The characters: Tre Styles and Mookie are two young African-Americans in the films “Boyz N The Hood” and “Do The Right Thing” respectively. Both films were released around the same time period, with DO THE RIGHT THING being released in 1989, and BOYZ N THE HOOD in 1991. Both films are coming of age tales for Tre and Mookie, they both reside in a low-income, predominantly black neighborhood. Both films share a common theme: the idea of hopelessness and survival as a young black male in the “hood.” Both men are a product of what can only be described as “urban decay;” they are trying to find their place in a society that doesn’t care much for their well being or success. BOYZ N THE HOOD and DO THE RIGHT THING have a common message: that race relations in America during the early 90’s are abysmal, and there is little hope for success for a young black man in the ‘hood.
Tre and Mookie are the main characters in both films; the movie is filmed through their eyes. We can see how they view their peers, their circumstance, and we can sympathize with their struggle for man-hood. Unlike Mookie, Tre has the only father figure in either film; this gives him an advantage over the other father-less men. Tre has a guide, a mentor to teach him right from wrong, so he seems to not get in a much trouble as his neighborhood “homies.” Ultimately, Tre is the only one who succeeds in “escaping” the ‘hood and accomplishing the dream of a normal middle-class life. Mookie, on the other hand, is a poor father to his own child; he lacks motivation, and depends heavily on his sister for support. Without a father figure, Mookie is doomed to stay in the ghetto, and has little chance for success.
Both characters have a shared disdain for white characters/society. Mookie and Tre have problems with authority (white authority). Mookie’s interactions between his Italian boss Sal and his son, Pino are the most obvious forms of dysfunctional race relations. While Tre’s run-in with...
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