Spike Lee, with his film, “Do the Right Thing,” creates a microcosm of America’s melting pot. The characters of the film are used to represent the diverse cultures that compose the American landscape. In large cities comprised of dense population, diverse cultures are forced to co-exist. In many instances, communities separate themselves as much socially and physically as possible, creating intangible barriers that progressively lead toward the growth of racial tension.
Eventually, this prejudice disease spreads so far it almost becomes socially acceptable, as Slotkin argues, stating, “Hostility toward ‘hyphenated Americans’ was a normal part of the rhetoric of respectable politicians and newspaper editors” (105).
In fact, it is my belief that progressive racial tension, in inner city urban areas, serves as a catalyst for violence, drug abuse, and poverty. “Do the Right Thing” showcases all aspects of modern American prejudice. Sal’s famous pizzeria symbolizes a minority attempting to prosper in an area dominated by the majority, which, in this case, Spike Lee chooses to make the African-American community, portraying the Italians as the minority.
In doing so, he creates an extremely unbiased, objective analy zation of this problem. He shows that no generalized group of people, or the individuals that compose them, are completely innocent. Spike emphasizes this in a montage of sequences in which various characters, all different in race and occupation, face the camera and confesses their true feelings towards other minorities. Another clever device Spike Lee utilizes is in his archetypal portrayal of his characters. This archetype is best characterized by Donald Bogle, in his article entitled, “Black Beginnings,” in which he divides the classical depiction of African-Americans into groups. Each of Spike Lee’s characters fall into these groups.
The Essay on American Literature War Americans Lee
Early American Literature by Stephen Crane and Robert E. Lee About War American Literature consisted of many well known writers. These writers wrote excellent pieces of literature which are widely read today. These writers wrote about some aspect of American life, and they depicted America very well. Some of these writers are Stephen Crane and Robert E. Lee. Lee wasn't exactly a writer, but he ...
The Mayor is a modern twist on the “Uncle Tom” persona. Spike Lee’s character, Mookie, satirizes features of the “Tragic Mulatto,” in that in some instances he is seen as a victim of his surroundings. Bogle’s concept of the “Mammy” is seen in the film’s character Mother-Sister, and finally the idea of the “Brutal Black Buck” runs a strong parallel to the domineering Radio-Raheem. The underlying conflict that sets the stage for the film is best represented in the character of Buggin-Out. Buggin-Out demands that Sal put pictures of black celebrities on the wall of the restaurant, seeing as though the store’s customer base is primarily African-American. In many ways this is a comment on how the black movement seeks, “adequate representation” within white-dominated, American popular culture (Belton, 283).
Conversely, Buggin-Out’s motives are not for the accreditation or betterment of his people, he is driven by a sense of entitlement. The distinctive groups of characters who populate the neighborhood, all claim ownership. From the kids, to the Mayor, to the Puerto Ricans, to the Police, Radio-Raheem, and Buggin-Out all in some way feel that they posses and do not share the goods they inhabit. Spike Lee raises many questions as to the source of racial conflict. In the case of the three old black men, the root of their hatred stems from envy.
It is not the “stereotypical” white oppressor that these men are jealous of, it is the Chinese grocer, who, like Sal, is able to run a successful business in “their neighborhood.” The distinction between Sal and the Chinese grocer is that the grocer, like the three envious men, had “just got off the boat,” and still succeeded despite racial oppression. Just as, “Hollywood films… expose bigotry and racism, but do so without exposing their sources,”Do the Right Thing,” does not give us any singular cause for racial violence, but the film is highly effective by showing its affect (Belton 283).
The Essay on Male Character Sam Film Effie
The Maltese Falcon, was not only a detective film, but a film that displayed many different aspects of the female and the male character in the movie. The film was more than a story, but a story that explored the ideas of the detective genre and the different characteristics of femininity and masculinity. It also brought forth subjects of sexual desires and the greediness of money. The characters ...
Perhaps both a cause and effect of inner city racial turmoil is drug use. Drug use in and of itself represents the passive behavior of a people who both allow their disenfranchised situation to consume them, as well as the act of doing nothing to change their circumstances. This phenomenon is best exemplified by the character of the Mayor.
He is genuinely a good man, who does what he can to encourage peace, but is non-the-less a failure in his attempts by choosing, in the end, to be victimized by his surroundings. He relents to the temptation of alcohol to distort his pursuit of making things right for himself and those around him, simply because in his mind, and at his age, it is just a lost cause. Another example of both the cause and effect of civil unrest is poverty. In the film, nearly all the characters cannot afford air-conditioning, increasing the exposure to the intolerable heat, thus perpetuating unrest. The separate groups of characters blame other groups for their individual financial situation. While the majority of the characters are not overtly poor, it is quite clear that they attach great value to those few items they can afford.
Examples include the Mayor and his High-Life beer, Buggin-Out and his clean sneakers, and Radio-Raheem with his boom-box. Should the individual be disenfranchised, or the item devalued in any way, it is typical for the blame to be placed on another generalized group of people. For instance, the Mayor argues with the Chinese grocer over the brand of beer they carry, Buggin-Out’s altercation with the white bicyclist who ran over his shoe, and the most extreme example being Sal destroying Radio-Raheem’s boom box. The film itself is essentially a large crescendo which continues to escalate until its explosive climax.
The story itself is set against a hot summer’s day, where the rising and intolerable temperature foreshadows the attitudes of the characters. The irony here is that the climax takes place once the sun had set, and the temperature was finally beginning to drop. The reason for this is that Spike Lee intended to show that there was a common thread, beyond the neighborhood, that bonded each of his characters. Beyond race, color, nationality, and age, all of the characters felt the heat of the sun the same. They shared the pain of the intolerable temperature.
The Term Paper on A Good Leader Influence a Group of Individuals
Assignment of “a good leader influence a group of individuals to achieve a common goal and perform well, without having to watch over them” Introduction Leadership is always considering as an important managerial topic because a good leader does not only able to guide behaviors from followers, but also leads individuals within an organization to achieve their common objectives (Morrill, 2010). The ...
When the sun set, and the pain that bonded them was gone, they replaced the common threat with the threat they felt as individuals, now left with nothing to focus on other than their hatred for one another. This demonstrates that people unite, in any circumstance, under a collective and shared threat. A good example of this is the national attitude in the months following 9-11. An individual acquires an identity by associating themselves with a group. The group gains its identity by disassociating from other groups. In other words, you know who you are, because you know who you are not.
In many instances, insecurities within the group will arouse prejudice against all those outside the group. If the insecurity is so great, the prejudice will invariably bring out social devastation, setting the stage for the emergence of violence, drug abuse, and poverty. Belton, John. American Cinema / American Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994. Bogle, Donald.
“Black Beginnings: From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Birth of a Nation.” Multicultural Film: A Reader. Ed. Mart ” inez, Maricarmen and Eugene Crook. United States: Pearson, 2003. 165-173. Do the Right Thing.
Dir. Spike Lee. Perf. Danny Aiello, Spike Lee, Richard Edson, and John Turturro.
Universal Studios, 1989. Slotkin, Richard. “Unit Pride: Ethnic Platoons and the Myths of American Nationality.” Multicultural Film: A Reader. Ed. Mart ” inez, Maricarmen and Eugene Crook.
United States: Pearson, 2003. 103-117.