American Beauty Essay

Submitted By saleh56
Words: 834
Pages: 4

Hussein Saleh
Professor Rodgers
English 132-70
30 March.2015
Madness Driven by Homosexuality, Sam Mendes' "American Beauty" American Beauty is a movie that captures one man’s thoughts as he enters middle age. The main character is Lester Burnham; an average man who holds a decent paying job as a magazine executive. The movie starts off introducing Lester’s life, in short, he is in a loveless relationship with his wife Carolyn and his daughter Jane has self-esteem issues. As Lester soon discovers his job is in jeopardy, after working for the same company for the extent of 14 years he may soon, be let go. This news drives him to re-think his life and evaluate his past and present, and begins to ask himself "what have I done for the past 14 years of my life?". His life changes when Jane introduces him to a new friend, Angela who is a young, attractive female who catches the eye of Jane’s father, this gives him new inspiration. This drives Lester to take a path of his own and to find that excitement he had always been looking for, as nothing but his life begins to vanish before his very eyes. This film has a large theoretical standpoint upon gay/lesbian people, in fact, it is very critical, this essay will prove how this theory is a very important aspect of this film. One thing that seems to be very enjoyable is how well the film portrays homosexuality. We hear words such as “partners” which is much more appropriate, rather than “fag” which is unnecessary. A large portion of the film shows openly gay people in everyday life. For example, there are lesbians looking at a house that realtor Carolyn Burnham, "played by Annette Bening", is trying to sell. Another critic explains, “Evidently the only well-adjusted and relatively happy people in the neighborhood are ‘Jim and Jim', the gay couple”. The new neighbors, the Fitts, include a discontented ex-marine, his very quiet wife, and their son who was addicted to drugs and put into a mental institution for years. We find that Mr. Fitts is not what he seems; he hates homosexuality, he is very strict and abusive towards his son. As the film was ending, Mr. Fitts starts to lust for Lester Burnham by the end of this movie, this scene was confusing, and perplexing, but was not surprising. It seemed to be that Fitts is the devious character in the movie, not Lester Burnham. At the time that Fitts was raised, being gay was the absolute end, a mark or shame and unworthiness. He feels that the military might "straighten him out" and make him a man and not a sissy boy (and one will find homosexuals within the ranks of the military). Fitts got married for the same reason. By doing these hetero activities, he thinks he might "cure" himself, and in most cases, it makes it worse, as it creates this active denial of what he really is. Fitts killed Lester at the end because he knew what this gay life was like, Lester was not going to corrupt his son (another notion, that gays 'recruit' to the gay lifestyle) and Frank knew the kind of emotional torture that awaited his son, should he take this path. Frank was a gay person in denial who finally "came out" at