John Smith?s movie entitled ?Dangerous Minds? discusses the lives of students with different cultural backgrounds?African-Americans, White Americans, Mexicans, etc was aired on KTN. These students have their individual ideologies and identities depending on their roots and family. Through the character of Ms. Johnson, each personality of these students is revealed. Ms. Johnson focuses her attention to the three significant characters of her students?Raul, Emilio, and Callie. Raul is Mexican; Emilio is White American; and Callie is African American. All these characters have their own dilemmas in different aspects of their lives?family, personality, and status in school. Ms. Johnson helps them to establish their characters behind the war, self-centered behaviors, and ?uneducatable? conscience. Throughout the movie, Ms. Johnson tries her best to conquer her fears against her class. She is full of conviction to change the lives of the students to become better individuals of the society. Because the class is consists of students from different cultural background, she starts learning each strengths and weaknesses through language acquisition, reading, writing, and creativity. As what Ms. Johnson emphasizes in her teaching strategy, identification with the students is very important. It is significant enough to make the students realize that they are equal in every way, even if they differ in culture and identity.
Ms. Johnson teaches literature in her class. Personally speaking, literature is the best way to make students become creative, logical, radical, and critical. It is also a subject that helps the students unleash their emotions on certain image, situation, word, phrase, or entity. That is why literature becomes the armor of Ms. Johnson to enhance the students in their academic aspect. It only means that Ms. Johnson is sensitive enough to the needs of her students because she knows how to handle the situation and make her class become profound in ideology and social perspectives. Ms. Johnson does not only teach her students. She does not leave them after the class. She wants to be connected to each of her student to familiarize herself to the needs and situations of the learners. The movie shows the ideal way of teaching students who need guidance and support. In the context of the film, the students evolve not in a fictional way like being too good immediately or being great learners after a few discussions. The film encompasses the struggles of the students as they learn the meaning of education and life. Ms. Johnson shows the right track to her students, especially Callie, Emilio, and Raul to make the students realize that they have a place in the society?a place where they could learn and speak with dignity, pride, and knowledge.
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Emilio?s death emphasizes the failure and victory of a teacher. Ms. Johnson feels that she is successful in making her students achieve good education through the characters of Callie and Raul. However, Emilio?s death depicts the fact that teaching is a risk that no one knows who will survive or not. Though Emilio tries to survive, he is weak to conquer his foes. Emilio?s character is somehow ironic because he is known as a macho and strong man who could defeat anyone in school, but behind those actions and strength, a weak man is shown due to Emilio?s family problems and circumstances that manifests within his character. This scenario emphasizes the idea that every person has his or her own Achilles? heel, that even a teacher could not able to change. In conclusion, the movie encompasses the struggle of teachers to make their students good people. Also, it teaches the teachers how to become more sensitive to the needs of their students?not only in academic aspect, but also with their personal lives if they need attention or guidance. Smith establishes the idea of teaching as a passion and not for money and good opportunity. The documentary of John Smith?s is a product of realistic poetic style accompanied by built-in ability of photographing to prescribe similarities. Thus, John Smith?s has provided many contradictions of Ms Johnson?s life and has put in arguments but never has provided any final solutions. The ambiguities inside the film have enabled the audiences to explore different ideas and beliefs and opinions about the famous persons like Johnson and connect it with the present which is the absolute goal of the history. Evaluation The movie deals with Racial stereotypes. Racial stereotypes and society's definition of what the individual identity is expected to be like is what causes the Ms. Johnson to live his life long pondering about the age old question of what identity exactly means. His confusion was increased more since he did not seem to belong to one distinct group as his dark complexion made her torn between a black and culture that was not black. Ms. Johnson plight is just a case in a sea full of examples. The question of what identity exactly encompasses has been after all debated since the antiquity of human civilization and has been the major cause of conflict and strife between people. The definition of identity is a much debated and controversial issue that has not been agreed upon. What remains clear is how the community, tradition and general social rules of what is acceptable and what is not, influence the notion of identity from place to place.
The interesting aspect of all this is how reflecting on the individual identity throughout time and across the different cultures has survived or tried to survive in the middle of the social restrictions, rules and expectations imposed on it. Ms. Johnson was always told that there was no way she could be black at the same time even when his dark skin color was a fact rather than a choice he could make. Despite the obvious fact that he was black people could not grasp that because they already had been accustomed to the idea that these two things were in contrast rather than harmony. Humans naturally associate certain words together. A black America seemed to defy that notion and was rejected despite the evidence of his belonging to both. Physical appearance and behavior are two things that should naturally be in harmony according to the general social definition of identity. Being black connotes ghetto behavior and a certain dress code that goes along with it. Belonging to a black community means abiding to certain invisible and unwritten but nevertheless very powerful rules that make up the whole black identity. The conflict arises when a person stresses his belonging to two distinct groups like the two mentioned so far. Society as a result is unable to mix the two cultures and rejects this notion thereby killing the individual identity in an attempt to save the general social and commonly accepted one.