Research paper

Submitted By staniucha
Words: 4013
Pages: 17

American Beauty: Frank Fitts BEHS 453 Domestic Violence

Plot Synopsis
In the movie of American Beauty, the narrator; a man by the name of Lester Burnham, in the beginning of the movie, he says “I’ll be dead in a year.” He then explains the year prior to his death which I will explain. He is a 42-year old father; who is unloved by his only daughter Jane. Jane is a 16-year old who decides to save up for a breast augmentation. She does not want to do it for her looks; it is merely for making the men that desire her miserable for what they can’t have. Lester’s wife Carolyn ignores him and is constantly working. Lester works as an executive at an advertising business. His wife, Carolyn who is a realtor, is very committed to her work, a perfectionist; she makes sure that nothing can get in her way. They have a home, with a white picket fence where Carolyn takes pride in her garden. Narrating, Lester complains that, “Both my wife and daughter think I’m a chronic loser.” When he states this, you can see that there is very high tension that builds from him explaining this, because they think of him as a loser but they have their reasons. Later, you enter a scene in the dining room of Lester’s family at dinner time. The room is beautifully lavished table. As dinner progressed, in the background, you can hear soft waltz/classical music, quite reassuring and comforting. The family sits silent as the sound of utensils strike the plate, displaying the tension for this strained relationship. While eating Lester decides to criticize Jane’s attitude, she then tells him that he has hardly speaks with her in months. Carolyn decides to bring Lester to Jane’s school performance which Jane is a cheerleader for the school. Lester was not feeling up to it, but he went anyway, basically volunteered on going to his daughter’s performance. As Lester and his wife watch on the stands of the filled gymnasium, Carolyn admires her daughter from afar as well as Lester with no motivation. As they watch the routine, Lester see a beautiful girl, in a cheer leader outfit, he thinks he sees his Angel. “Is it wrong for a man in his 40’s to lust after a teenage girl? Any honest man understands what a complicated question this is. Wrong morally, certainly, and legally. But as every woman knows, men are born with wiring that goes directly from their eyes to their genitals, bypassing the higher centers of thought. They can disapprove of their thoughts, but they cannot stop themselves from having them. American Beauty is not about a Lolita relationship, it’s about yearning after youth, respect, power and of course, beauty.” Lester than day dreams about this girl, seeing her alone on the empty gymnasium, seductive, attentive only to him, as he goes deeper into his thoughts, he see her about to expose herself, and as this happens, rose petals fall in place of the nudity. Lester’s thoughts were not nasty by any means necessary, but merely a form of beauty. Abruptly getting interrupted, he mind still wanders, and attentively keeps to his daughter’s classmate introduced as Angela. Her character seems to be of self-centered nature. At this point Lester shows rejuvenation of interest towards Angela. At this point, it seems she is his ticket, that feeling of freedom away from the multiple years of emotional paralysis. Lester has changed at this point to where he then announces, while at a funeral dinner, “I quit my job, and told my boss to (profane language) himself also blackmailed him for sixty-thousand dollars.” The atmosphere was tense, but not to Lester. It seemed that he was out of his mind, which later he had purchased a vintage 1970 Pontiac Fire Bird. Lester then applied for a job at a fast-food chain because he liked the job. Most would say that this man is going through a mid-life crisis, but in reality, he was happy. During this time, his wife Carolyn and daughter Jane are going through their own romantic