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This movie depicts a real life situation of American professional female baseball players. These American female baseball players engaged in sporting activity during the Second World War when men who were supposed to be in the sport were busy in Europe and Asia fighting for the country. In his genial baseball show, Penny Marshall becomes one of the most significantly anticipated summer films. The film has a meaningful theme that depicts all American women baseball league professional that emerged in 1943 (Gilbert, Lowell and Babaloo 45).
At that time, there was a fear that baseball men would crash because of the war. The film begins when American sports industry sees its people longing for their favorite talent in baseball. The main characters in the film are Hank Tom, Madonna, and O’Donnell Rosie. To sustain the sports industry, the executives thought of recruiting American girls to play baseball as a profession to help in restoring the Americans depressions and revenues that the baseball empire had lost. These professionals were selected based on their physical appearance and athletic abilities.
Penny Marshall’s comedy takes the viewer to a journey and struggle of the two sisters, Dottie and Kit in baseball sports, their sibling rivalry, and final blow to the women stereotypes as professional sports. The two joined the baseball team of Rockfold Peaches. Dottie could hit and catch while Kit could throw a fastball on average. The two went to Chicago to compete with the soon-to-be playmates, including Madonna, ODonnel Rosie, and Magan Cavanagh. When the owner of the team, Gary Marshall wanted a coach, he decided to appoint Jimmy Dugan, a champion of the One-time-Home run, who later became a miserable alcoholic (Gilbert, Lowell and Babaloo 60). After one-week training makes the coach sober, the team began to demonstrate some abilities and, at the end of the season, the team showed some improvements by engaging in the World Series competitions.
The movie relates to the sports in the American culture by addressing gender in a manner that is contradictory. For instance, it portrays baseball women players to have men’s abilities. This is similar to the way women are portrayed in the motor brilliance mystique, which holds that people, whether boys or girls, can play baseball. What matters is the training because an average person without training will behave the same and follow a similar ipsilateral pattern (Dowling 59).
In the movie, a male coach was involved in training the women in baseball sport, and he did so the same way men are trained. Nevertheless, the focus on the physical beauty during the recruitment process almost turns down some talented players to their lack of physical beauty. The same way, in our reading “Throwing like a Guy: The Mystique of Innate Ability" reinforces that boys have a greater ability than girls in playing baseball hinders talented girls with similar attributes to play baseball, (Dowling 62). The emphasis on the physical appearance makes a girl look objectified in some manner and the character played by Madonna outlines that very well.
In the movie, Tom Hanks, the coach emphasizes that “In baseball no crying,” when one of the girls appeared vulnerable during the training. This portrays women as weak compared to their male counterparts. In the real sense, we have witnessed male players of baseball cry after losing the game, during retirement speech, and at the time of victory. Therefore, this appears like cultural intimidation. Regarding our readings, in the chapter “Throwing Like A Guy,” the writer emphasizes on the phrase “throwing, running, catching and hitting like a girl” that is in some sense very freezing and underrating the power of women in participating in baseball sport (Dowling 64).
Women have been perceived in such awkward state because of the social and cultural proscription against training their bodies similar to those of men. Although, women are tough the same way as men, in terms of using and engaging body movement in the sporting activity when throwing and catching the ball, the assumption that girls differ in a special way in their shoulder construction and general development of muscles makes them unable to throw a ball correctly or participate in any sporting activity. This is a section of the frailty myth. A woman is made to believe that she cannot participate and make it in sporting activity, and when she attempts and fumbles, she is convinced of her inability, thus, quits trying (66).
Therefore, the differences in engagement in sporting and sports performance between girls and boys are culturally developed. The historical preconceptions reinforce that gender differences in physical activity is dictated by the female frailty and male strength, which is not the case. This assumption is also seen in the movie when the narrator decides to recruit female players to engage in the baseball activity, not because they can but because he wants to save the current situation.
For instance, the author recruited American girls to play baseball as a profession to assist in restoring the Americans depressions and revenues that the baseball empire had lost. This is because the men who could have engaged in the sport were engaged in war. Therefore, the movie played a pivotal role in showing the position of women in sporting activity in the American culture. Largely, the movie acted as women empowerment platform.
Dowling, Colette. The Frailty Myth: Women Approaching Physical Equality. New York: Random House, 2000. Print.
Gilbert, Sarah, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel. A League of Their Own: A Novelization. New York: Warner Books, 1992. Print.
