Analysis Of Tod Browning 's Notorious Film Freaks Essay

839 Words Mar 4th, 2016 4 Pages
One of the most callous attributes of the American society over the past two centuries would be the mistreatment and judgment of “freaks” or people with disabilities. While this cruel treatment and hatred for disabled people has almost entirely vanished, it used to be a very common social norm as these freaks were treated as second-class citizens. Tod Browning’s notorious film “Freaks” accurately depicted these common ideologies of the early twentieth century, in addition to provoking new thought as to how individuals were incorrectly and heartlessly classified through class and disabilities. The discrimination that was present in the early 1900’s is contrasts greatly to the ideologies and equality that is present in today’s society. This concept was prevalent throughout American history up until this point in time, as “mental or physical abnormalities were commonly depicted as instances atavism, reversions to earlier stages of evolutionary development” (Bayton 36). With regards to children, parents questioned the normality of their kids solely based on negative physical factors and mental retardation instead of above average qualities. Anybody that was not this skewed concept of normal was referred to as freaks, and the Tod Browning’s film vividly highlights the public perception towards disability in this era. These freaks often times were only able to feel accepted when they were with other abnormal people, so freak shows and circuses were common homes for many…

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