Analysis of the Film, The Butler




Analysis of the Film, The Butler

The movie, The Butler, by Lee Daniels provides a well-established narrative concerning the challenges and obstacles that persons of color encounter while attempting to advance in a highly categorized social setting. The main character, Cecil Gaines, went through anguish and pain in order to move from the poor offspring of a slave that worked as a sharecropper to an expert African American domestic. The struggles that Gaines encounters, despite being difficult and unfair, are necessary to the development of the respective individual as well as the African American community, especially in respect to the impact they pose in terms of enabling mobility for persons suppressed by a racist and prejudicial system.

While the concept of violence is a subject that has proven successful and effective as shown by activists such as Malcolm X, the participation in non-violence as a means of protest in The Butler is agreeable considering the challenges that Gaines encountered. As an African American, Gaines was always susceptible to discrimination and prejudice due to the color of his skin. In addition to this, he witnessed the application of prejudice in events such as Ronald Reagan’s refusal to facilitate economic sanctions imposed against South Africa, which was undergoing Apartheid at the time. Hence, his involvement in non-violence as evidenced in his resignation was imperative in dealing with challenges.

In respect to the events captured in The Butler, it is evident that public protest was significantly different in the 1960s in contrast to the present era. At the time, the freedom of speech was highly ignored as evidenced by the use of force by the police during the protests. Additionally, promotional posters and other traditional ways of distributing information were utilized in order to encourage increased participation in protest movements. On the other hand, similarities with the present era are illustrated by the establishment of organized movements such as the Black Panthers in the 1960s and the Black Lives Matter campaign, which has become increasingly relevant within the past year.

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