A Raisin in the Sun is a play written by Lorraine Hansberry and made its debut in 1959 on Broadway. The specific date for the first performance of the play was on March 11, 1959. The title, A Raisin in the Sun is derived from a poem by Langston Hughes, “Harlem.” The poem is in some cases referred to as “A Dream Deferred.” The story focuses on a black family, and their struggles and experiences in their neighborhood. The background of Lorraine Hansberry had a contribution in making her write this play (Bloom, 26). Lorraine Hansberry was brought up by successful and well educated black parents. Her parents publicly fought the issue of racial discrimination among black people. This is surely one of the major reasons behind Lorraine writing this book. The issue of discrimination and segregation against blacks was very prevalent in this era.
During her childhood, Lorraine and her family resided in a black neighborhood, located in the Southern Side of Chicago. All throughout the south, racial segregation and discrimination was a practice that was still accepted in this area. In Northern States, the situation was a little bit different compared to the Southern States. This is because, in the Northern States, there was no existence of official segregation policy. Therefore, the segregation between different races was done on economic and racial ground, though the impact was not that strong. However, in the Southern States, there was the existence of segregation policies that were official.
Chicago served as a perfect example of a city that went through rampant black and white segregation. Her family was in the list of the first families to move into a white neighborhood after leaving the black neighborhood. However, despite moving to a white neighborhood, Lorraine still attended school at black only segregated institution. The move to the white neighborhood, however, did not come easy and with it brought some problems. The family was constantly threatened and picked on, but they defended themselves due-fully. The neighbors threatened them of violence and even filed a lawsuit against the residence of the family (Loos, 45). However, Hansberry’s father was a strong man and did not agree to back off without a fight. The man went ahead with a lawsuit and pursuit up all the way to the Supreme Court.
Hansberry has admitted that she likes recording what she has experienced in life and put it into a story. In a way, A Raisin in the Sun can be compared to the autobiography of the author. The author qualifies among the first writers to protest without fear on the struggle that black people have to go through. The author also played a very keen role in portraying the kind of life that African-Americans lead. In the release of the play, A Raisin in the Sun, the play was welcomed wholeheartedly. The play received approval from both the blacks and the whites, which had a very great importance. This meant that whatever was being addressed in the film was true and that both the whites and blacks confirmed it was true.
A Raisin in the Sun also happens to be the first play that portrayed a good exposure of black culture. The play comprised of black themes, characters, and conflicts and portrayed them in a way that seemed realistic and natural. The same year the film made its debut, it won an Award for the Best Play of the Year in the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. Winning this award was of great importance not only to the author but also black women all over. This is because Hansberry became the first black, fifth woman and youngest playwright to win the award. In her newfound fame, Hansberry spread the news of Africans and their struggles for independence from their colonial masters. Her attention was also focused on the efforts by the American Civil Rights Movement. However, her career came to a sudden halt after she died after suffering from cancer. She met her death in 1965, at the age of thirty-four, and her death was moaned by many.
During the time of the release of the play, in the 1950’s the American society was involved in a lot of things. Racial discrimination was at its peak, and the blacks were segregated and did not deserve equal rights as whites. There were very few states, if there were that allowed black children and white children attend the same school (Bloom, 145). Black people and white people could not even share standard amenities like hospitals, toilets, churches, and even shopping malls. The author uses the creation of a black family, the Younger’s, and depicts it on the stage. The family is very different from what the rest of families are known to do. There is tension after the family buys a house in a white neighborhood since it is cheaper than the black neighborhood.
The result of the purchase of this house for a black family is, however, not pleasing at all. This is because one of the white representative of the neighborhood that the black family offers them a solution. The solution is to buy them out to try and avoid tension between the different races, the whites already in the estate and the one black family moving in. However, this request is not taken politely by the white family especially the women. They get very pissed off since it means that the white representative is trying to convince them they are not good enough for the white neighborhood (Loos, 69). This is a perfect example of a problem that African-Americans had to face during the past.
The play tries to ask some very serious questions concerning identity and assimilation. In the play, we see two men who are both trying to sway Beneatha. One of them is her rich and educated boyfriend, George Murchison and the other is Joseph Asagai. George depicts the representation of a proud black man who claims to be assimilated. Therefore, he tries to act white and in all circumstances denies his African heritage. George is also very proud and even mocks Walter, Beneatha’s brother, on the lack of education and money and struggles he has to go through for his family. Joseph, on the other hand, is totally different from George. Joseph is a portrayal of people who are proud of their African heritage and even brings Beneatha artifacts from Africa once in a while.
