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Comment zu "Guilt and Redemption" in Gran Torino

Comment zu "Guilt and Redemption" in Gran Torino

 Explain how the theme of "guilt and redemption" drives the
plot of Gran Torino.
Even though the theme of guilt and redemption might not see

Comment zu "Guilt and Redemption" in Gran Torino

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Sophie

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11/12/13

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In diesem "comment" beschäftige ich mich mit dem Thema "Guilt and Redemption" in dem diesjährigen Strenchenthema "Gran Torino" von Clint Eastwood.

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Explain how the theme of "guilt and redemption" drives the plot of Gran Torino. Even though the theme of guilt and redemption might not seem like the most crucial theme of the film "Gran Torino", however, it's still a theme that helps Walt's character development and justifies his actions throughout the majority of the film. As a former soldier, who fought in the Korean War, the protagonist Walt Kowalski is confronted by the guilt following his war crimes. He had to watch his fellow soldiers die, and he had to kill soldiers of the opposing side as well. Especially the death of a young Korean soldier, that wanted to surrender torments him up to his death. This guilt isolates him from his surroundings at the beginning of the film, since he feels completely disconnected from them. Walt doesn't react put together when people mention bits of his past since he himself hasn't made amends with that point of his life yet. However, this factor of his life also seems to push him forward and makes his character more than just a bitter, sarcastic old man. During the time that his life starts to take a turn because he forms a friendship with his new neighbours Thao and Sue, he already starts to slowly work through his past...

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trauma. It doesn't matter that they are everything that he despised in the beginning, as soon as he warms up to them he feels way more comfortable opening up and learning to change. Albeit Walt still does some things that he would come to regret later on in the film, he does them for another reason, namely for protecting Thao and Sue. For instance when he tried to avenge the actions of the Hmong gang, which only resulted in an endless spiral of violence between the Lor family and the gang. Regardless of his good intentions, he still feels guilty for invoking such a terror on the family. But what role does redemption play in this film? The religious imagery is can be spotted throughout the movie and becomes almost painfully obvious when we first meet the young priest called Father Janovich. He is a young, persistent man, that constantly tries to get Walt to go to confession since that was one of the last wishes of Walt's late wife. He, however, has no interest in confessing to, how he calls it, "an over-educated, 27-year-old virgin". The religious confession of sins just doesn't seem to be in his favour at the beginning but as the movie progresses he learns to come to terms with the fact that his guilt is pulling him down. Therefore he decides to "confess" his war crimes, just not to the priest. One time while doing something in the basement he opens up to Thao about his time spent in the war and seems to allow himself to be vulnerable. The fact that he confesses it in a personal space to a person, that he considers a friend, helps him to accept his past and move on. The guilt is not gone, but he doesn't have to carry it alone anymore and this helps to build his character through developing a certain openness. At the end of the movie, he even goes to confession in the church, where he however only confesses smaller regrets from his past, such as neglecting his sons, kissing another woman and committing tax evasion. In contrast to the murder of the Korean teenager, the sins he confesses to Father Janovich are negligible. Through acknowledging his mistakes of the past he manages to become a better version of himself than he could ever hope to be without opening up. The main redemption arc of Walt however, isn't only shown through confessions, but more through more subtle aspects of the film. It can be seen that he tries to make up for his guilt by changing the life he has now. Through sort of adopting Sue and Thao, he wants to make up for never really having a good relationship with his own sons, and evidently, he puts his whole heart into keeping them safe and helping them to improve their own lives. Especially Thao seems to be one of the main reasons why he decided to change since Walt attempts to make up for the life of the dead Korean boy he had to kill. Since he can't bring him back to life, he tries to make Thao's life better by giving him a father figure to look up to. Regardless of his flaws, he appears to slowly get out of his catatonic state he was in before and let go of his guilt. His final and probably strongest act of redemption is his death, where he gets shot by Hmong gang, leading to them getting incarcerated. This deed to improve the lives of the people he loves by sacrificing himself shows that his redemption arc is wrapped up since he finally can be at peace without worrying. The factor of him finally being able to let go of his past gets made especially clear when you notice that while life slowly leaves his body, the army lighter starts to fall out of his hands, which was a constant reminder of his past. He couldn't atone for his sins by living, so the only solution seems to be his death. Walt's sacrifice ends his own storyline, while simultaneously drawing parallels to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ since a crane shot from above shows that he died whilst forming a cross. The bittersweet ending to his story is insinuated right at the start but gets only more visible the further you go through it. His guilt motivates him through the entire film and redemption, or at least self-acceptance, seems to be his final goal, however many viewers don't quite expect his character arc to end like that. As a viewer, that started to kind of warm up to Walt, you would expect him to survive and live happily ever after with Sue and Thao, since that's that most of the people think his redemption has been leading up to. The film's take on redemption is a more drastic one and only by acknowledging the part this ending plays in Walt's story, you can understand how this constant guilt has been following him throughout his life. To summarise this comment, you can see that the guilt from his past could never really let him go, but he learned to grow from the regret he was carrying deep inside. Redemption plays a big part in his self-acceptance and shows that even Walt was able to change his ways for the better. This theme supported his character development throughout the entire movie and gives him more emotional depth. After all, he could never be completely redeemed, but he could manage to come to terms with his past.

