Gran Torino Essay
The film Gran Torino is a very inspiring and serious film about a widower Walt Kowalski, a Vietnam veteran who after his wife dies becomes isolated from his family and community. Left as the only remaining white male in his neighborhood he becomes prejudice and bias towards the Hmong family that has moved in next door. The community becomes flushed with violence and gangs and he is forced to deal with the changes. The film touches on so many different aspects of Interpersonal Communications. Not only does it focus on the differences between micro cultures in Walt’s community but also on aspects such as stereotyping, standpoint theory and the halo effect.
Stereotyping is one of the obvious themes provided in the film. A stereotype is a set of inaccurate, generalizations about a group. Often time’s stereotypes are an overly bias and oversimplified opinion or image. When the Hmong family moves in next door, Walt stereotypes them as unfit for his neighborhood. He looks at their untidy yard and grimaces, as his yard is spotless and well kept. Being a Vietnam veteran Walt views the white race as superior and dominant. The Hmong family is viewed as barbaric culture in his eyes.
Another theory provided in the Film “Gran Torino” is the stand-point theory. This theory concerns the authority made by people's knowledge and the power such authority has to shape people's opinions in daily life. This theory's most important concept is that a person’s own perspectives are shaped by their experiences in social locations and social groups. Walt has spent years in the Vietnam war and was conditioned to respond quickly and violently to certain situations. When Sue and Tao, Walt’s neighbors were being harassed by the Hmong gang outside of his property his first reaction was to reach for his gun and threaten the gang to get off his lawn or he will shoot. In his perspective his reaction and actions were correct because he was conditioned in the war to react...
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