1. The major themes of this movie were the range of prejudices such as race, class, and others that we encounter in real life even if we do not realize it. These themes relate to perception and identity because through all the scenarios in this movie, it shows the collision of different races and classes that help change their perception and their identity. Even though, a person finds himself or herself as not stereotypical or a racist, in the end it’s impossible for them not to be because it’s in our nature.
For example, when Officer Hansen (Matt Dillon’s partner) wanted to get a new partner because his partner was racist and not his prototype of a police officer but towards the end, he showed his racist attitude with Ludacris’ friend when he assumed that he was going to take a gun out of his pocket. He profiled Ludacris’ friend because he defied all of his stereotypes for blacks, which was not listening to Country music or liking ice hockey. Therefore, he judged him and assumed that he had a gun. Therefore, it just shows that even though we try to not be racist or follow stereotypes, we still catch ourselves doing it. . I think that identity and perception are related because everyday we are consistently changing our identity physically, emotionally, and mentally. We experience different situations throughout the day that help shape our identity and change how we think or perceive things. Everyday is a learning experience, which therefore we are not the same person as we are the day before. The major characters that changed their perception and identity were Sandra Bullock, Ludacris, and Matt Dillon. -Sandra Bullock: In the movie, Sandra Bullock was the most racist character.
She stereotyped many of the characters that were minorities such as Ludacris, her housemaid and the Mexican locksmith. When she encountered Ludacris, she walked closer to her husband thinking that Ludacris was going to snatch her bag or attack her. Although, ironically Ludacris did steal their car, she still assumed that he was a criminal due to his skin color even if they were in an affluent area of LA. With her housemaid, she was always trying to find something wrong with her chores such as the dish wares that weren’t placed in the cabinet.
With the Mexican locksmith, she assumed that he was a criminal because he looked like he came right out of prison with his bald head, saggy jeans, and a tattoo on the back of his neck. Therefore, she told her husband that she wanted the locks changed once again because she didn’t trust the locksmith guy and thought he was going to give the spare keys to his gang members. But towards the end of the movie when she fell off the stairs, she called all her friends to take care of her or to at least visit her to check if she was okay but none of them did because they were too “busy. Whereas, her housemaid was there by her side attending to her needs. Therefore, she realized that her prototype as a real friends wasn’t actually accurate because the only friend that has been by her side the whole time was her housemaid who she mistreated multiple times. Ludacris In the movie, Ludacris and his friend were always roaming around affluent areas of LA to steal cars in order to earn a living. He represented the identity script that blacks were suppose to act as criminals.
When he was about to steal the car from Terrence Howard, he was surprised to see a black man behind the wheels because usually it would be a white person. His expectancy was violated. Then, his perception of himself changed when Terrence Howard said “You embarrass me and you embarrass yourself. ” That saying was a direct definition because it labeled his behavior. Because Terrence was a black guy who became successful, he served as a role model for Ludacris to break the stereotype that blacks were criminals.
Therefore, after that, Ludacris discovered in himself that he could change into something better and alter how people think of him in a positive way. He experienced a self-fulfilling prophecy when he had to decide whether to sell the Asian people in the van to the dealer for money or to do a good deed and help them get to a good place. In result, he chose to do a good deed and helped the Asian people and gave them money to buy some food. Matt Dillon In this movie, he was a police officer that despised minorities because they were the reason why his father lost his job.
Due to his hatred, he mistreated minorities especially African Americans. He pulled over a car that looked like the stolen car that was reported to him but he knew that it wasn’t that car because of the license plate but he saw that there was a black man. He made both the black man and his wife step out of the car and he starting to pat down the woman in a disrespectful manner. It was his way of taking revenge for what happened to his father. But in the scene where the woman he disrespected was in a car accident, he didn’t hesitate to rescue her even when he knew his life was in danger as well.
At that moment, his perception of minorities was somewhat changed because he realized that were still people and that not all of them deserved to be blamed for what happened to his dad. 3. A situation where there were differences in terms of perception was the scene when the little girl got shot. Every character in that scene had a different process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting the scenario. -Little girl: The little girl saw a man pointing a gun to her dad, which worried her because she remembered that the invisible cloak was with her and not him.
Therefore, she ran to her dad to protect him. It never crossed her mind that she was going to get shot because she thought the cloak had real powers. At the end of the scene, she told her dad that the cloak works and was powerful. -Mexican locksmith/ The Dad: The locksmith was focused on the guy with the gun. He was trying to reason out with the man trying to give back his money or settle a deal. In the background, he could hear his daughter calling out for him and when she ran to him, he caressed her and heard the sound of a gun shot.
In his mind, he thought his daughter was shot and dead until she started to talk. This is an example of expectancy violation theory. -The man with the gun: The man with the gun was focused on the locksmith guy who he thought was the reason for why his store was destroyed. When he pulled the trigger, he realized that he shot the little girl in front of him and that he killed her but once the little girl spoke, he said that there was an angel watching him. But he didn’t realize that the angel was his own daughter who filled the gun with blank bullets. The mother of the girl: The mother of the girl was washing dishes when the scene between her husband and the man was happening. Her daughter was yelling for her mom to take a look but the mother was too focused on the dishes and told her daughter to stay inside. But when the little girl ran out, her mother was scared that she something might happen to her in the streets so she ran towards her. When she heard the sound of the gun, she froze and thought that her daughter was shot and killed which caused her to scream.
She was realized to find out that her daughter was still alive and went back inside the house and locked the doors. 4. The identities portrayed were very realistic because as normal human beings, it is in our nature to stereotype and expect certain outcomes due to their race, gender, and culture. We have our own take on how we perceive people and through those perspectives it determines our identity. In order to make sense of certain situations, we try to think of reasons. For example, when we are driving in a freeway and you see a car accident ahead, you can’t help but look who the drivers are.
Once you realize that the driver is Chinese or Asian, you suddenly say “no wonder” or “makes sense” because we have that stereotype that Asians can’t drive. This was similar to the scene in the beginning of the movie. 5. Cognitive complexity fits in to this film because each person cognitive complexity changed from low to high. This change happened due to the personal experiences that they encountered. For example, Sandra Bullock had a low cognitive complexity because she immediately judged people due to their race and physical appearance even though she never communicated with them and knew their life history.
But at the end, her cognitive complexity was high because she started to become more open minded and less judgmental after finding out that her only real friend in her life was her Mexican housemaid. Dual perspective fits in this film because they would try to put themselves in other people’s shoes to see how they feel. For example, when Ludacris and his friend encountered Sandra Bullock and her husband after leaving the restaurant. Ludacris tried to explain to his friend how Sandra felt when she saw them.
He said that she saw two black guys walking and got scared which is why she placed her hand on her husband’s arm. Ludacris’ friend had a different perspective saying the Sandra just placed her hand on his arm because she was cold since it was wintertime. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help us see their perspective of certain situations but they are not always accurate because we have never been in that situation to comprehend how they feel and we all have a different way to respond to those situations.