The Mark of The Hug

Dear Writer,
A little background first. We had to watch two movies in our class: Billy Elliot (2000) by Director Stephen Daldry, Ordinary People (1980) by Director Robert Redford. Our assignment (based on the professor’s instruction attached) is literally can be about anything. So, I pick the symbolism of a hug. Specifically, the one that happens at the character turning point. In Billy Elliot, Jackie (Billy’s father) turning point is when Billy dances in front of Jackie, showing Jackie what Billy is capable of, Jackie decides to go back to the mine ground (while his other colleagues are still in strike) to work, essentially to make money for Billy’s Royal Ballet school; even though Jackie thinks negatively of ballet. Jackie breaks down in tears while Tony (Jackie’s oldest son) embraces him on the ground. In Ordinary People, Conrad turning point is when he is told about Karen’s suicide, he meets Berger at the doctor’s office. There, Conrad can finally express his feeling that he wishes to control from the beginning, and finally comes to realize that because Conrad chooses to life while Buck (Conrad’s brother) chooses death, does not make Buck’s death Conrad’s fault.

This is how I envision this paper to include the following, feel free to tweak/fix as needed:
Main focus: The hug marks the turning point of each character.
Hug is a form of non-verbal communication. It indicates familiarity, love affection, friendship, brotherhood or sympathy. To many people reality is a lonely and painful place with nowhere to turn to. A hug is a way to show to that person that he’s not a lone in this world. A hug can create connections to make you feel safe and secure. It lifts our spirit in a way that cannot be expressed in words. Hug is forgiving. It’s a form of one person reaching out to another. Openness of the heart to give and receive love. It all goes back to intimacy.
Berger embraces Conrad scene: “The body doesn’t lie.” “If you don’t feel pain, you’re not gonna feel anything else.” “Maybe you were stronger… Did it ever occur to you?”
The hug here is an emotional release of cathartic emotion, which are self-blame, frustration, guilt, judgment. Conrad suffers from survivor’s guilt. At the turning point, Conrad is able to stop judging himself and his mother Beth—letting go of hatred for his mother. Conrad is able to express himself through the outburst of anger. His emotion changes from emotionally depressed, suicidal person to liberated from guilt, able to love himself and others.
Might be able to use chapter 18 “If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism” in Foster’s book, Conrad “rebirth”

Tony embraces Jackie: “He might be a fucking genius, for all we know.” “Give the boy a fucking chance.”
Jackie goes back to the mine, something that is repugnant and shameful out of love for Billy-act of desperation. He is willing to sacrifice and throw away everything he believes in just to give his son the possibility to shine in an art that Jackie doesn’t understand at all. Because Jackie is prejudiced against ballet. Breaking the strike, letting down his colleagues, return to work for Billy’s dance school, it means surrendering his beliefs, throwing away all his friendships for Billy’s future. Breaking the strike is socially unacceptable because as by doing so, he has weakened the position and power of his colleagues who are still on strikes. He betrays the principle of solidarity for Billy.
For conclusion paragraph, it has to be able to answer the question “so-what?” meaning why does this topic matter to the reader? Why is this hug important? What does this hug represent in real life? Make a connection t the outside world, explain the human condition.
Might be able to use Chapter 25 “It’s My Symbol and I’ll Cry If I Want To”

Please make sure every paragraph ties back to the thesis. Be mindful of buzz-words. Make it personal if you like. If you have any questions, don’t assume the answer. Just send me an email with your questions. It might be beneficial if you watch both movies before writing this so you’ll see what scenes I’m talking about.


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