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Billy Elliot - Themes

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Laura Parks

on 8 August 2013

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Transcript of Billy Elliot - Themes

Billy Elliot Themes Gender Stereotype Father-Son Relationship Loss Taking Risks Conflict Breaking rules and tradition Social Class Self Discovery Expression Belonging Standing up for yourself and your beliefs Facing fears / Courage Re-evaluating personal beliefs Family support Acceptance Fulfilling one's dreams Billy Elliot and 'The Ugly Duckling' Billy explores the growth and change of a pre-adolescent boy and his own discovery and acceptance of the fact that he is different from other boys of the same age. Billy’s initiation into adolescence faces him with the challenge of standing up for his beliefs and dreams regardless of his social and economic background and the expectations of society. As Billy finds the courage to rebel and shows his talent to Jackie, we see Jackie overcome his prejudices and he makes a decision to support Billy at any cost. Two generations clash due to their conflicting views of life, gender roles and the future. The Elliots = The hardships of the working class during the mining strike.
The Wilkinsons = Middle class, still somewhat affected by the strike.
The Royal Ballet School = Upper class, not concerned about the strike and how it affects individuals like Billy's family. Billy questions gender stereotypes. He struggles against society and his own family, because they believe ballet is only for girls or those who are gay. Due to the hardships the miners face, we see a lot of conflict throughout the film.
- Violence
- Strike (Political drama)
- Frustration - Billy's mother passed away.
- Loss of income for the family. Billy takes a huge risk by continuing ballet after his father told him that he must quit. Boys in County Durham were supposed to grow up to be coal miners, NOT ballet dancers - according to the mining community. In the film, we see Billy express his emotions by dancing. Billy belongs to his family and the Durham community, but does not feel as though he truly fits in.
We come to understand that Billy feels more comfortable in Mrs. Wilkinson's Ballet class. In the beginning, Billy is not supported by his family.
It is not until later in the film, after Billy's family have accepted the fact that he wants to be a ballet dancer, that we see this family support. Through Billy's talent and expression, Jackie and Tony finally accept what they need to do to give Billy a better life.
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