Functionalism In The Film 'Lee Daniels' The Butler

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The movie “Lee Daniels' The Butler” is based closely on the real life of Eugene Allen. During his 34 years as a white house butler, he witness many events of the 20th century. In Macon, Georgia, Cecil Gaines is raised on a cotton plantation. One day the plantation owner rapes Cecil's mother, therefore Cecil's father stood up to the tyrant, causing him to shoot and kill his father in cold blood. Cecil is taken in by the plantation owner's grandmother; he is trained under her as a house servant. Once Gaines reached the age of eighteen, he left the plantation with fear of being the next one to be killed. One night Cecil is so hungry he breaks into a pastry shop and unexpectedly ends up with a job. He is trained in more valuable skills from the top servant there, and after several years he is recommended for a position in a Washington, D.C. Hotel. While in D.C., Cecil meets his wife Gloria, and they have two sons. Later on in 1956…show more content…
An example of this is the conflict between the African Americans and the Ku Klux Klan. There are clear examples of functionalism in this movie. The environment that Cecil's father and the plantation owner lived in was an example of the functionalism theory. The slave owner treated and thought of the slaves as less than human. This was good for the slave owner which justified his use of the slaves for his purposes. There are a few example of symbolic interaction in this movie. The slave owner and the Ku Klux Klan member discriminates against the black people in a prejudice way based on the color of their skin. The perception on that group of people allows them to attack, beat, and degrade the African American people. This symbolism is very strong and becomes embedded in society and is difficult to break. It is something that will last for a very long time. It can be passed down from one generation to another perpetuating this problem through many
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