Joseph also points out to Beneatha often that she is assimilating herself in her white ways. This is after she straightens her hair up, which he refers to as mutation. The two men portray the themes of assimilation and identity very well. George Murchison is a perfect example of a white who has assimilated themselves into the ways of the white. For this purpose, George tries to act like a white and even tries to forget his white heritage (Bloom, 123). The fact that he is wealthy and very proud is an added advantage since he can live a lavish lifestyle as the whites. Joseph, on the other hand, portrays a completely different image from the one George portrays. Joseph is an indication of someone who knows their identity and, therefore, does not struggle to fit in another culture. Despite the fact that he also has money, he is not ashamed of hailing from Africa, and he is very proud of his origin.
The author is also very keen to make a point about the strength of the black woman. In the play, the author portrays that is not a must for a woman to get married. Some women have the mentality that they should give up their dreams and ambitions for marriage. This is a very weak mentality and anyone who has such thoughts should scrape it off. Marriage should not get in the way of a woman’s dreams and ambitions. If the union is not benefiting one in getting closer to their dreams and ambitions, then it is not healthy. Hansberry makes it very clear that women also deserve the right to carry out their goals and ambitions first. The use of black vernacular in the play makes it more original.
The play also shows the perseverance that African-Americans had even after passing through all the physical and mental torture. Even after being discriminated and segregated racially, there is an African American family that still opts to live in a white neighborhood. Although the main reason they opt to live there is because the prices of houses are cheap, they also consider what they will undergo mentally (Bloom, 58). This shows that African Americans are people of strong heart since they do not fear being discriminated by their own white neighbors. This part of the play also portrays the character of being daring and provocative. Daring and provocative in a way that they buy a house in a white neighborhood, where they know there is not any other black family. They become even pissed more once they are told not to move in to avoid racial conflicts with their neighbors.
The play keenly takes a look at how the African-Americans live together in harmony. Despite some proclaiming to have assimilated, the bigger population is true to their culture and traditions. They value their heritages and live life without trying to be white. There is, however, a smaller percentage that tends to be different from the rest. This small percentage tries to involve themselves in other activities that make them act like whites. This can be considered as the small impurity there is in the African American culture. Though one can associate with the American way of life since they are living there, it does not necessarily mean that one has to act like a white man. It is important to remember where one has come from and for that try and be true to their origin.
A Raisin in the Sun is one the few plays that portrays its themes well and clearly. The play is all about the struggles of the African Americans living in a society where they are treated as minors. This treatment is based on race and the fact that whites have a mentality that they are superior. The setting of the play especially the year of productions is also very significant. In the 1950’s discrimination and segregation according to race and color, was a very common problem. The problem was widespread and was not being experienced in the United States only. This is a cruelty to other races that should never happen again (Loos, 78).
It is important to understand, that despite our differences in race and color, we are all the same. The author tries to pass this message across and I believe the play had a great effect. Despite her passing away, even in death, Lorraine Hansberry is still praised for her efforts in trying to portray the problems that African Americans go through. In conclusion, the play is of importance not only in the past but should also have an impact in the world we live in. This would help in avoiding the occurrences of racial discrimination prevailing like they did in the 1950’s.
Bloom, Harold. Lorraine Hansberry's a Raisin in the Sun. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2009. Print.
Loos, Pamela. A Reader's Guide to Lorraine Hansberry's a Raisin in the Sun. Berkeley Heights, N.J: Enslow Publishers, 2007. Print.
Life of pi directed by Ang Lee is A movie about faith that allows its viewers to choose which story it is that they believe and what really took place. In the text book The Art Of Watching Films by Dennis Petrie and Joseph Boggs, it is stated that “sometimes a filmmaker may purposely strive to evoke a variety of interpretations by developing a film around a riddle or puzzling quality” (Petrie and Boggs 26), Life of Pi is a perfect example of this. Much like the main character Pi Patel the movie forces the viewer to see with our creative and spiritual eyes rather then our physical sight. In a glimpse, the story talks about a young man who lost so much in life that he almost gave up living. Later in the story, a young man gains even more than he had in his adventure at the pacific sea. Whenever Pi was faced by any form of suffering, religion and zoology were his sources of solace. The movie life of pi represents one of the greatest features in almost every religion (faith). Research findings have indicated that the aspect of faith is dominant among Christians, Hindus, and Jews. The paper will evaluate the aspect of religion in the movie, life of pi based on spiritualism, grace of God and the existence of evil.
Spiritualism is a person’s attachment to his religion that ranges from basic participation to a strong personal one. Recalling from an earlier statement, religion is the main topic in the entire movie (Fredric and Brussat 2). As much the author highlights the life experiences of Pi, they are all linked to his religious beliefs. The main question that the movie tries to respond to is what role does belief in God plays in the life of Pi. Getting back to Pi’s spirituality, he happened to be a member of three religions throughout his life. It is hard to believe that someone could be part of three different religions bearing the fact that the three, although similar in some aspects have very conspicuous differences.
