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The film under discussion is The Way, Way Back directed by Net Faxon and Jim Rush. The film depicts an adolescent boy Duncan. Perhaps, the producers of the film wanted to show that people start becoming conscious of themselves and their self-identity in adolescence. This could explain why adolescents sometimes feel bad about their physique. It is a new discovery. They want to feel they belong. This is the raw truth, and the movie was able to reveal this quite well. It was about an adolescents struggle with issues of self-esteem. The movie begins with Duncans mothers boyfriend grilling him on how he would rate his self-esteem on a scale of one to ten. It is heart-rending.
One wonders whether there is a joke in that challenge. However, it serves to throw more light on the issue of self-esteem and self-image, what defines us, how we perceive ourselves, and what makes other people more courageous than others. Steve Carell plays the boyfriend. Duncan says that he rates himself at 6. Steve thinks the number is rather high. Self-esteem is built on small and bigger accomplishments that people make over time. Duncan tries to understand himself and discover whom he really is. This is the concept of self, self-esteem, and personal identity. He does not want to be oppressed by the adults around him. He seeks to take a ride instead. He makes his own efforts to develop a high self-esteem. Sometimes, he adventures into uncertainties that shape his personality. He grows and succeeds beyond the awkwardness he exhibited at the beginning of the story. He grows to be a confident young man unlike other grown-ups who get absorbed in alcoholism and lose sense of direction. They also get lost in their understanding of their own boundaries.
Duncan finds responsibility; he grows off his fears and secrets becoming patient and confident. Duncan feels isolated as he is separated from his father. Getting people who believe in one is an important aspect in the life of an individual, and this is well-illustrated in the story. We watch the grown-ups get lost in drunkenness crossing boundaries in contrast to Duncan who finds responsibility; he sorts his issues rationally. Sam Rockwell offers him a delightful friendship. The people around him such as Sam give him a reason to succeed. They believe in him. They give the confidence he needs to push on in life. Duncan feels that his mother is rather detached from him; she is closer to her boyfriend.
In trying to connect the film with the theories of self, I find empiricism theory quite useful. All concepts about the self originate from the everyday experiences and environments of people. Some of the beliefs are rational. Duncan understands his situation. Although he has issues that could easily distract him, he chooses to remain focused. He believes in himself. He is shy at first, but with time, he develops confidence and a strong personality. Duncan does not allow the separation of his parents and the bad attitude that his mothers boyfriend has towards him. He is positive about life. He seems to have learnt from his experience. He has understood the world around him. Duncan believes that he has his own life. As such, he is not distracted by the objects and the people around him.
He learns from the everyday experiences choosing to do what is right as opposed to doing what is wrong. This helps him develop a strong personality. Duncan does not doubt his own existence. He must struggle to be the person he has always wanted to be. He manages to avoid negative peer pressures. Steve Carell is used to advance his personality traits. He comes out stronger, having been challenged to rate his self-esteem that he grows with time becoming very confident towards the end of the movie. The characters exist. They learn about their environment through observations and the daily interaction that they have with each other. They learn about their strengths and weaknesses through these interactions. It is the experiences and the environment that shape them.
Their emotions work to shape their sense of self as well. Duncan gets angry, but he avoids backlashes with friends. Instead, he chooses to take a ride and walk away from their woes. Past experiences, difficult childhood, and separation of the parents all these seem to have made Duncan stronger and more responsible. He employs rationality, the voice of reason in dealing with his troubles. He chooses to do what is right. Ethnicity has not played any significant role in Duncans life. Duncan represents the ideal adolescent, with their daily struggles about life, the experiences they go though, and what they must to do stay focused. This is the whole concept of self, the concept of self-image, and what teenagers must do to understand and accept their situations.
Empiricism theory states that individuals ought to understand themselves just as they are not trying to copy other people, or to be people they can never be. It is about self-acceptance, looking at the self in the mirror, and accepting the reflection, because that is the whole idea of self-understanding ones situations and choosing to do what is proper and rational. It is about accepting the weaknesses and strengths, improving upon the weaknesses and boosting the strengths. Experience and environment play a critical role in the life of an individual. Those two are core and fundamental factors in the development of an individual. It is about choosing what is right. The character of Duncan is successfully used to advance this concept just.