Goodwill Hunting and The American Dream

Goodwill hunting is a film showing the American dream is still valid and is intact. However, the dream is hard to embrace and the characters have to make informed decisions in their life. Through it characters, different aspects of the American dream such as living a good life and utilizing effectively the opportunity that life presents. Chasing the American dream can be difficult at times, but the opportunity will eventually show up leaving the person in a dilemma to choose between pursuing the dream and realizing themselves as humans.

Will Hunting is a bright person who can utilize his intellect to attain a standard life. He pursues the American dream by working hard so as to succeed as any other American, regardless of the path he follows. Will becomes a Janitor at Massachusetts institute of Technology (M.I.T) but is determined that when he works hard he will succeed in life. He engages himself in reading books on daily basis to increase his knowledge on different fields. The motivation in him keeps him going with his dream of becoming great one day (Rieber et al. 2014). Will is a self-taught genius and he uses his potential to teach himself various subjects such as mathematics. The American dream holds that once you are at your best in whatever task, you will be noticed and the opportunity to become great will show up. Will shows that the American dream is possible to achieve when he engages in finding a mathematics solution to a problem left for the students as homework. Due to his sharp mind and wide knowledge, he is able to satisfactorily solve the mathematics problem. He is discovered by Gerald Lambeau who is a mathematical genius and he is linked to connections that would see him realize his potential. Will is soon endorsed into a programme of court-appointed sections with a psychiatrist to help him solve the psychological traumas that had affected him due to abuse from foster parents. Will begins his way to success, which is, realizing the American dream.

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The journey to realizing the American dream has to be met with challenges and Will is not an exceptional. His psychiatrist, Sean McGuire, is living the American dream. He is employed in one of the prestigious universities in the country. He is able to live a comfortable life he has always dreamt. However, Sean has been recently widowed and therefore he is in a difficult situation in his life. The success of Will Hunting depends on the professor and the psychiatrist. To succeed is not that easy and for Will to realize his American dream, his life has to depend on some other people (Ziewacz 2001, p. 210). It is difficult to realize the dream singly as an individual, but one has to involve other people to help him climb the ladder of success. It is a constant struggle between Lambeau and McGuire to shape the path of Will Hunting. These two individuals helping Hunting use their past experiences to make meaningful decisions that will propel their client to the path of success, realization of the American dream. Therefore, the film shows that for the American dream to be realized, there has to be challenges and overcoming them will entirely depend on the willingness of the people a position to assist the concerned person.

Soon, Hunting reaches the climax of his American dream. He is able to overcome his childhood traumas he suffered at the hands of his foster parents, and moves on with his life. The climax of the American dream is the point where life presents the opportunities one has been dreaming of, and what remains is to make a decision, an individual choice (Bayles 2005, p. 49). Hunting has a blue collar job as a construction worker and he has the opportunity of living with his friends safely. In addition, the mathematics professor has designed a good path for Hunting to pursue and therefore what remains for him is to make informed decision to choose what he wants in his life. This is the climax of the American dream where the person’s path opens up and he is presented with multiple options to choose from. Hunting can move to California with Skylar and start living a social life, and possibly a family of his own. He has the option of choosing to remain in the blue collar job as a construction worker for the rest of his life (Cannon 2013). Further, Lambeau has designed another path that Hunting can follow, and this is also another option to choose from. By following Lambeau’s path, he has the opportunity of getting hired in one of the best universities in the country. The choice is entirely left for Hunting to decide. He has been able to attain the American dream. At last, Hunting chooses to move in with Skylar and start a new life at California, to pursue love and companionship, which is Sean’s version of the American dream.

In conclusion, the film shows that it is still possible to pursue the American dream. What matters most are the people a person meets with in life, since they can shape or destroy your destiny. Will’s path is shaped by Lambeau and the psychiatrist, people who shapes his future and he realized the American dream.

 

Works Cited

Bayles, Martha. “Goodwill hunting.” The Wilson Quarterly (1976-) 29.3 (2005): 46-56.

Cannon, Brooke J. “Film Portrayal of Psychopathology and Its Treatment.” Abnormal Psychology Across the Ages [3 volumes] (2013): 153.

Rieber, Robert W., Robert J. Kelly, and Charles Winick. Film, television and the psychology of the social dream. Springer, 2014.

Ziewacz, Lawrence E. “Holden Caulfield, Alex Portnoy, and Good Will Hunting: Coming of Age in American Films and Novels.” The Journal of Popular Culture 35.1 (2001): 211-218.