“Brokeback Mountain” By Ang Lee Essay Example For College

There is a famous American western that revolutionized modern cinematography by rising important issues of gender and sexuality. The name of the movie is the Brokeback Mountain and by making sociological problems described in the movie so open for public, Ang Lee put them on the top of the most important issues that exist today. These issues make spectators think about many problems such as love, friendship, social prejudices, role of sexual orientation in society and its impact on modern world- outlook.

Homosexuality has always existed in all cultures. The evidence and reflection of this fact can be found in literature, history and arts. However, people’s attitude to it changed with time. Although now sexual minorities are accepted by society in many countries, in times when the main heroes of the Brokeback Mountain lived, they were not allowed to express their sexual orientation and moreover, to show it on public.

Both main heroes, Ennis and Jack, find friends in each other before they fall in love. The last is not the consequence of passion or lust, but the consequence of real friendship. When men meet each other for the first time they realize how great they feel being together. Despite the fact that Jack was going to marry Alma, he finds that it is very pleasurable for him to communicate with Ennis not like with a friend. There is something more between them that makes Jack’s heart beat faster. Similarly to Jack, Ennis also comes to realization that “he’d never had such a good time”. Both men are not afraid to tell each other about their dreams and troubles and consequently, fall in love.

The homosexuality and real love between two men is the pivotal issue of the whole movie. It is clearly stated in the movie, that time is able to change social morality and as Brokeback Mountain takes place in 60th, both main heroes are afraid to be judged by others and they hide their relationship and feelings from the whole world. Moreover, despite the fact that their relationship exceeds boundaries of heterosexuality, Ennis and Jack do not think that their sexual orientation is homosexuality.

After they spend their first night together, Ennis says to Jack: “You know I ain’t queer” and gets Jack’s answer: “Me neither. A one-shot thing. Nobody’s business but ours” (Lee, Ang. _ Brokeback Mountain_). In my opinion, the fact that main heroes deny their real sexual orientation proves that they were both afraid of being misunderstood and not accepted by society. Moreover, they both marry woman and pretend to live happy with them.

Love is another sociological issue raised in the movie. Considering the fact that both main heroes did not find peace in their heterosexual relationship and were trying to meet all the time during the movie, it becomes clear Ennis and Jack loved each other during all their lives. The last scene, when Ennis fastens buttons on Jack’s t- shirt and drops tears shows how sad he is to lose his real love. Although they were never really together, they always tried to rind the reason to meet and it was more than just a primitive instinct or a sexual chemistry. In my opinion, it was a real love, love that exceeded boundaries of heterosexual society and usual prejudices. It shows spectator how important it is to have a freedom of choice nowadays and how this freedom can make people happy.

Both Jack and Ennis try to fallow rules of convention by marrying their wives. However, even Alma is not an obstacle for men to express their feelings and to kiss in front of her. Both men are so carried away by each other that they spend a night in a motel room. Moreover, they lie to Ennis’ wife that they are going to be out having drinks. This cheating was noticed by Alma who suffered from her husband’s sexual orientation and told him once, when she was not able to live with this fact any more:

You know, I used to wonder how come you never brought any trouts home. You always said you caught plenty, and you know how me and the girls like fish. So one night I got your creel case open the night before you went on one of your little trips — price tag’s still on it after five years — and I tied a note to the end of the line. It said, ‘Hello, Ennis, bring some fish home. Love. Alma.’ And then you come back looking all perky and said you caught a bunch of browners and you ate them up. Do you remember? I looked in that case first chance I got, and there was my note still tied there. That rod hadn’t touched water in its life (Lee, Ang. _ Brokeback Mountain_).

In my opinion, the fact that some people did not have the freedom of sexual orientation choice can make other people around them unhappy as well. Ennis’ wife Alma and Jack’s wife Lureen are good examples of this. Both women spend their lives with men who did not even loved them and married just because of social prejudices.

The homophobia is another important issue raised in the movie. The heterosexual society in the USA was very strict about any demonstration of homosexual relationship. Therefore, Ennis suffered from this phobia, and, in my opinion, it came from his childhood. There is a scene in the movie when he tells Jack about an accident with a homosexual guy, who was killed with tire iron and then was showed to everyone as an example of a wrong behavior.

Moreover, Ennis’ father tried to frighten him that if Ennis would ever have any relationship with man, flat iron will also become his destiny. These prejudices prevent Ennis from seeing Jack and from being able to live according to his homosexual needs. Even his divorce with Alma did not help him to realize that his feelings to Jack should overcome social prejudices about straight love.

Brokeback Mountain is a movie that raised important issues in a way they were never presented in the movie industry before. Ang Lee showed the history of relationship between two men as a story of real love. Unfortunately, Jack and Ennis did not find a way to be together, but it is clear for everyone that their love, which does not now measures and boundaries is going to be alive forever. In this story, everything revolves around real feelings and inability of main heroes to express those feelings. Social prejudices are shown as very important reasons that prevent people from finding their happiness and sexual identity.

Works Cited

Lee, Ang. _ Brokeback Mountain_. Paramount Pictures, 2005.

