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American History X

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1. I really liked the film American History X because it clearly showed what values are essential in one’s life. It is a sad and very useful film at the same time. The ending words of the film say that it is not wise to spend the life for hatred because the life is too short. I like the words by Abraham Lincoln, cited by Danny, “People are not enemies, but friends” (American History X), and at the end, they will surely show their better feelings (American History X). The film was touching for me, and I consider some scenes to be violent. However, I also think that without scenes of violence in the film, the director could not show what he wanted to convey to the audience. As for my own experience, I would like to say that there was not anything similar with the events of the film.

2. Liberation theory means that all individuals are born equal, with the same capacity to show their intelligence and brilliance. It depends on a person if he or she can show this brilliance. It is a theory of socialization. Sometimes, people get misinformation about some facts and events; and liberation of people means that humans can single out the accurate information among all its kinds. Liberation is when a person can have his or her own opinion about something and critically evaluate the events, which happen during the everyday life. People are considered to be free when they are imposed something, but they can decide what is best for them and what they should do in a particular situation.

3. The film tells its viewers that two brothers, Derek and Danny Vinyard, were influenced by the leader of neo-Nazi, Alexander Cameron. He persuaded them that black people are to blame for the problems which happened with them. The fact that their father was killed by black drug dealers also influenced Derek’s and his brother’s decision to become a part of a White Power group. The liberation theory in this film is shown when Derek, and then his brother, understood that both of them took the wrong path, and after their understanding, they became free of any negative influence. They clearly understood that to change something they had to do something by themselves, and hatred could not help them.

4. The event which led to the involvement of two brothers in the White Power group is when their father, a firefighter, was killed by two black men. However, Danny states that it has begun long before the death of their father. It was said that main positions in shops and other workplaces were taken by immigrants, and Americans were left without jobs. Derek’s father says that two black men who were taken as firefighters are not so proficient as the other two white men, who were refused the workplace. The father fears that these two black men might not watch his back very well. Derek feels angry after his father’s death; he begins to hate black and brown people. He thinks that every problem in America such as immigration, unemployment, and AIDS comes from them.

5. Derek had to serve a three-year sentence in prison for the murder of two black people. Even being in prison, he showed racist beliefs, but then he understood that everything could not be divided into black and white. He saw that the group he related to, being in prison, was trafficking narcotics with the help of the Mexican prisoner. Derek clearly apprehended that white people could also be moral monsters; it does not depend on the color of one’s skin. Then, the other horrible event happened: Derek was raped in the shower by his former so-called friends. Dr. Sweeney comes to visit him and supports him. At that point, Derek begins to rethink his beliefs. Dr. Sweeney sends him some books, and Derek spends the rest of his term reading them. When Derek got out of jail, his brother could not believe at first that Derek did not want to lead the same life he had led before. But then, Derek told him everything, and suddenly, everything became clear. They were wrong and they should not do things they did before; what really matters is the family.

6. The great example of hatred and racial bigotry in the film is shown when the gang of neo-Nazi attacked the shop where immigrants were working. Boys from the gang beat the seller, smashed the shop, and subjected a Mexican girl to humiliation. There is a clear message about the hatred and violence in the story, it can bring only very negative consequences. Thus, Derek was raped and then, he paid for his beliefs and his actions by losing his brother. His younger brother was killed by a black boy, and also paid his price as he was taken his life. Violent scenes in the film evolve from horrible ones to such where the only ending is possible.

7. The reason why these two brothers were involved in the activity of the gang is that they were left without the father, and there was not a person (a man) who could set an example for the boys. Doris as their mother could try to speak with them and explain that if they want to succeed, they should try hard to get what they want. It is not wise to blame others for their problems. Murray should not give up on the boy and leave the house as he did, and even did not try to have a friendly conversation with the boy some time later to knock some sense into him. As for the school counselors and Dr. Sweeney, they had to conduct some extracurricular work with students, engage both black and white boys work together and help each other. Police representatives could hold some seminars on the rights and obligations of every person and the equality of all people.

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8. Dr. Sweeney treated Derek with kindness because he saw that the boy took the wrong path and communicated with wrong people, but, nevertheless, Derek was a good boy. He had a great spirit inside him. Dr. Sweeney could not give up on Derek as he could not give up on

Danny. He was a kind and good teacher and understood that boys at such age needed guidance to prevent them from huge mistakes in their lives. Lamont also treated Derek with kindness because he also saw that Derek was a kind and good boy, and all people need to have a second chance, a chance to correct their mistakes.

9. If I were a student at the Venice Beach High School, I would make a difference in the violent scenario by expressing the desire to the members of the gang to become one of them. This step would be very dangerous, and I would have fears that with some time, they could understand that I did not share their beliefs. I would undertake such step to gain their trust and have the opportunity to show them the real state of things. I would try to make them understand that their leader just manipulated them and let them hurt other people, who did nothing bad in their lives.

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