Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Film Critique

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the story of an honest man, Jeff Smith, who is appointed to the senate when a senator from his state dies. Jeff is honest, patriotic, and nave. He soon learns that Washington is a dirty place where graft is the golden rule, and congressmen take orders from greedy money-men. Jeff tries to keep his integrity, but soon he is framed by the richest man in his state, Taylor. Jeff fights Taylor on the floor of the senate until he is triumphant. One theme that is clearly present in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the theme of good v. evil. Jeff Smith, obviously, represents good. He is not a professional politician, but a professional Boy Scout. The term Boy Scout has become something of a clich; a Boy Scout isn't just a guy who goes camping, but a nave person with strong morals and a good heart. This is Jeff Smith. Jeff comes up against Taylor. Taylor is also not a professional politician. He is a newspaper publisher who owns politicians. Taylor is a classic portrayal of modern day evil. He works from behind the scenes to control things, and shape things to his liking. Taylor has no qualms about destroying Smiths reputation, or his life, for his own personal gain. Taylor is a man with seemingly unlimited power to control the very minds of people. In addition to being a story of good v. evil, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a David and Goliath story. In addition to being a good man, Jeff Smith is also a man with very little money and power. Jeff doesn't have the resources to fight Taylor. But he knows that he is right, and that's all he needs to keep on fighting. Taylor, on the other hand, is not only the personification of evil, but also a rich and powerful man. He has a newspaper that he can use to sway the public, and form their opinions to match his own. Taylor also has Senator Paine and several congressmen in his pocket. He uses these pawns to attack Smith and frame him. The David and Goliath theme is really made clear in the

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