Racism in Gran Turino

Prejudice’s in the Film ‘Gran Torino’
By Will Anderson

The movie Gran Torino contains many forms of predjudice and shows situations that are experienced by three diverse cultures. The three cultures or subcultures presented are the Caucasian, Hmong and gangs. I will describe some of the issues each group faces with socialization, discrimination and culture. Their diversity causes discrimination between them; they judge each other based on race alone without giving any thought to each person’s individuality. Due to the many differences in their socialization each of these groups are unique. Besides the cultural diversity here, there is always human diversity in every neighbourhood. Their cultural differences make it even harder for these families to co-exist in the same neighbourhood. While quite different from one another, each culture demonstrates similarities that eventually bring some of these groups together to form mutual friendships as well as mutual respect for one another’s ethnicity.

Socialization is unique to each individual but can be seen in a culture as a whole through their values, ethics, beliefs and traditions. This is seen in the everyday practices of each group. One example of socialization variation is how Walt maintains his property well when the neighbours do not. As a child, Walt was shown how to do the upkeep, taught that it was important and then as an adult he followed through. Tao shows that he was not taught the same things because he needs help maintaining his home.
Ethically, the Hmong family shows that it is important to them that they work for what they have. They show this, while teaching Tao, by having Tao work for Walt to make up for him trying to steal Walt’s Gran Torino. Similarly, Walt expresses his own work ethic by speaking of his work in the plant for so many years. The gangs exhibit no work ethic at all.
The Hmong believe that it is an insult and rude to look into someone’s eyes. The Caucasian see looking into the...