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The Pursuit Of Happiness Character Web
Transcript of The Pursuit Of Happiness Character Web
Relationship with his estranged wife
Relationship with his son
Chris Gardner 1981 San Francisco
The Pursuit Of Happiness Character Web
A 27 year old (at the start of the film) man dressed smartly in his business suit, Chris Gardner is generally seen clean and charismatic with a small mustache. Although he is poor, Gardner does not want his peers and managers to think that he cannot properly afford the best business suits so he does his best to clean his clothes to look as professional as possible. He lives in New York- which is interesting as it is a place with an abundance of homeless people. He does not have any disabilities or notable body parts and it is his personality which is most unique about him. He remains optimistic and hopeful throughout the entirety of the film with only short bursts of anger and frustration directed at Christopher. He shows gratitude and happiness to everyone at Dean Witter but he conceals darker emotions to some people, especially his manager. He retains a sense of humour in the film- a trait that was vital in the most desperate of times (e.g. when they had to sleep in a public bathroom)
The Pursuit of Happiness is based on reali life person and CEO Chris Gardner.
In the former half of the movie, Garnder sells bone density scanners for a living These are scanners which provide a more denser image for double the price of more modern scanners. A month later however, we see him working in an internship against a competition of 19 other candidates to become a stockbroker at Dean Witter. Three quarters of the way into the movie, he becomes broke with only twenty seven dollars to spend and he is forced to sleep in public restrooms and homeless shelters.
His relationship with his wife is very much stressed because she is frustrated at him for not being able to pay off the mortgage and the bills. This is due to the fact that Gardner made a mistake in the past when he bought a whole heap of bone density scanners with his life savings, without thinking that the invention would not be as popular two years on. As a result, his wife was forced to work double shifts for them to keep living in their house. This tiredness and stress eventually resulted in his wife leaving him to work for her sister's husband in his restaurant. His wife Linda is a very thin yet pretty woman. She shows a considerable amount of love to Gardner and her son despite bailing out on him when the financial trouble and stress becomes too much. In addition, she also works in the clothing industry (though not in the top part of the hierarchy. In one part of teh movie however, she does do a favour for Gardner- knowing that he was suffering more than her. Ultimately, she does love her son more than Gardner because she leaves Christopher in Gardner's care- knowing that he would be better off with her husband than her.
His son Christopher Gardner is a five year old boy who loves his father and keeps by his side throughout most of the film .The childcare that he is placed through plays a small yet significant role in the movie (the graffiti on the wall near the childcare serves as the main title of the film)
Gardner has a very strong and personal connection with his son-more than any other character in the film. He is seen to be next to him in most of the scenes in the film and loves him very much. He makes a lot of sacrifices and is passionate about his son's upbringing and attitude to life. He lectures him and makes sure that everything he does is so that not only Gardner himself can live the rest of his life with life's basic necessities, but more importantly- so that his son can live life happy. There are times where he does yell at Christopher, but this is only because he cares for him and wants him to accept life. This seems to pay off when Christopher kindly rejects his offer to buy a chocolate bar simply because he understood that his father was in a financial calamity and he didn't want to push themselves even further, simply because of a chocolate bar.
Part 1 of Chris' story
In the opening sequence of events in 'The Pursuit of Happiness', we see the Gardner and his family struggling to pay bills and the relationships being stressed between Gardner and his wife, as well as Gardner and the childcare owner. We start to find out that Linda [his wife] is taking double shifts at work in order to support the family because Gardner is not able to sell as many bone density scanners as he used to due to a technological disadvantage. We also find out the history of this mistake- about how Gardner had invested all his life savings into he machines, in return for even more debt.
Gardner applies for an internship and receives it but not at the price of his wife leaving him for work at a pizza restaurant. Unable to pay the high bills anymore, the father and son move across to a nearby motel for lower prices. Ignoring the fact that he still couldn't pay off the motel price, he moves on with his internship, completing favors for his manager to a point where it prevents him from making important business arrangements.
Part 2 of Chris' story
However, it then gets to a point where everything starts to collapse. Gardner gets kicked out of his motel because he cannot pay the bills resulting in him and his son battling homelessness, he resists the urge to drink water and take toilet breaks in order to save time for more calls and his bone density scanners aren't working. Eventually, Gardner finds himself rushing to and fro from work each day to secure a position in line for the homeless shelter and to make his work day as productive as possible. Not being able to provide enough food and shelter for his family and having to sleep in a public restroom has Gardner fight back several tears and shame throughout most of the latter half of the film.
The amount of stress and pressure gets to Gardner and his relationships with his son and the general public become somewhat severed as he continues to struggle with the daily calls, the rush to and fro work and the ability to provide life's basic necessities.
However, all work has a reward to it and no reward was more perfect for Gardner than the actual position at Dean Wittler as a stockbroker. The film ends with Gardner tearing up as he receives the job and standing amidst a happy crowd marks one of the most emotional scenes of 2006.
Relationship with his workers/ managers
He displays happiness and gratitude to his peers and boss due to him wanting the stockbroker position. He makes a lot of sacrifices for his manager so that he can earn their favour and trust, acts which seem to have paid off in the end because he did end up getting the position at Dean Witter. Although he is very much broke in the latter half of the film, he does not show this because he does not want his managers to think low of him. He also doesn't want to show any weaknesses that may take away his chance of becoming a stockbroker.