How Gran Torino Demonstrates the Outsider

Outsiders fall into internal and external conflict with themselves and society, regardless of whether they are excluded by choice. This conflict is recurringly examined throughout texts highlighting outsiders through a variety of themes and symbols. Studying the major ideas of texts such as Clint Eastwoods Gran Torino or Franz Kafkas metamorphosis allow us to dissect and compare how these themes create personal and extended conflicts for The Outsider on which the text is based on.
Gran Torino directed by Clint Eastwood in 2009 details the story of a racist Korean war veteran who is disgusted by modern society, and grows to love his Asian neighbours. Metamorphosis written in 1915 tells the story of a young man who awakes to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect, and is thus exiled.
Both texts detail the theme of economic effects on familial relationships, and how the create conflicts with the outsider. Walt is disgusted by the attitude of his family towards him, and therefore alienates himself from them. There is a close up shot of Walt spitting at the feet of his granddaughter when she asks what he will do with his Gran Torino when he dies. He is a lot less well off than his family, dressed in intentionally provocative costuming, his granddaughter in rich skimpy leather jackets, His son in a Rolex watch and sunglasses. Walt becomes an outsider to his family by refusing to indulge in the luxuries they possess . Eventually the family gives up on him “Screw him then, you cant say we didnt try”. Similarly in Metamorphosis Gregor is forced into becoming an economic outsider. “Once I have the money to pay off my parents debt ill make my big break”. Gregor is treated as a source of income and not as a family member write my essay legit. This is why the family create such a conflict following his metamorphosis, as he is no longer able to earn. Gregor talks about “What a strenuous career it is that Ive chosen! Travelling day in and day out.” This use of irony conveys his personal conflict in depth, as he chose the alienating career but was forced into it by his father. Just as in Gran Torino, the Outsiders family gives up on him “I dont think anyone could reproach us in the slightest” referring to justified neglecting of the outsider. Overall these economic and familial themes help to illustrate how Outsiders fall into conflict with others.
Sacrifice for love is another colossal theme that is represented in the Outsider, However, the outsider may be conflicted about who they love. Walt begins his story referring to his Asian neighbours as eggrolls, fishheads, swamprats and chinks. However he realises that he has “more in common with these gooks than my own spoilt family” The alcohol that Walt drinks symbolises with who his feelings lie. It begins with rice wine and gradually digresses into rice wine, which becomes a recurring motif, representing his love for his Asian neighbours. There is an overshot of Walt as he Locks Tau in who wants revenge for the rape of his sister . “I wont let you get blood on your hands and have to live with it” which is an allegory for the sacrifice for those closest to him. He then proceeds to intentailly get himself murdered so that the rapists are arrested. The camera zooms out from Walts highlighting him as a martyr. Likewise in Metamorphosis Gregor is willing to starve and suffer so as to avoid the inconveniencing of his family. Gregor does not want his sister to go out her way and “he felt great pride that he was able to provide such a life for his parents and sister” However he is soon forgotten and is forced to accept it until, like Walt, he forced into an untimely but necessary death for the movement forward of his family. It is of ironic nature that After Walts death Tau and his sister are never bothered again. and After Gregors death the family move to a location that is “extremely favourable”
It distressing that the conflicts that outsiders have with themselves and their surroundings lead to a premature, and graphic death. However, the outsiders die for a cause and make the best of their world, despite the constant conflicts they have with society.

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