Thursday, January 30, 2020

How the Maid Made a Difference Essay Example for Free

How the Maid Made a Difference Essay Maid in Manhattan is one of the many Hollywood movies which portrayed the typical fairytale cliche—a love that went wrong but with the couple eventually ending happily ever after. The movie rose above the usual chick flicks in the industry through its capitalistic twist, nonetheless. Marisa Ventura, the hotel maid and single mother from the Bronx, and Chris Marshall, a successor to an American political dynasty, crossed paths and consequently fell into each others’ hands and hearts. The on-screen chemistry of the two artists, as well as the romantic, light, and interesting flow of the plot evidently captivated millions of audience worldwide. Not many, however, might have seen the presence of a deeper elaboration of significant and pressing issues in the movie. An allegory regarding ethnicity and culture, Maid in Manhattan was successful in revealing the ongoing plight of Latin immigrants in the United States. Due to their brown skin color, native tongue, and diverse beliefs, these individuals have been usually employed in blue-collar jobs, as depicted in the movie. The hotel in which Marisa worked in was headed by purely white Americans, with brown-bloods like her assigned for housekeeping. When Marisa’s friend pushed her into applying for the vacated managerial position, she initially declined due to the fact that black or brown was and still remains to be the opposite of white in terms of class status. Aside from the manager application scene, a number of other portions in the movie clearly showcased the same idea in order to emphasize the continuous emergence of cultural inequity. Marisa and Chris’ romance flourished despite their differences in ethnicity and culture. It is necessary to note, however, that during the first time Chris saw Marisa, he did not take notice of her since she was merely a hotel maid cleaning the senatorial candidate’s bathroom. Once Marisa donned the white Dolce and Gabbana suit of Caroline, one of the hotel guests, Marisa turned from ugly duckling into a beautiful swan in the eyes of Chris. This, indeed, is an example of commodification of identity. According to Knadler, this idea signifies the strong power of products and commodities in developing a political representation in society. Unfortunately, however, the political voice and visibility of an American usually depends on his â€Å"whiteness† or financial capacity. As shown in the movie, the physical appearance of Marisa greatly affected how Chris admired and understood her. In addition, it seemed that if the politician met Marisa as her real self, the profoundness of her political opinions with respect to issues such as electoral publicity and housing programs would seem less believable and significant for him. Hence, it can be said that intelligence is inevitably correlated to social class. Caroline’s friend Rachel also judged Marisa’s intellectual capacity during another suite scene. Rachel’s remark that Marisa knew only little English for she was of Latin descent visibly portrayed political prejudice based merely on the difference between skin pigmentation. This kind of misconception is known as victimization ideology, the power and control of vital social institutions to create weakness in a certain class or group (Faun). Unfortunately, this power and control is defined by monetary value. The financially deprived thus continue to end up as underdogs in the field, leaving them lower than they already are. Nevertheless, these conflicts should not be blamed solely outside the group of American immigrants. They, too, are internally outlawed by their own political and social inhibitions. Brown-bloods like Marisa learned to depend too much on the norms readily established in the society that they overlook the fact that these norms are merely standards; these do not dictate yet only inform them how they should live their lives based on a historical point of view that is not their own. It was Marisa’s mother, though, who was significantly captured by these biases and discrimination that she was the one directly trying to put her daughter down. She saw Marisa as a housekeeper and only as a housekeeper for, according to her, that is what the society has supposedly established for Marisa. This limited and narrow outlook regarding one’s concept of self is hence determined and shaped by both outward and inward influences. Maid in Manhattan successfully utilized the abovementioned scenes in order to bring forth an image explaining how cultural differences greatly affect social and working relations to its audience. However, the way in which the viewers comprehend this image is dependent on what group these people hail from. In my opinion, if it were a white-skinned audience, these specific scenes may imply how American immigrants are dedicated to their jobs, whatever this may be. Conversely, if those who are watching this film are of the same heritage as Marisa, then their perception of the movie would be fairly different. In my opinion, the movie serves as a venue for American immigrants to shatter borders and to assimilate themselves with the white culture. This act of multicultural integration remains to be their aspiration—their dream—in a world divided by money and power. Moreover, the brown-skinned audience would very much appreciate a film regarding their own social and political plight. Despite the â€Å"white-washing† of entertainment nowadays, films like these are still produced in the attempt to introduce the culture of the Latin descent and to communicate change in society (â€Å"Ethnic†). Visibility in Media is indeed a positive and necessary step in order to create more meaningful grounds for the harmony and amalgamation of ethnicities. This multicultural integration in Maid in Manhattan is denoted by two symbols, both related metaphorically to Chris and Marisa’s marriage. First is the actual bind of person-to-person through matrimony. In the context of the movie, nevertheless, the connection established was between and among races. This signifies the mergence of people, no matter what their skin complexion is, where they came from, or how much they earn monthly. In addition, the main characters’ marriage represented the unity of ideologies and cultures that define both parties. Individuals may co-exist with each other despite the differences of their beliefs, traditions, and lifestyles as long as they learn to compromise and adapt to each other’s way of living. These two concepts of â€Å"marriage† in Maid in Manhattan uphold egalitarianism, â€Å"a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people† (Weebies). Though the battle for human and racial equality is still not completely won, there will always be hope not only in the future but in one’s self. â€Å"Although we serve them, we are not their servants. What we do does not define who we are. What defines us is how we rise after falling,† shared Lionel, Marisa’s co-housekeeper in the hotel. Indeed, classes may rise and fall. Mistakes may be done once or all over again. Money can change or damage. Love can make us happy or sad. Whatever occurs in our lifetime, one thing remains the same: we are all humans—humans like everyone else, humans who can make a difference. We just have to believe that we can create our own identity and destiny. Works Cited â€Å"Ethnic and Visible Minorities in Entertainment Media. † Media Issues. 2008. Media Awareness Network. 10 Apr. 2008 http://www. media-awareness. ca/english/issues/ stereotyping/ethnics_and_minorities/minorities_entertainment. cfm. Faun, Feral. â€Å"The Ideology of Victimization. † Insurgent Desire. 1992. Black and Green Network. 10 Apr. 2008 http://www. insurgentdesire. org. uk/victimization. htm. Knadler, S. â€Å"Blanca from the Block: Whiteness and the Transnational Latina Body. † Genders Online Journal. 2005. Anne Kibbey. 10 Apr. 2008 http://www. genders. org/g41/g41_ knadler. html. Maid in Manhattan. Dir. Wayne Wang. Per. Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Bob Hoskins, and Kevin Wade. Revolution Studios Distribution Company, 2002. Weebies. â€Å"Egalitarianism: The Holy Grail of Socialism. † Strike The Root. 2004. 10 Apr. 2008 http://www. strike-the-root. com/4/weebies/weebies5. html.

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