Gran Torino Essay

1795 Words Jun 2nd, 2011 8 Pages
Gina Lawence
English 306
Gran Torino (final draft)
In the Eye of the Beholder The film Gran Torino allows Clint Eastwood directs and plays a role that depicts an older man dealing with lost love, life and death, hauntings from the past, and managing his own racial biases. All of these obstacles come to a harsh reality with the changes taken place in his mid-western home town. Eastwood plays the widower, Walt Kowalski, who is highly racist and prejudice. His character was a former Korean War veteran and Ford factory worker that believes all things should be kept American, especially his neighborhood. With his cynical mind set on the world, each day slowly becomes darker and darker for him as more and more Hmongs and other mixed races
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To Walt is it the internal pride that the veteran has for his country. He knows that he has shed blood, sweat, and tears for his county. The flag is a reminder of the personal vendetta that he has against anyone that does not look like what he believes the typical American should be. It’s easy for Walt to pass judgement on any Asian, he can pinpoint them based upon their physical appearance and argue that they are not American. He is now the only white neighbor left in the neighborhood, so Walt makes sure that the American flag is placed where everyone in the neighborhood can see it. He is marking his territory and standing his ground, just as the American military taught the Korean veteran to do. When the Hmong gang and Thao are standing in Walt’s driveway talking about stealing the 1972 Gran Torino, the assumed meaning of the flag changes. It waves ever so graciously as the gang plots a plan of grand theft auto. America was found by the white man, and stolen from the natives of the land. The Hmong gang is plotting to steal the American car, they are simply living the American way, in the sense that America was found upon the same principal. Walt feels as though he is entitled to his privacy and that no one is allowed to step on his grass or come onto his property. But, what truly makes it his property if it was all founded upon by stealing and blood shed? In

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