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The analytical essay of the movie The History Boys - Assignment Example

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The analytical essay of the movie The History Boys

The essay explores the dramatic elements, theme, and meanings of the film, specifically for four main characters, Hector (Richard Griffiths), Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore), Dakin (Dominic Cooper), and Posner (Samuel Barnett). Their sexuality produces inner conflicts that intersect with outer conflicts with social norms, norms that the basic institutions of society, specifically schools and religion, define and control. The dramatic action is the pursuit of knowledge in education and life and the changes that come from “knowing” and “becoming.” The theme of the film is that the purpose of education is to not teach what is known, but to help students know the unknowns about their society and their identities because this mindset makes them critical of knowledge and truth and sensitive to the vast gender and knowledge imbalances in society. Dramatic action occurs through the action of characters on their inner and outer conflicts about their identities and their knowing of the purpose of education to their identities. Education is supposed to help students and teachers learn what they do not know yet, so that they can become whole individuals. The through action of Irwin is that he changes because he learns that as a teacher, he should not forget his own personal growth. After Dakin and his friends learn that they all passed their respective university entrance tests, he confronts Irwin and offers an indecent sexual proposal. Dakin makes a strong remark on how different Irwin is as a history teacher and as a man because he is more confident and more of a risk-taker as a teacher than as a gay man (Cusack & Hytner, 2006). Irwin is clearly struggling with his gay identity, which he seems to be ashamed of. After the sexually-charged confrontation with Dakin, however, he becomes more spontaneous with his identity, when he rides with Hector on the latter’s motorcycle. The riding act means that Irwin is no longer ashamed of his identity because the purpose of education for him is to learn who he is. Dakin has action through understanding that he does not have to know his exact gender to be comfortable with himself because gender and education are both fluid complex processes in life. When he talks to Irwin about the sexual tension between them, Dakin underlines that he is not completely gay: “I'm not, but it's the end of term; I've got into Oxford; I thought we might push the boat out” (Cusack & Hytner, 2006). Dakin’s main conflict is his rigid sense of heteronormativity, which involves the validity placed on heterosexual relations. In reality, he struggles with his bisexuality. Both Irwin and Dakin are unravelling their sexual identities that they have repressed, and it is their education about sexuality that releases them from the bondage of heteronormative gender norms. Hector and Posner have the same gender conflicts, being gay in a world of masculine education. Posner struggles with his sexuality that he does not want to control, while Hector struggles with his sexuality that he wants to control, but prefers not to because of his justifications that they are mere sexual baptismal rites. Posner confesses to Irwin that he is gay and in love with Dakin, and that he does not want his gay sexuality to be a phase (Cusack & Hytner, 2006). His inner struggle is more connected with his sexual insecurity because of his social circumstances. Posner is aware of the prejudice against gay people: “ ...Show more
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Summary

Known and Unknown Identities and Truths in The History Boys Name University 25 October 2013 Every headmaster’s dream is to have its top circle of students go into Oxford or Cambridge, while every male student’s dream is to have sex, at least, some of them do…
The analytical essay of the movie The History Boys
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