Issues In American Beauty And After The Ball

Issues In American Beauty And After The Ball

Family relationships and the flaws of society are two issues explored in After the Ball and American Beauty. In each text there are similarities and contrasts between the two issues though they both project the same meaning. Another audience viewing and reading these two texts will look at and respond to them differently. Family relationships in both texts are seen as dysfunctional. In After the Ball Kate and Ron are in a mis-matched marriage. They are total opposites in their personality, which causes them to argue all the time. They produce two children who are the same. Stephen is the favourite of the family. He has huge ambitions for his life, like Kate, and is disappointed when they don’t turn out like he expected. Judy is more like Ron and is happy to plod along in life. They show no affection towards each other. Kate never says to Judy and Stephen I love you even when she is dying. The characters in American Beauty do not show much affection towards each other either. There are the main characters Lester and Carolyn, who don’t get on and also colonel Fitts and his wife, who lead a very structured military life. Lester and Carolyn don’t hug and when they kiss it is for lust not love. They argue a lot and are not happy in their relationship. Their daughter Jane is a troubled teenager who does not love either of her parents. All three of them barely speak and when they do they end up hurting each other with the words that they say. Kate and Carolyn are very much the alike. Both women are ambitious and want to make something of their lives. In the beginning of American Beauty Lester acts like Ron. They both let their wives take control of their lives. Ron stays the same until the end, but Lester changes throughout the movie. Both the two texts feature someone in the families dying. In American Beauty it is Lester who dies and Ron in After the Ball. When Kate is dying she realises that deep down …


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