Race And Your Community

In my twenty-eight years of interacting with my community, I have gained an insight into the differences in my community. After a close examination and scrutiny of the community where I come from, I have unconsciously realized that the majority of the community members are quite different. I concluded after noticing that there are people I could associate myself with and those that I could not associate with in terms of their physicality. Though sexuality forms a basis of my categorization, I tend to emphasize skin pigmentation. Since I tend to seek comfort in numbers, I always feel out of place when in the company of a majority of the other groups that I do not associate with based on my classification. I am quite sure that out there, some share with me these sentiments, and because of this, there are continued strains on the relations between dissimilar groups from the community perspective. This has in turn bred favoritism, where a particular group has an upper hand in almost every, the area in the community. Nevertheless, this depends entirely on which side you are in a particular situation (Brewer, 1979, p. 310).

I always held the notion that those who are entrusted with authority are strategically placed and have an upper hand in dealing with matters of the community as a whole. Hence concluding that they should restore sanity in the community, in the context of the role played by government institutions. However, to my realization, that is not the case. Those who have ascended the political ladder and are at the heart of administrative duties tend to favor their community and continuously ignoring the unrepresented group. Most of the privileges are accorded to the group that is at the heart of the administration. The situation is further aggravated if it comprises purely of members from a particular race. Being an African American residing in Urbana in Illinois has helped to shape my way of looking at different aspects of the standards of living between the whites and the blacks. The demographic distribution is quite interesting as blacks are distributed all over the state. The town’s conditions coupled with income disparities have brought many issues to the core. Highly paying jobs are a reserve for the whites (Hewstone, Hopkins & Routh 1992, p. 228).

Northeast Champaign had relatively poor housing conditions for the blacks while their white counterparts had quality housing. This prompted all the blacks to start a new comprehensive housing development plan entirely funded by private equity. The driving force was the poor housing conditions. It was the brainchild of Charles E. Philip who was an insurance agent of black origin. Demonstrations by blacks precipitated what they termed as discriminations against the housing. There were predominantly white housing areas and black housing areas. A spirited fight ushered in a new era where blacks were allowed into white predominantly housing areas. The trend has continued to be witnessed even in modern times as public housing has inherent problems that need to be addressed. Drawing heavily from the experiences of Charles E. Phillip who championed quality housing for the blacks.

Being an African American and residing in Urbana where the demographic distribution comprises a mixture of several races, with the blacks scattered all over the place, I have experienced inequalities in the provision of services. Surprisingly these are consequences of the community that I am a resident of. The designation of different lunch counters basing on the color of the skin is evidence of the fact there is segregation by the community. Furthermore, those who want to go to a movie theatre, stores, schools, and restaurants have in one way or another confronted with segregation. Securing employment, and I mean a well-paying job, is very hard for the black person. A bigger percentage of blacks secure employment through the University’s structure and other lowly paying jobs. As Stern (1994) stated, “low rents attracted black persons to the northern part of the town and explicit segregation policies kept them there” (para. 9). These are practices by the community against the targeted group. The black housing is of low standards and it is highly overpriced. Some blacks are deprived of adequate electricity, water, and essential requirements of a good house.

The role played by media as a social institution cannot be ignored. The media has on several occasions’ undergone transformations that are both favorable and unfavorable. Several years ago, it was a commonplace occurrence to spot an advertisement comprising of people from different backgrounds all enjoying a product together. Initially, it was hard to spot an advertisement comprising of a black person. However, it has evolved until a bigger percentage of races were taken into account. Recently, adverts are beginning to surface portraying different ethnic dimensions. As Wayne (2006) stated, “I recently saw several McDonalds ‘separate’ but equal commercials. In one, a group of Black students is hanging out at a black table. In another, a group of Hispanics makes an urban safari trek (para 1).” Some commercials have even gone a notch higher by depicting blacks in hideous circumstances. In addition, there is inadequate representation in entertainment and news. Quite often, the depiction is always humiliating in one way or another. The entertainment industry is awash with whites and the ratio is quite high compared to black.

The leadership is made up of people from different races and backgrounds. It is quite easier to associate with a leader with whom I share the same physical attributes. Apart from physical attributes, a leader whom I share with the same values and norms regarding a particular subject. People in leadership positions have different views regarding the community. These differences have brought about different stands on particular issues affecting the community hence they have taken a stand quite different from mine (Learner & Miller, 1978, p. 1038).

Full representation of the interests of the minority is yet to be realized. A wide range of cases is a pointer to this. The failure of the community to elect minorities into the school boards is evident that their interests are not fully represented. In instances of voting where minorities are up against a predominantly white background, the result is that the minorities end up losing the election. This can be attributed to the fact that voters align themselves in preference of the candidate associated with a particular group. Eventually, in such a case the minority’s interests are not represented.

