Yiyang Zheng (Simon)
Instructor: James Hughes
June 2nd, 2012
Monster’s Ball: Death, Racism and Love
The specter of racism has always haunted the United States. The first century in U.S. history is the era of slavery and slaughter of the African Americans. With the presence of Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation, the African Americans gain the physical freedom they had dreamed about for years. However, even though they were not slaves anymore, the blacks still lived in the bottom tier of the society below the poor whites. They were humiliated and hurt by a society that encouraged prejudices only because of their skin color. The world they lived in was full of violence and crime. This wickedness lasted for more than about 100 years and diminished because of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. The appearance of the great MLK gave a face to the poor blacks and their pain and hopelessness. Together with the civil rights movement he aided in championing the rights of man eventually leading to an increased standard of living and hope that the future would be better. Being an international student who did not really know about the racism, I never took this problem seriously until I saw the movie Monster’s Ball. The death of Lawrence, the suicide of Sonny, the hopelessness of Leticia and the changing of Hank shocked me. In my paper, I will divide the movie into three main parts. First, I plan to analyze the effects of death on Hank. Second, I will explore how racism affected the two main characters and their relationships. Third, I will conclude by examining the love between Leticia and Hank in relation to the setting.
The first part of this movie started with the execution of a black criminal, Lawrence. The first scene that attracted my attention is when Lawrence sketches portraits for Sonny. At that time, I felt that they looked more like two good friends. Mia Mask writes, “They view each other not as inmate and guard, guilty vs. innocent, black or...
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