Old Man’s Guilt
People may find it difficult to interact with others due to a past filled with adversity. Because of a guilty and a harsh past, they may not feel comfortable confessing their sins; instead they may have a bitter perspective of life. This is illustrated in Clint Eastwood’s film, Gran Torino through the characterization of Walt Kowalski. Walt Kowalski is initially portrayed as a grumpy, racist old man who transforms in to a hero who sacrifices himself to bring peace to himself and his neighbour, Tao. This film demonstrates that even though people can start off with a bitter view of life due to adverse past events, they can overcome their bitterness by finding others that they can relate to and sacrificing themselves to save others. Eastwood’s characterization of Walt Kowalski at the beginning of the story highlights that a death of a loved one, ungrateful descendants and adverse past events causes a negative view of the world. Initially, Walt already appears to be in misery. He seems to be uneasy at the opening scene, which is rational because he is at his wife’s funeral. However, he mostly seems uneasy and resentful towards his family. At first, the movie suggests he is unhappy because his family is anything but genuine and caring towards Walt. His son and daughter try to convince him into looking for nursing homes on his birthday, and his granddaughter is only interested in Walt’s car, the Gran Torino. Walt a Korean War Veteran is living a changing neighbourhood. He is guilty of killing thirteen Koreans, one of them was a young man trying to surrender. Because of the events that took place during the Korean War, Walt has a lot of guilt and regret. This is shown during the scene when Tao is wondering, what it is like to kill someone and Walt replies, “You don’t want to know”. Walt is not proud his actions, which is why he keeps a medal in the basement where it is not seen by others. During the end of the film, Walt finally says, “You want to...
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