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Outside, Looking In Essay

783 words - 4 pages

The movie “Finding Forrester” does a good job of defining what it means to be an outsider. There are many instances in the film where Jamal is shown to be an outsider by both his friends and his classmates and teachers. Jamal Wallace is a bright young black student from the inner city who is afraid to let his friends know that he is smart. He gets by with average grades but excels in basketball at his inner city school. Jamal and his friends pass the time shooting hoops and making fun of the reclusive man watching them through the window of the apartment above the court. One day, Jamal’s friends dare him to break into the man’s apartment. Afraid of not being liked by his friends, Jamal ...view middle of the document...

He must leave a school where he feels accepted to a much more academic atmosphere.

Upon arriving at his new school, it is evident that everyone at the school including the only other black student at the school, Damon, considers Jamal an outsider. Although Jamal is under the impression that he is there because of his test scores, it soon becomes apparent that he is there for his basketball abilities as much as anything. Professor Crawford makes it evident to Jamal that he thinks Jamal is there for his basketball abilities, noting that at his previous school, Jamal’s academic abilities were lacking. Later when Jamal relates the incident to William, he states, “It’s like he knew he was better than me.” After Jamal’s writing ability improves, Professor Crawford even goes as far as accusing Jamal of plagiarism, claiming that his writing could not have improved that much. When Crawford demands that Jamal apologize and he refuses, Crawford arranges an official meeting with the board, trying to get Jamal expelled. When Jamal intentionally misses the final free throw in the final play of the game, he lets the board know that he will not be used for his...

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