West Side Story Analysis

1170 Words 5 Pages
Released in 1961, West Side Story highlights the lives of two teenage street gangs in the Upper West Side of Manhattan: the Sharks and the Jets. Through the form of a musical, the movie explores their rivalry as well as the hate that can stem from racism and discrimination. Within this feud, two characters drive the events of the story, and as each part comes together, West Side Story reveals itself as a literary tragedy.
A literary tragedy consists of five major structural parts, starting with the exposition. Here, the conflict develops and information about the characters presents itself. Condemned by fate to live in a hateful society, some characters yearn for an ideal, thus catalyzing a journey to create that world. Without this need to
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The climax focuses around Tony and Maria’s ideal society and maintaining its perfection. The wedding held in the bridal shop represents the union they will soon have between themselves and society, but fate has positioned the both of them at a crossroad. With the rumble about to happen, they need to make a choice whether or not to compromise this perfection. But Maria inevitably encourages Tony to save it because her and Tony’s heroic nature tells them they must. Maria does so by warning Tony how the upcoming rumble could jeopardize the world they have worked so hard to create, therefore becoming the reason why Tony attempts to stop the fight. This places part of the blame in Maria’s hands, proving that it takes more than Tony to create this tragedy. With these elements put into place by Tony and Maria, the falling action can begin, and this literary tragedy can …show more content…
After the love of her life gets shot, Maria wishes now that she could do anything to change the hatred that has come of this feud. Fate has won this battle with the heroes, as Tony and Maria will never be together and the world remains almost the same as when the tragedy began. Despite all of the loss, a single gain emerges: the Sharks and the Jets bond over the death of their loved ones; the unwarranted hatred and discrimination will, for once and for all, cease to exist. This final gain after an incredible amount of loss becomes the last piece in this puzzle of a literary tragedy. West Side Story slowly morphs into a literary tragedy through the actions of the heroes and the elements of its plot. It teaches valuable lessons through the use of its thematic content, and by showing viewers that by allowing hate to dominate, dire consequences arise. And although West Side Story may not be of this century, the astonishing truth that it bears can withstand the test of

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