Critical Summary: Monster's Ball Essay

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Pages: 11

Critical Summary: Monster’s Ball

Hollywood movie, Monster’s Ball, condemns females into the darkest pit of degradation. It cleverly takes on a noble disguise where it attempts to teach viewers about morality and life lessons; however, it dismisses the issue of equality between gender differences that is yet to be questioned in our society’s popular culture. On the glorifying surface, Monster’s Ball tells a moving tale of a white, racist man, Hank, who eventually learns to discard his hatred and prejudice for Black people as he finds himself falling in love with a Black woman, Leticia. The story revolves around the persistence to overcome the obstacles facing racism while unfolding and discovering redemption through hope and the ability
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This brings up the issue about the position of a female in a man’s eye. She is there for him to care for, thus allowing the male to be the dominant one in the relationship. Once again, this shows male superiority over females.

It is important to note the change in Hank’s personality, which is mostly derived from the journey as he travels to retrieve the maternal care; he makes do with “substitute objects, with which [he] try vainly to plug the gap at the very centre of [his] being” (Lacan, 1989). Viewers are able to see this ideology of Oedipus complex growing and transforming as Hank progresses in each stage of life. In the first stage, the “mirror stage”, the infant “forms an identification with the image in the mirror” (Lacan, 1989) as he tries to copy his movements and see himself in a mirror. Not only does he sees his image in the mirror, it also sees “the promise of a more complete self” (Lacan, 1989), where the ego of the child begins to form. It is during this mirror stage that the child tries to identify and recognize itself through the imaginary. In Monster’s Ball, Hank grows up seeing Buck as his mirror. Because he lacks motherly care at a young age, Hank looks up to Buck as the only source of mirror, which causes him to grow up to holding Buck’s beliefs and values – a mirror image of Buck.

This changes, however, when Buck enters a new stage of life, of which one calls the “Lacanian Oedipus