The weather is sizzling hot and tensions are slowly coming to a boil in this Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn neighborhood. Slowly but surely we see the heat melt away the barriers that were keeping anger from rising to the surface. The Blacks and the Hispanics own the streets the Koreans own the corner store and of course the Italians own the pizzeria, the Cops who happen to be all Caucasian, prowl the streets inside out, looking for anyone to harass. Toes are then stepped on and apologies are not made. Spike Lee creates the perfect set-up for a modern day in Bed-Stuyvesant. Without fail Spike Lee is transformed into an anthropologist. Spike Lee’s goal is to allow viewers to glimpse into the lives of real people and into a neighborhood they call home.
After all this isn’t just some flight into an imaginary ghetto. It’s a journey into real life, real people and of course real circumstances. In the words of the local DJ Mr. Se~nor Love Daddy its time to, ” Waaaaake up!’ and see what real life is really about. Our main character is Mooky, a black teenager, who works in Sal’s famous pizzeria. Mooky is the pizza parlor delivery boy and he is the only one of his friends to have a job.
ESSAY – THE REAL SWEETNESS OF LIFE ON EARTH It is a life long, continual legacy to myself regarding the responsibility I have for my attitudes, concerns, outlook, and actions as long as I live. Regarding personal criticisms of fellow humans, my interpretation of the awkward actions,illwill and devious or clumsy mechanations of others, does in no way justify a bad attitude from myself toward those ...
Sal and his two sons run the pizzeria. Sal is one of the very few white Italian business owners remaining in this predominately black neighborhood. Despite obvious tensions, Sal holds his ground in the neighborhood and remains proud of the fact that these people, meaning the kids of Bed-Stuy, have grown up on his pizza. Along the way we meet other characters such as Radio Raheem who is a neighborhood kid who walks the street with an oversize radio and decorates his fingers with the symbolic ‘love’ and ‘hate’ rings. Smile, a mentally disabled individual who runs around the streets selling the one existing photograph of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Then there is Mooky’s Puerto Rican girlfriend, who is raising their son and constantly nagging Mooky for being a deadbeat father. We also meet The Mayor, an alcoholic, elderly man who wanders the street looking for any type of chores to do in exchange for a small about of money. Lee’s choice of characters and actors seems noticeably ideal. Each character is full of life and more importantly each is an individual.
Each character is created to retell a part of our society that we sometimes over look. This obviously makes Spike Lee a good anthropologist. Lee was able to study the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy or one just like it, and observe the inhabitants in their own environment, by observing their unique qualities and behavior, he was able to create characters for his film “Do the Right Thing”. Lee would have been very meticulous about recording his findings, very much like an anthropologist today. When we try to understand why the characters act as they act and what drives each of them, the viewers are inevitably drawn to the conclusion that they are just like them. They realize they are human; they have both good qualities and bad qualities.
Spike Lee also makes them understand that at times they may make terrible mistakes, and that at other times they may display admirable heroism, and that sometimes they simply act without knowing why. Spike Lee does more than try to show his viewers that despite tensions, this Black neighborhood is a community. What Lee does is he makes the viewers think. He simply presents events as they are leaving the viewer to figure out the motives of the characters and the ‘why’ behind the course of events. Lee doesn’t really put a positive light on any particular race while shadowing the other ones. He doesn’t try to make conflicts have an obvious solution. Lee simply re-creates a piece of life, with a little twist of extreme (yet realistic) drama for deeper effect, and by doing this he tries to simply make his audience think and question.
Character Makes the Man One of the questions Thomas Hardy poses in his masterwork novel, The Mayor of Caster bridge, is the relationship between character and chance in destiny. Destiny in this novel most closely relates to the idea of destiny put forth in Robert Frost s poem The Road Not Taken, where chance defines the paths for a person to take, but it is the person s character itself, which ...
Another reason why Spike Lee makes a good anthropologist is that perhaps why Lee made everyone just as guilty and just as innocent as anyone else, he did that because there is no right thing to do. Or if there is one right way to act perhaps it isn’t the only right way. Everyday people struggle with one another, Spike Lee believes that the characters want to live happily but they can’t decide on one method of achieving this, and as anthropologist this was his quest to find out. Consequently his characters end up dealing with endless conflicts and sometimes acting in a way that does more harms than good. It becomes clear then that although Lee’s message is up to interpretation, it is clear that his film does not lack purpose. His purpose has many aspects.
One of them is to show that there is more than one way of getting something, and that each way has its own benefits and pitfalls. Another aspect is that there is never one single person or group to blame, Lee demonstrates this when the viewers start to think about who really is to blame for the chaos that erupts near the end of the film. Perhaps Lee is asking his audience to simply judge people as individuals and not as representatives of an entire race, since he would like to prove that race is a social category not a biological fact. This is apparent when the audience comes to realize that each character belonging to a certain racial group has a counterpart who is very different in his or her views. For example the Italian Sal who shows some slight racist tendencies are nowhere as ignorant as one of his sons. In conclusion Spike Lee does show noteworthy signs of become an anthropologist. His ever quest to inform his audience that they should not judge a person from their ethnicity group and assume all actions of that person are typical traits of that race.
Examining the ideas and beliefs within ones own cultural context is central to the study of Anthropology. Issues of Race and Ethnicity dominate the academic discourses of various disciplines including the field of Anthropology. Race and Ethnicity are controversial terms that are defined and used by people in many different ways. This essay shall explore the ways in which Anthropologists make a ...
He clearly tries to inform the viewers of race as a social category and not a biological race. Spike Lee simply wants us to open our eyes. The world is full of beautiful things and if we keep ourselves narrowminded, we end up missing a great deal. In the words of Mr. Se~nor Love Daddy did say it best “Waaaaaaaaaaake up!”.