Essay Masculinity And The Idyllic Male Qualities

1032 Words Mar 9th, 2015 5 Pages
Masculinity in Film – Charlie Dillon

Traditionally, media texts have generally constructed men to conform to specific ideals understood by society regarding masculinity and the idyllic male qualities. These principles rewarded male characters for dominance over others, aggression, financial independence and physical desirability. In the film School Ties (1992), directed by Robert Mandel, Charlie Dillon (Matt Damon) is represented as a character who fits these stereotypical beliefs of dominant masculinity. Initially Mandel positions the audience to view Charlie Dillon as an insecure and arrogant young man. As the film progresses, Mandel manipulates the narrative, symbolic and technical elements of film techniques to foreground the revelation of Charlie’s true nature. Throughout the movie, Charlie Dillon’s character is defined by his inability to handle his family’s pressure to perform highly, his egoistic and arrogant attitude, and his competitive approach towards others.

As a student of St Matthew’s, a member of the school’s football team and the son of a prestigious family, Charlie Dillon naturally displays a competitive attitude fuelled by the fear of failure and his egoistic nature. “You must be about the best high school quarterback money can buy,” says Charlie Dillon to David Greene, the new student on a football scholarship. This statement is a direct challenge to David as Charlie feels his position on the team may be threatened by this new comer. Charlie’s…

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