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Billy Elliot

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“Lads do football, or boxing, or wrestling… not friggin’ ballet.’ What does Jackie want for his son?

manly things
to be better off then him and Ton: to succeed
to do what he loves

“Lads do football, or boxing, or wrestling.. not friggin’ ballet.’ – Jacky Elliot. This quote from the film ‘Billy Elliot’ makes the viewer question what Jacky really wants for his son. In the eyes of the viewer it is clearly seen that he wants his son to do manly things, and not ballet. Though he also wants his son to do what he loves. He wants him to be better off then him and Tony.

In the film ‘Billy Elliot’ one of the main themes explored throughout this film is gender stereotypes, as it seen when Jacky Elliot makes that one comment to his son. It also clearly seen, due to the fact that Billy has to hide his passion for ballet. It is quite obvious that Jacky just wants his son to do something manly, and that he wants him to be like Tony, who did boxing as well. The viewer can see that Jacky is quite ashamed at first of his son for doing such a feminine based sport, when he could be something else, such as wrestling. In the scene where he finally catches Billy attending a ballet class he is furious and ashamed and yet confused all at the same time. In the scene after where he tells him he can’t do it anymore, the viewer can see that he just wants his son to be like, to do what lads do. Though, because Jacky’s eyes are blocked off by the gender stereotypes in the world, he does not see how much muscular strength and power a sport like ballet takes, and that some men do it too. Though because of this he just assumes his son is a poof. From this evidence in the film it is shown that Jacky wanted him to do something masculine, not feminine, though he also wants his son to do what he loves.

Even though he is against the ballet idea, by the middle of the film the viewer realises that Jacky really just wants his son to do what he loves. Since he himself loved boxing and it made him happy, as well as Tony, he thought it would do the same for his youngest son Billy, although it was quite the opposite. Even though he kind of forced the idea of boxing onto his son, it is truly seen that his father means well, and he just wants his son to do what he loves. This is obvious when his father willingly goes back to work, despite all his beliefs, to pay for his son’s ballet audition. So although he believes that his son should be doing something more masculine, he accepts his son’s dream to be a ballet dancer, as he sees how much it means to him, event hough he doesn’t truly understand why. By all the tension and how he misunderstands his son at the start, he doesn’t realise that he doesn’t love boxing, and thinks that doing a ballet is just a stage or he is just acting out, he didn’t realise how much it actually meant to his son. Not only this, but he also wanted his son to be better off than him and Tony.

Jacky just wants his son to better off than him and Tony, and to have a better life. It is obvious of this when he tries to help his son get the audition at the Royal Ballet School, and how he begins to encourage and support his son. He sees how much it means to his son, but he also see’s that this school could give him a chance to get out of Durham, and give him a chance to make something of himself. He doesn’t want his son to have to work in the mines like him and Tony, as it too dangerous and not a practical life. He wants him to have the chance that he never had for himself, and that the chance Tony didn’t get. He knows with perseverance and his dancing ability he will be able to succeed, so he tries his best to provide the money for his to go to the audition, in hope for a better life. Despite the quote “Lads do football, or boxing, or wrestling… not friggin’ ballet”, it quite obvious that all he wants for his son to succeed in life and not end up staying in Durham.

The quote “Lads do football, or boxing, or wrestling… not friggin’ ballet”, questions the viewer, but is so deeply and enthusiastically shown that he just wanted the best for his and to do what he loves and to have a better life, even though he wises it was something masculine, but he accepts this, because he loves his son so dearly.

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