Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood and Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood produced and directed the film Gran Torino. Robert Lorenz and Bill Gerber were his assistant producers. Clint also appeared in the film. It is a drama film that was released in the United States of America on December 12, 2008. The film focuses on Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran who was estranged from his family and angry at the cosmos. Thao Vang Lor, his next-door neighbor, is persuaded to take his Gran Torino in order to be accepted into a gang. He declines the offer and instead forms a stronger friendship with Walt, who eventually falls in love with him. According to him, children are meant to show respect to their parents. Walt believed that a real man should take responsibility for his family. Despite his behavior, he ends up becoming the hero and savior of his entire neighborhood.

Analysis of Walt's process of adapting to cultural diversity

As the film begins, Walt is a somber man who has just lost his wife. He is irritated at the slightest gesture or anything that he hates. At first, he is greatly annoyed by the way his granddaughter wore to the funeral. He hated the fact that the children who entered last were behaving badly in the Catholic Church. At first, he sounds so agitated and does not want to share any of his experiences and emotions with other people. He finds the modern culture of the children very abusive and disobedient concerning how children should be raised up.

He hates the fact that the Hmongs gathered to celebrate together. He hates the fact that they can't keep their garden clean and that they were not Americans because they did not speak English. In the process, he gets to adapt to their kindness and ends up saving both Thao and Sue on different occasions. He saves Thao from the gang and also saves Sue from the neighborhood gang who wanted to rape her. As he continues to know his community, Sue helps him catch up with their culture by explaining to him what their culture believed in and what they do. With time, Walt adapts to the community and ends up talking nicely to the neighbors to the point of dying so as to save Thao.

Difference between Walt's culture and Hmong people

Walt comes from a background of individuals who are strict. This fact is based on the aspect that he grew up in the military. A place where people only receive and execute commands without questioning. Consequently, the case is different with the Hmong people who show togetherness and care for one another. Their level of love is high as they care about one another. Walt's community does not celebrate events and feasts while the Hmong people have feasts and cultures that they observe.

Sue introduces Walt to their culture during his birthday. She explains to him the dos and don'ts. Hmong's culture does not allow people to touch them on their heads because it is an insult. They also believe that looking at people straight in their eyes is a sign of rudeness. They also smile or scream to show insecurity. In the Hmong culture, shamans were highly respected.

Walt's communication style to Thao and Sue concerning their verbal communication skills

Walt is abusive in nature in the sense that he does not appreciate talking nicely to people. He ends up abusing Thao when they meet at the beginning of the film. This act scares him away. Thao and Sue were disciplined in nature in the way they responded to Walt's insults by being kind to him. After saving Thao and Sue from different instances, Walt began to be less abusive and friendly to them although he still did not want them too close to him.

When Thao wanted to help Walt in rebuilding his house, Walt changed how he viewed him by pushing him to realize what he intends to do in life. He spends more time with him and teaches him a few skills in life and gives him great life advice. Thao ends up appreciating him and begins to listen to him more often.

Meanings and purpose Walt attaches to talk

Walt is an action-oriented man. One of the instances is demonstrated when he goes to the basement and finds his granddaughter smoking. He uses his leg to squash the cigarette on the floor and ensures it is completely off. This act demonstrates that he hated the fact that she was smoking. His response to the questions that his granddaughter was asking him was shocking in the sense that instead of answering her, he ends up staring her and spits on the floor. He lastly walks away closing the door.

At first, he ends up being rude to Thao who knocked his door to request cables. He covers up his talk with the fact that they are still mourning and slams the door. He does not appreciate any talk coming from the priest and dismisses him rudely. This act shows how he downgrades his youthfulness and feels that he can't tell him anything new. Walt also hates long conversations that are about him. For instance, during his birthday, he chased his son and daughter out when they offered him a great place to stay and some few gifts.

How Walt views friendship differently than Thao and Sue

Walt does not value friendship in the sense that he despises even his children and grandchildren. This attitude is reflected in the way he treated her granddaughter when she asked him questions about his old car. He did not respond to her question; instead, he stared at her and spat on the ground. Consequently, Thao and Sue love each other and value their friendship in the sense that Sue protected his brother from the insults his friends were lashing on him.

Different strategies used by Walt, Thao, and Sue in initiating and maintaining friendships

Walt is resistant to change even as much as he moved to a new place. He refuses to greet his neighbors and during a fight that erupted between Thao and his cousin, he threatened to kill them. His main aim was to chase them out of his garden. Thao and Sue reacted differently by bringing gifts to Walt as a way of appreciating his effort of saving Thao. Thao and Sue maintain their friendship through their kindness and humility.

Walt initiated his friendship with Sue by asking her questions and maintained it by being nice to her. He did not speak harsh words towards her. Walt initiates his friendship with Thao by enabling him to work and repair his house. With time, they become good friends, and he begins to teach him some life skills concerning his relationship with others, job, and he ends up mentoring him instead. In conclusion, life started changing when Walt noticed how his life was so miserable, so he decided to change and bring a positive change to his life before he dies.


Gran Torino. Dir. Clint Eastwood. Warner Bros-Pictures. 2008.

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