Mr. Holland's Opus Movie Analysis

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Mr. Holland’s Opus is a tale of a man trying to juggle his dreams, his family, and his job. His life consists mainly of music. He is a composer who is forced to begin teaching at a high school in order to get some extra money to pay the rent. He is devastated to find out that his son was born deaf, especially because he wanted him to love and enjoy music as much as he does. He never really forms a strong relationship with his son Cole. He doesn’t know how to sign well enough to even communicate with him. Throughout Mr. Holland’s Opus you see the psychological aspects of hearing and motivation. Cole (Mr. Holland’s son) was born with conductive deafness, which results when the bones connected to the eardrum fails to transmit sound waves properly to the cochlea. He had a 90% hearing loss. In order to understand how deafness affects a person you must first understand the ear. It converts weak sound waves into more intense waves of pressure in the cochlea. The eardrum connects to three small bones. Vibrations travel through these bones and are transformed into stronger vibrations eventually leading to the cochlea where it displaces tiny hairs along the cochlea’s membrane. The hairs are connected to neurons which in turn makes the auditory nerve transmit impulses to the brain areas that are responsible for hearing (Damage to the hairs, the cochlea or the auditory is known as nerve deafness) People with conductive deafness can still hear themselves talk because voice vibrations run through the skull bones to the cochlea, avoiding the eardrum. As Cole grew up he learned to cope with his deafness by learning sign language and how to read people’s lips. In the movie, Mr. Holland tried to help the deaf community to ‘listen’ to music. He held a concert and positioned large speakers next to the hearing impaired people so they could feel the different vibrations

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