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Comment zu "Guilt and Redemption" in Gran Torino

Comment zu "Guilt and Redemption" in Gran Torino

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Sophie

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11/12/13

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Dieser Inhalt ist nur in der Knowunity App verfügbar.

 Explain how the theme of "guilt and redemption" drives the
plot of Gran Torino.
Even though the theme of guilt and redemption might not see

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In diesem "comment" beschäftige ich mich mit dem Thema "Guilt and Redemption" in dem diesjährigen Strenchenthema "Gran Torino" von Clint Eastwood.

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Explain how the theme of "guilt and redemption" drives the plot of Gran Torino. Even though the theme of guilt and redemption might not seem like the most crucial theme of the film "Gran Torino", however, it's still a theme that helps Walt's character development and justifies his actions throughout the majority of the film. As a former soldier, who fought in the Korean War, the protagonist Walt Kowalski is confronted by the guilt following his war crimes. He had to watch his fellow soldiers die, and he had to kill soldiers of the opposing side as well. Especially the death of a young Korean soldier, that wanted to surrender torments him up to his death. This guilt isolates him from his surroundings at the beginning of the film, since he feels completely disconnected from them. Walt doesn't react put together when people mention bits of his past since he himself hasn't made amends with that point of his life yet. However, this factor of his life also seems to push him forward and makes his character more than just a bitter, sarcastic old man. During the time that his life starts to take a turn because he forms a friendship with his new neighbours Thao and Sue, he already starts to slowly work through his past...

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trauma. It doesn't matter that they are everything that he despised in the beginning, as soon as he warms up to them he feels way more comfortable opening up and learning to change. Albeit Walt still does some things that he would come to regret later on in the film, he does them for another reason, namely for protecting Thao and Sue. For instance when he tried to avenge the actions of the Hmong gang, which only resulted in an endless spiral of violence between the Lor family and the gang. Regardless of his good intentions, he still feels guilty for invoking such a terror on the family. But what role does redemption play in this film? The religious imagery is can be spotted throughout the movie and becomes almost painfully obvious when we first meet the young priest called Father Janovich. He is a young, persistent man, that constantly tries to get Walt to go to confession since that was one of the last wishes of Walt's late wife. He, however, has no interest in confessing to, how he calls it, "an over-educated, 27-year-old virgin". The religious confession of sins just doesn't seem to be in his favour at the beginning but as the movie progresses he learns to come to terms with the fact that his guilt is pulling him down. Therefore he decides to "confess" his war crimes, just not to the priest. One time while doing something in the basement he opens up to Thao about his time spent in the war and seems to allow himself to be vulnerable. The fact that he confesses it in a personal space to a person, that he considers a friend, helps him to accept his past and move on. The guilt is not gone, but he doesn't have to carry it alone anymore and this helps to build his character through developing a certain openness. At the end of the movie, he even goes to confession in the church, where he however only confesses smaller regrets from his past, such as neglecting his sons, kissing another woman and committing tax evasion. In contrast to the murder of the Korean teenager, the sins he confesses to Father Janovich are negligible. Through acknowledging his mistakes of the past he manages to become a better version of himself than he could ever hope to be without opening up. The main redemption arc of Walt however, isn't only shown through confessions, but more through more subtle aspects of the film. It can be seen that he tries to make up for his guilt by changing the life he has now. Through sort of adopting Sue and Thao, he wants to make up for never really having a good relationship with his own sons, and evidently, he puts his whole heart into keeping them safe and helping them to improve their own lives. Especially Thao seems to be one of the main reasons why he decided to change since Walt attempts to make up for the life of the dead Korean boy he had to kill. Since he can't bring him back to life, he tries to make Thao's life better by giving him a father figure to look up to. Regardless of his flaws, he appears to slowly get out of his catatonic state he was in before and let go of his guilt. His final and probably strongest act of redemption is his death, where he gets shot by Hmong gang, leading to them getting incarcerated. This deed to improve the lives of the people he loves by sacrificing himself shows that his redemption arc is wrapped up since he finally can be at peace without worrying. The factor of him finally being able to let go of his past gets made especially clear when you notice that while life slowly leaves his body, the army lighter starts to fall out of his hands, which was a constant reminder of his past. He couldn't atone for his sins by living, so the only solution seems to be his death. Walt's sacrifice ends his own storyline, while simultaneously drawing parallels to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ since a crane shot from above shows that he died whilst forming a cross. The bittersweet ending to his story is insinuated right at the start but gets only more visible the further you go through it. His guilt motivates him through the entire film and redemption, or at least self-acceptance, seems to be his final goal, however many viewers don't quite expect his character arc to end like that. As a viewer, that started to kind of warm up to Walt, you would expect him to survive and live happily ever after with Sue and Thao, since that's that most of the people think his redemption has been leading up to. The film's take on redemption is a more drastic one and only by acknowledging the part this ending plays in Walt's story, you can understand how this constant guilt has been following him throughout his life. To summarise this comment, you can see that the guilt from his past could never really let him go, but he learned to grow from the regret he was carrying deep inside. Redemption plays a big part in his self-acceptance and shows that even Walt was able to change his ways for the better. This theme supported his character development throughout the entire movie and gives him more emotional depth. After all, he could never be completely redeemed, but he could manage to come to terms with his past.