We want you to think harder and have more insightful thoughts in this English class. These were a few of the phrases that I have heard since I have heard since I began my adventure into English 101. So when I was asked to write a paper dealing with Spike Lee's masterpiece, "Do The Right Thing," I chose to expand my thinking past all the normal themes. Sure, the normal themes are great, and you can't go wrong with general. In a pinch, take general over adventurous each and every time. Nothing wrong with being safe.
What are some "safe" themes that occur in "Do The Right Thing?" Racism is one, and it's present throughout the movie. However, this is a tired subject, thus has been written about by more authors than I care to count. Discrimination? Sorry, this is just a subdivision of racism, this one has had a few papers written about it as well. Those were all excellent choices for a paper, and I"m sure that someone has won a Pulitzer for them, so let's leave those topics alone. .
My best friend, John Frerichs, once told me, "Dare to be different." I thought that I would take John's advice for this paper, seeing as how he is at Duke, and I"m at WWU. I figure that alone has to mean he knows what he is talking about. Now pay close attention, this is where the paper takes a turn for the better. .
What does almost every movie have? Look beyond the great special effects and beautiful actors. Look at the script, still can't figure it out? Here are a few clues: Batman and Joker, Sherlock Holmes and Moriardi, Cinderella and Evil Stepmother. Notice the similarities? Heroes and villains. In Lee's "Do The Right Thing," no clear hero or villain clearly emerges. Some would argue that a clear villain were the police that kill Radio Raheem. However how do you explain the one police officer screaming "that's enough," as his partner chokes Radio with his nightstick? Now perhaps the other cop is terrified beyond all things sacred because he is engulfed by a mob and the pizzeria is on fire.