PAPER TOPIC 1

PAPER TOPIC 1 - Running on Empty draws obvious questions...

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Running on Empty draws obvious questions about the nature of the self in relationship to the individual themselves and the other people that the individual comes into contact with. Clearly the outward characteristics of Danny’s self are constantly being changed. He must seem to become a new person every time he is forced to move to a new town with his family. The interaction between a person’s actual self and the appearance of the self, composed of various social constructs, is played out in these extraordinary circumstances. Arguably, Danny’s “true self” never changes. He has certain defining characteristics that motivate him, inhibit him, and give him a general way about him. Whether he changes his name or his hairstyle or his background, essentially, these characteristics should remain the same. In Danny’s situation though the stress from these constantly changing appearances could possibly have a greater effect, especially because one could argue that his “true self” was formed in this environment. Initially it seems that this lifestyle has affected him deeper than the outward self. He is not an outgoing person, he knows that any relationships and friendships that he creates will soon be discarded and therefore seems to be an introverted and quiet person. Even around his family he is often irritated, more towards the beginning of the film, and seems to be upset by their situation and his outward self is an expression of this. Of the people that Danny meets other than his family, only Lorna, who is obviously a very outgoing, confident person, is able to break through Danny’s personal walls and form a close relationship with him. In his relationship with Lorna, and interactions with his family later in the movie, we can see that, while actually a quiet, soft-spoken kid, he is also compassionate and inspired. His lifestyle has far from crushed his “true self”. He has a very established self identity with dreams and aspirations. His relationship with Lorna is the clearest
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PAPER TOPIC 1 - Running on Empty draws obvious questions...

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