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She's the Man

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Tracy Chou

on 2 September 2015

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Transcript of She's the Man

Viola comes from a relatively wealthy household, as apparent by the ability to pay for activities such as soccer and Junior League. Even the style of dress of her parents and their behavior seems to be that of a higher class. Daphne's parenting style is most closely related to authoritative parenting. Towards Viola, she seems controlling in the aspect that she continually pushes her to be part of the Junior League. She does seem to be responsive towards her children, despite being oblivious to the situation involving Sebastian (Steinberg, pg. 129).

Viola's relationship with Sebastian seems to be a close one, as there does not appear to be animosity between the two of them, even when they disagree. When Sebastian is climbing through his window on his way to London, Viola advises him to stay because she worries about him, having been kicked out of Cornwall for low attendance. She even lies to her mother about his whereabouts (Steinberg, pg. 133-134)
Context: Family
Viola's Problem
Cornwall cut the girls' soccer team. When Viola brings up the idea of joining the boys' team to the coach and her then-boyfriend, the two argue that girls could not keep up with the boys. This sparks anger in Viola and she wants to beat their team.

Once at Illyria, Viola struggles to keep her "second identity" a secret. She begins to develop feelings for Duke, her roommate, although he believes she is really Sebastian. Also, Duke has feelings for Olivia.
Elements of Analysis
Introduction of Main Adolescent
Viola Hastings
She's the Man
Modern-day interpretation of William Shakespeare's
Twelfth Night
She's the Man
EDSC 320 Final Project
Tracy Chou


Director: Andy Fickman
Screenwriter: Karen McCullah Lutz
Kirsten Smith

Producer: Lauren Shuler-Donner
Playwright: William Shakespeare
When the girls' soccer team at Cornwall gets cut, Viola decides to impersonate her twin brother, Sebastian, in order to try out for the boys' soccer team at Illyria. She wants to beat Cornwall and humiliate her sexist ex-boyfriend, the goalie for the Cornwall team. At Illyria, Viola's roommate is Duke Orsino, a striker on the soccer team. In exchange for "Sebastian's" help in getting Olivia's attention, Duke agrees to help with extra practice, which eventually pays off.

There is a series of intermingled love affairs, as Duke likes Olivia, Olivia likes "Sebastian," and Viola likes Duke. Viola struggles to keep her "second identity" a secret, that is, until the real Sebastian returns from his trip to London a day early. After seeing Olivia kiss Sebastian, Duke believes his roommate has betrayed him and kicks him out. After Viola oversleeps, the real Sebastian finds himself on the soccer field in the much-anticipated game against Cornwall. The truth is revealed during the game and the coach allows Viola to keep playing. Illyria wins the game and everyone celebrates, except for Duke, who is hurt by Viola's deception. Viola invites Duke to her debutante ball, where the two make up and the newly-formed couples all meet.
High school soccer player
Tomboy, ungraceful
Witty and funny
Parents are divorced
Twin brother, Sebastian
Her mother wants her to quit soccer and become a debutante
Disguises herself as Sebastian in order to play for Illyria's boys' soccer team and beat Cornwall
Psychosocial Development
Viola and her twin brother Sebastian live in a single-parent household, as their parents have gotten divorced. Viola often argues with her mother over not wanting to give up soccer for Junior League, something her mother wants the three of them to do together (Steinberg, pg. 125).

Viola belongs to a clique comprised of the girls' soccer team. Amongst the girls in the soccer team, two of them are her best friends: Kia and Yvonne (Steinberg, pg. 157).

This problem is solved when she disguises herself as Sebastian and makes it onto Illyria's boys' soccer team. In the game against Cornwall, Illyria wins in the end with a penalty kick.

Once Sebastian returns from his trip to London and the secret is revealed that it was really Viola pretending to be her brother, things slowly fall into place. Although Duke is initially hurt at Viola's deceit, he and Viola end up being together at the end of the movie, as do the other couples.
After hearing the sexist remarks from both the soccer coach and her then-boyfriend, Viola decides to take matters into her own hands and seek revenge. She does so by disguising herself as Sebastian and trying out for Illyria's boys' soccer team. (Steinberg, pg. 315).
One of the continuing arguments that she has with Daphne involves Junior League. Studies find that parents and teenagers often argue over issues like leisure time activities and clothing. In regards to Viola and Daphne, Daphne wants Viola to wear dresses and act more lady-like, whereas Viola is more of a tomboy and likes to get dirty (Steinberg, pg. 121).
Context: Peers
Psychosocial Development: Autonomy
One of the most prominent peer groups that Viola is a part of is the soccer team. Soccer is her passion and she has that in common with the other members in the clique, whether it be on the girls' or boys' team. This form of group interaction allows for a social context in which they feel comfortable talking to each other (Steinberg, pg. 157).

"Sebastian": What does your heart tell you?
Duke: What?
"Sebastian": I mean... which one would you rather see NAKED?!