Pi’s first religion was Hinduism, which happened to be his first religion. He confesses that there are more than a hundred gods in the Hindu religion. In his statement, he says that he happened to know a few gods from his experience as a Hindu before converting to being a catholic (Lee 18). Unlike other believers, he claimed that Catholics who had a Hindu foundation were answerable to more hundreds of gods as opposed to one. In the movie, this comes out as a joke, but a person who understands religion would think otherwise. It is common to find a religious person who recognizes the existences of other religions and appreciates their beliefs, but finding one who believes in more than one religion is quite difficult. At one moment, Pi’s father tries to talk him out of the idea of being a member of more than one religion. Nonetheless, he is steadfast in his believe, and nobody would convince him otherwise.
Pi’s life as a catholic began when he met the priest. The priest introduced him to Christ, and he enthusiastically dedicated himself to learning about Christ. As he continued to learn about the son of God, he liked him more (Lee 22). He confesses that he was introduced to faith through Hinduism, but only realized God’s love through knowing Christ.
Pi was not very eloquent in Arabic. However, not even the language barrier could bar him from pursuing his quest for God. He says that the sound and the feed of the word brought him closer to God. Being a Muslim gave him a feeling of serenity and brotherhood. Pi received a lot of criticism from his father and brother, which means he had to stand up for his faith even in his home (Lee 78). His father rendered his spiritualism jumpy and claimed that believing in more than one religion was equivalent to not believing in either of them. His brother added salt to the injury by asking him if he intended to become that year’s Jesus. In his family, only his mother appeared to understand Pi’s quest for faith and religion. Unlike many believers, Pi is composed and believes in everything he has learnt about God in the three religions. At one, instance when he was sharing a meal with a friend, he admitted to being both a catholic and a Hindu.
Pi’s spiritual journey is a diverse one, full of challenges and restoration. In the movie, pi gets on board to travel across the pacific sea from India to Canada. A simple analysis of the movie interprets the use of animals as a representation of human beings. However, in the movie, life of pie, there is more meaning to the use of animals other than representing different personalities in people. In the movie, the animals represented the different spiritual experiences that Pi had during the journey (Kendrick 1). The orangutan was the mother; hyena represents the cook; the zebra was the injured Chinese sailor, and the tiger was Pi. In the movie, the cook cannibalizes the injured sailor just as the hyena does to the zebra. Pi’s mother fought for the cook but was killed by a vampire just before the tiger emerged. A deeper analysis of the movie indicates that the animals personify different emotional states that Pi experienced during his journey. The hyena personifies cruelty, selfishness, and violence, while the zebra personifies fear and desperation. Orangutan personifies motherly love, affection and the need to rise above animalistic nature while Richard parker personifies the evil that is inherent in the hearts of all men.
The above personification may be difficult to understand but after thinking about it critically, everything becomes clear. Hatred and evil are first seen in Pi when he first decides to kill out of hate. These are the same circumstances under which Richard parker appears in the battle between the cook and the injured sailor. Both Pi and Richard parker continuously struggle to contain the evil in them. On several instances, the evil in Richard parker almost consumes him but he is seen to resist it. This does not meson that the evil is inexistent (Petrie and Boggs 5).
Pi mirrors the various ways that people use to contain the hatred inside them in real life. The first attempt was to make friends with Richard parker that failed. He then tried ignoring him which also failed. Finally, he tried to train Richard parker, which reduced the hatred to a level that allowed them to co-exist. The fact is that hatred and evil can never be eliminated from people. Even in real life hate does not go away after a bad ordeal, it stays with the person but it is suppressed. There is something peculiar about Pi’s faith life in that he is not ready to rest. For instance, when he found the island, he said that if he stayed it would become his grave. He was able to overcome his hate even after experiencing a rough time in the sea. The decision to get back to the sea and continue his journey after, which he is rescued, indicates the ability to overcome evil and hatred (Kendrick 3). This brings the movie back to the idea of belief in God. Belief in God means that even if bad things happen, they are not a reason enough to make people retain their hatred and become bitter.
Ang Lee. Life of Pi. 2012.
Ben Kendrick. Life of Pi ending explained. 2014.
Fredric and Mary Ann Brussat. Film review: life of Pi.2012.
Dennis Petrie and Joseph Boggs. The Art of Watching films. Mcgraw Hill 1221 avenue od the Americas: NewYork, NY, 2012.
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