Requiem for a Dream: a Sociological Examination Essay

984 WordsDec 7, 20134 Pages
Requiem for a Dream is a tragic film following the lives of four drug addicts as they struggle through their existences, against such societal obstacles as racism, social immobility, prostitution, and, of course, drug addiction. Analyzed from a sociological perspective, this film is rich with social commentary, ready to be thoroughly examined using theory. We’ll be examining the film’s treatment of drug addiction, racism, prostitution, and obsession with body image, using our entire arsenal of sociological understanding to not only understand this movie, but how the problems presented therein relate to the real world. 1: Drug Addiction in Requiem for a Dream Drug addiction, and indeed the majority of interactions with drugs in this movie, are presented with an emphasis on Symbolic Interactionism. Sara Goldfarb, an amphetamine addict who gained her addiction while taking weight-loss amphetamines, in an attempt to fit into an old red dress before she would appear on a game show. Harry, her son, warns her of the possibility of developing amphetamine dependence, which she ignores in favor of losing weight. To her, the weight loss pills were a symbol of the possibility of a better appearance. It forces the viewer to sympathise with Sara by showing them exactly what she thinks and feels throughout the development of her addiction. The same can be said for the other three addicts followed during the plot of the movie: Harry and his girlfriend Marion view drug dealing as a way to gain enough money to open a fashion store for Marion, while Tyrone, a friend of Harry's, sees it as a way to make his mother proud by escaping the streets. Drug use, meanwhile, is an escsape from the stress and cruelty of the reality they inhabit. The movie takes a prevalent social problem and humanizes it, giving the viewer a firm grasp on the symbolic interactionist perspective of drug

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