School Ties Essay, Research Paper
Though the movie School Ties takes place decades before the
movie Higher Learning, there are many similarities. These movies
show us that students on any campus in any year have always
faced the same problems. These problems being racism, finding a
peer group and finding financial aid. These movies show how the
different groups keep their distinctiveness.
Racism doesn t have to occur between people with different
skin colours. It can be all the other religious denominations in a
school discriminating against a single Jewish student as was the
case in School Ties. Or it can be skinheads climbing up on a
belltower trying to kill as many black students as possible.
The movie school ties is about a star football player, who
happens to be Jewish going to a private high school in the 1950 s.
He comes from a working class family and his only way of fitting
in with the preppy, who while unknowingly, openly insult his
religion in front of him other students is to bond with the other
football players. That is his niche. In Higher Learning all of the
characters try to belong with other groups. The black runner who
is on a full scholarship after being threatened by skinheads hangs
around with all the other black students who are almost a Black
Panther s like group. When a small town kid from Iowa can t
belong with any group he starts hanging around with white
supremacists just to belong and eventually they corrupt him and he
starts believing their propaganda and takes it to the extreme by
climbing a bell tower and trying to kill as many non white students
as he can. Lastly in the movie Higher Learning their is a young
sexually inexperienced white female from a working class
background who experiments with bisexualism. All of these
students just join these groups even if they don t really feel the
way the others do, just to obtain a sense of unity with others like
Both of these movies also show how difficult it is for
students to afford to attend these places of higher learning. In
School Ties the main character is only attending this prestigious
school to benefit their football team. The severity of this is shown
when he misses a sacred Jewish holiday to play a football game.
To the University he is only a Football player and if he isn t
winning football games for them he isn t worth paying for.
In school matters we encounter the same scenario. With the black
track star. When he starts slacking off and missing practices the
coach changes his full scholarship to a partial scholarship and he
doesn t have enough money to pay for his tuition. Once again in
show how Universities are just businesses looking to make money
like any other.
The last similarity in the movies is culture. More specifically
pop culture. In both movies much like in modern society, groups
of people who hang around together tend to dress similar and in
the same style and listen to the same music. In school ties all the
students could wear whatever appropriate dress clothing they wish
but the more trendier students always wore a school tie. In higher
learning the skinheads all had tattoos of swastikas and Nazi seals.
They wore dark clothing with wife beater undershirts, had the
same hair cut and listened to punk music. The black student s also
had their own style they dressed in, resembling the Fresh Prince of
Bel Air s style and listened to Rap Music. On the topic of Music
the love Fest music festival. Run by the bisexual curious female
student designed to unite the student body gathered all the
student s together making it easier for the sniper to pick targets.
If you notice the ways these students interact with each other
in each movie are similar, even when compared to the activities of
our student body it is almost eerie how so little has changed in the
last 50 years. We all do things maybe even things we don t agree
with to fell as though we belong. Some things we may regret later
in life. These to movies show that how even though time changes,
some things always stay the same.