Gran Torino Sociology

750 Words3 Pages
The film Gran Torino is a great depiction of cultural structures and values. The main character William (a Caucasian American male) is faced with alienation from the rest of society due to his age and his growing up in a different era. He is having trouble relating to the culture of the new era. After fighting in the Korean War, William’s perception of life is filled with violence and death. This caused him to alienate himself from others because his communicating style is different from what is considered normal. With his sons you can see that there is a lack of communication and understanding each individual’s language. In the film you can see that one of his sons tries to reconnect with his father on his birthday, however he does not understand…show more content…
Sue tells the story of the Hmong people and how they are descendants of Chinese heritage and during the war they sided with the Americans. They suffered oppression and they could no longer live in their homes and were forced to move to America. However, when they arrived they found that their culture and values had changed. Women are now going to college while most of the men end up in prison due to gang affiliation. In the film, Tao (Sue’s brother) is pressured by his cousin to join his gang. When they come to Tao’s house to get him they struggle with his family and William witnesses this and begin to defend them. The power struggle began as William asserted his power by threatening one of the gang members to leave Tao alone. Then the gang retaliated by beating up Sue. William’s cultural language is shown in these scenes because violence is what he can relate to. So he realizes that the only way to assert overall power and to prevent this gang from hurting Tao and his family is to make sure that they won’t have the power to do so anymore. In the film the car is an important part in determining privilege. William has the privilege of owning the car and others around him want it including the gang and his family. However, during the film he built a relationship with Tao that he never had with his own family. Tao was able to fill a place in William’s heart that they could speak the same unspoken language of what each other needed in a relationship and in life. As a result after William died, he gave the privilege of owning the car to Tao because of the connection that they
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