Viola seems to spend the majority of her time with the soccer team and less time with adults, including her mother. Time originally spent with her mother has now been replaced with time spent alone or with friends. However, part of this time can be attributed to school hours, which can take up roughly half of a student's waking hours (Steinberg, pg. 155).
Rating: PG-13
Released: March 17, 2006
Running time: 105 minutes
Viola appears to be a pretty popular person amongst her peers. She is outgoing, friendly, funny, and caring towards others. In the movie, she seems to be the leader for her soccer team, standing up to the coach and trying to get an equal opportunity to play. In regards to the two types of popularity, sociometric and perceived, Viola definitely has sociometric popularity, as she possesses the characteristics that are valued to that type of popularity. The determinants of perceived popularity are harder to determine, but one could argue that Viola may have perceived popularity as well (Steinberg, pg. 171).
Context's Effect on Psychosocial Development
Typical Adolescent?
Works Cited
Daphne is trying to shape Viola into something that she really is not: a proper young lady. Viola enjoys playing soccer and getting dirty; Daphne wants her daughter to wear pretty dresses and act "like a lady." Viola struggles to balance the two. Daphne's sense of control over her daughter pushes Viola more towards autonomy. Viola just wants to be able to freely play soccer, a sport she loves, so much so that she even lies to her mother and impersonates her brother in order to try out for Illyria's soccer team.
The most prominent issue from the movie was the idea that girls cannot compete with boys in soccer. Boys are faster, stronger, more athletic, the list goes on. Hearing this lowers Viola's self-esteem and makes her re-evaluate not only herself, but also her peers. She breaks up with Justin after realizing that he is a male chauvinist. She begins to focus more on who she is and works towards accomplishing her goals, something that she seemingly put on the back burner when she was dating him. Breaking up with Justin, although hurting her in the beginning, turned out to help her focus on herself for a change.
Cognitive autonomy entails changes in an adolescent's beliefs, opinions, and values. After hearing what Justin really thought about girls' ability versus boys' in soccer, Viola changes her beliefs about him, dumping him and his disregard for women's abilities. Viola now puts more value in proving him and the coach wrong. She begins to realize that the people she once trusted and admired did not have the same consideration for her (Steinberg, pg. 294).
Viola: I can do this. I can! Okay, yeah. I'm a dude. I'm a HUNK OF DUDE. I'm a BAD ASS HUNK OF DUDE!
Viola begins to separate herself from what her mother wants her to become, a debutante following in her footsteps. For the first time, Viola focuses on developing her own identity, a developing sense of individuation. She works hard towards proving herself just as capable as the boys. During this time, Viola discovers more about herself and becomes more intimate with others (Steinberg, pg. 282).
Viola begins to be more careful about the decisions that she makes, considering both the risks and the benefits associated with those decisions. One of the biggest decisions that she makes is impersonating Sebastian, as she could be discovered at any time if she is not careful. With that decision comes a slew more, such as deciding when is best to take a shower and how to respond when her tampons are discovered (Steinberg, pg. 287).

Montemayor, R. (1983). Parents and adolescents in conflict: All families some of the time and some families most of the time.

Journal of Early Adolescence
, 3(1-2), 83-103.

Movieclips. (2012, May 21). She's the man (1/8) movie clip - i get really bad nose bleeds (2006) hd [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube.

MovieQuotes. (2006-2013). She's the man - 2006 movie quotes. Retrieved from http://www.moviequotes.com/repository.cgi?pg=3&tt=305559

Movies.com. (2013). She's the man. Retrieved from http://www.movies.com/shes-man/details/m6553#cast

Paramountmovies. (2013, October 21). She's the man - trailer [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube.

Sessa, F. M. & Steinberg, L. (1991). Family structure and the development of autonomy during adolescence.
The Journal of Early Adolescence
(1), 38-55.

Smetana, J. G. (1989). Adolescents' and parents' reasoning about actual family conflict.
Child Development
(5), 1052-1067.

Steinberg, L. (2011). Adolescence (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Viola is a typical adolescent. She occasionally gets into an argument with her mother about playing soccer and not acting lady-like. She wants to establish her own sense of identity, not take on an identity that her mother wants. She is expressing her individuality and working towards her goals rather than following what her parents always tell er to do. "Research has indicated that for a significant proportion of American adolescents, the transition from childhood to adolescence includes minor but persistent conflict with parents over the everyday details of family life... [conflict] occurs over issues of rule breaking and noncompliance to parental requests (Smetana, 1989)." Adolescence is a time characteristic of transitions, whether it be through bodily changes or a change in reasoning. "Virtually all adolescent theorists agree that the stage of adolescence is inherently stressful and that parent-adolescent relations are likely to be more conflictual than parent-child relations. According to some, the young and the old are paired off and engaged in continual and oftentimes heated generational conflict (Montemayor, 1983)." The "generation gap" becomes a problem when parents' and adolescents' thinking about a particular topic differs, which just adds to the fire of conflicts. Daphne has her vision of how young women should look and act: they should wear pretty dresses and act daintily. Viola, on the other hand, has a more modern interpretation that values freedom of expression and being able to challenge what is tradionally thought of as being feminine. Violais muchmore comfortable in a T-shirt and jeans than a dress; she would much rather be running around and getting muddy on a soccer field than having tea at a tea party. "It is proposed that the development of autonomy is different for children and adolescents in nontraditional families, and that divorce and remarriage may affect this developmental task... it can instigate the autonomy process by initiating changes in the parent-adolescent relationship (Sessa & Steinberg, 1991)." After the divorce, the relationship between Viola and her mother changed. Because the two parents live in separate households, it gives both Viola and Sebastian more freedom to explore, which they took advantage of in the movie. There is some tension looming between the parents and it seems like the attention is being geared towards spending more time with each other. The more Daphne tries to force her ideas onto Viola, the more Viola seeks autonomy and being able to explore on her own.
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