daniel seems to have developed his sense of self worth by mimicking his older brother. Daniels significant relationships, since his brothers incarceration has been derricks old friends (the skin head group). The scene in the principle's office shows that Daniel is trying to live up to what he believes are his older brother's ideals, which he believes are following in the foot steps of Nazis. Hate anyone that is not white and protestant. His own self image is one of an up and coming skin head; so he believes his identity is that of a racially intolerant neo-Nazi. Daniel's search for that identity terminates when Derrick tells him about the experience of his prison time. This scene played out after Derrick confronted Conner at the skin head party and had to flee from his former admirers because he beat up their leader. Daniel followed Derrick and questioned him as to why he was behaving like a "Nigger lover." Daniels since of loyalty was shaken, and the explanation Derrick gave appeared to have turned Daniels beliefs around.
Stacey is derrick's girl friend at the beginning of the film. Stacey's conscious and sexual identity seems to have been developed somewhat askew to the norms of middle class America, but she shows her comfort in her self during the dinner scene where the school teacher is discussing oppression of minorities with Derrick. Stacy voices an opinion that states blacks and Hispanics are a bane on society. She is a yes man to all of Derricks opinions, and during the same scene she shows her sexuality when she sensuously caresses Derrick after the altercation with Derrick's family and his mother's date. This scene showed that Stacey's role models were other racist, and her beliefs were based on the rhetoric that is espoused at hate monger meetings. Stacey's young adult stage is shown when she refuses to listen to Derrick during the skin head party scene. She had completely immersed herself in the "Derrick" persona. The idea of what she perceived Derrick would be like when he returned from prison. Stacey told Derrick, during the party scene that he as like a king in their world. She believed she would be his queen. Stacey had completely loss herself in Derrick, and Derrick's rejection of the skin head values was like cutting off her love, her best friend and placing her in isolation from the person she was most intimate with.
When Derrick rejected the prison white power group, he was without protection. By asking the "brothers not to hurt or kill Derrick, Lamont went out of his way to protect Derrick. This act of caring could have put Lamont's safety in jeopardy. This was a very unselfish act, and being unselfish is an issue of the middle adulthood stage. The act of speaking up for this white guy was an act of social activism, and helped contribute to the reformation that occurred to Derrick while he was locked up. Lamont showed his capacity for caring, and, in a sense, gave love without looking for anything in return. 2. The social environment, depicted in the film, was one of racial strife. Social environment being the interactions between an individual and the people he comes in contact with, and the culture of that individual. The scene at the basketball court showed the haltered between the neo- Nazis and the black youths. The only thing portrayed in the court scene was hate and anger. Other than skin color, the scene gave no clue as to why there were such acrimonious feelings between the two groups. The environment that Derrick allowed himself to become a part of was morally deficient. According to the norms of society, all people have a basic right to life and freedom. The basic institutions...
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