It is completely impossible to wipe out the existence of community inequities. Therefore, it is imperative to acknowledge that the best we can do is preventing ourselves from perpetrating some of these inequities. Of particular interest to me is I would strive to put to an end all the racial-oriented issues in my community even though my ability to change some of these racial inequities is limited. Racism forms the basis of all the other inequalities, hence putting to an end all the resultant problems of racism necessitates that we tackle the root cause of the problems. Instituting and monitoring anti-racism campaigns is one of the ways to put to an end all the racism in my community. Organizing community events and conferences and advocating participation by members of different races create avenues for tackling some of the core issues of racism. Increasing community awareness, changing some of the policies that are in place, and advocating for a balanced leadership that takes into account all the interests of community members at heart (Myers,2005, p. 98).

Interactions have helped to shed some light on the diverse composition of my community. I have consistently associated myself with a group of persons who resemble my physical attributes repeatedly. This has created sharp divisions in how the community treats people with different physical attributes. This has been extended up to the leadership level where people treat each other based on physical attributes. The media has also contributed to the straining of relations between the different groups of people by creating different pictures of the two groups. Although there are differences in physical attributes, there are chances of holding the same views and perceptions regarding a particular subject. Although there are minorities in my community, their interest is not well represented. This is further worsened by the role played by the media.

Reference

Brewer,B. (1979). In-group bias in the minimal intergroup situation: A cognitive- motivational analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 307-324.

Hewstone, M., Hopkins, N., & Routh, A. (1992). Cognitive models of stereotype change: Generalization and subtyping in young people’s views of the police. European Journal of Social Psychology, 22, 219-234.

Lerner, J., & Miller, T. (1978). Just world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 1030-1051.

Myers, G. ( 2005). Social Psychology. McGraw Hill: NY.

Sterne, J. (1994).Scratch me and I Bleed Champaign: Geography, Poverty and politics in the heart of East central Illinois.Bad subjects.Web.

Wayne, A. (2006).The return of segregation in the media-the ugly truth emerges. Web.

The Ireland’s Economic Crisis

Background

The “Celtic Tiger” has bowed to the pressure of the global economic crisis. Ireland had gotten this name in the early 1990 when it had become the fastest growing economy and most wealthy nation in Western Europe. One reason for this impressive growth was the low taxes and government incentives that attracted foreign investors into the country (Kaye, 2009). There was an influx of immigrants into Ireland from the neighboring countries like Poland who provided the much needed labor.

When the economy suffered the recent recession, most immigrants left the country and locals also went abroad to search for greener pastures. This created a deficit of labor that further worsened the situation. However, the industrial sector was not the only causality. Families have also paid dearly as it was seen in the recent increase in the divorce rates (Pedraza, 2009). As the effects continue to rage, the question that begs is, where will it end?

Aim of study

While it is common knowledge that economic hardships have a negative toll on the family setup of a nation, little or no research has been done by respective countries to establish empirically the impact that recession has on the economy (Unal-Karaguven, 2009). In the light of this, this study seeks to establish the threat of loss as well as the actual loss that has been brought about by this recession on the family. As seen in DeCarlo and Wadsworth’s (2008) theory, economic hardships impact negatively on the family resulting in stress of the children and adults alike.

Conger (1999) found empirical evidence that the effects of recession could be seen in the family. I will therefore look at materialism, psychological well being and coping strategies for dealing with stress. The hard times have forced workers to change their lifestyles in order to make do meager returns.

Introduction to study

The questionnaire used in the study is a structured questionnaire that will establish the impact of the changing lifestyles on the families. Although the questionnaire used has a number of questions, they all revolve around three topics that have been found to be part and parcel of any recession the world over. The research seeks to establish the concept of materialism and how this affects the family structure. Respondents will be required to answer questions that will help establish how satisfied they were with their income levels, if they had some extra money for their tertiary and secondary needs, and if they accessed adequate financial credit DeCarlo and Wadsworth (2008).

The research will also address psychological effects of the recession. It has been observed that psychological well being of individuals in the family setup was dependant on economic stability. Experts further suggest that when there is less money to fend for needs, there is more family-related demand which is directly related to the high levels of family depression and stress (Pinquart et al., 2010)

The research will look at the social needs to find out if they are adequately met and a hypothesis on the psychological impact of this developed. Since stress is expected to be an aftermath of the recession on the family, the research will also look at the different available options for coping with the stress. This could involve such things as a sense of humor, good diet, intimacy with spouse or partner and the concept of hope. By and large, the research findings will go a long way in establishing the consequences of recession particularly on the families.

References

Conger, D., Reuter, A., & Elder, G. (2009). Couple resilience to economic pressure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(I), 54-71.

DelCarlo, C. & Wordsworth, M. (2008). Risk and resilience processes in ethnically diverse families in poverty. Journal of Family Psychology 22(3), 399–410.

Kaye, J. (2009). Global Economic Downturn Slams Ireland, Spares Poland. Web.

Pedraza, B. (2009). Economic Downturn Affects Marriage, Families. Web.

Pinquart, M. et al, (2010). Coping with family demands under difficult economic conditions. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 69 (1), 53–63.

Unal-Karaguven, M. (2009). Psychological impact of an economic crisis: A conservation of resources approach. International Journal of Stress Management, 16(3), 177–194.

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