Essay on The Film American Beauty

3387 Words 14 Pages
The Film American Beauty

In life, everyone must make choices. Choices give an individual the freedom to decide the path which they will follow. In the movie American Beauty, each of the characters has a choice he or she needs to make. The main character, Lester Burnham, is faced with many choices that could either lead to his ultimate happiness or draw him further into his despair. Carolyn Burnham, Lester's wife, is faced with a loveless marriage that exists only because she does not possess the willingness to break the cycle. This cycle involves protecting their daughter by staying married. In reality, children of a marriage such as this are often the biggest victims of this sham. Jane Burnham is Lester and Carolyn's daughter.
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He is now faced with making the first of several choices that will ultimately affect his future happiness. Should he justify his job and continue to provide for his family or choose freedom and a new life. Lester decides that he can not justify his job because his job has no meaning to him. After leaving his job, he seeks a new job with less responsibility. He is hired at Mr. Smiley's, a local fast food restaurant. Making the choice to quit his job and work in a fast food restaurant finally brings Lester his chance to embrace happiness. Going for his old job to his new job symbolizes his transition from a life in which Lester was locked up to a new life in which Lester is now free to control his future.

Dreaming of a life which is out of our grasps is a common thing. Everyone at some point in his orher own life wishes that he or she were someone else or that he or she could in some way be greater than he or she already is. Lester feels this more than anyone else in the movie. The moment Lester lays eyes on Angela Hayes, Jane's best friend whom Lester considers the "beauty," he falls into a spell of intense infatuation. This is Lester's second snap. He is instantly obsessed with her, and Lester repeatedly dreams about making love to this girl, who is not even half his age. This is having an effect on his daughter. This becomes a reality when both he and Angela make sexual advances towards each other. At the last

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