How Is The Significance Of Identity And Self Acceptance Explored In Lady Bird? - Braybrook College - Mini Thesis Essay

2564 words - 11 pages

How does the film Lady Bird explore the significance of identity and self acceptance?

I want you to be the very best version of yourself you can be, Marion tells her daughter. Lady Bird is a film
directed by Greta Gerwig that was released in 2017. Lady Bird is a series of vignettes which go through the
life of Lady Bird and the people around her. In the movie, Gerwig explores the significance of identity and self
acceptance through the characters of Lady Bird, Kyle, Danny and Jenna. Lady Bird is shown to be struggling
to find her self-identity and doesnt accept aspects of her, and tries to hide these aspects. In the beginning of
the movie, an epigraph is shown which states Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never
spent a Christmas in Sacramento. This quote by Joan Didion relates to how Lady Bird wants to move
somewhere far because she thinks she is not happy with the life she has now. Danny is revealed as a
homosexual person who knows his self-identity but cannot accept it. Because this film is set in the early
2000s, people were not as open about their sexuality as today and being born into an Irish Catholic family
made it even more difficult for Danny to express his own individuality without the fear of being rejected and
judged. Kyle is portrayed as someone who knows his self-identity and accepts it but this identity is actually a
facade. Gerwig presents Julie as someone who doesnt accept herself and wants to be someone else.
Gerwig explores identity and self-acceptance throughout the movie by using Lady Bird as an example,
illustrating her as someone who doesnt know her identity and is aiming to find her identity. Lady Bird
appears to be a teenage girl who wants more and is trying to experience new things. Although this may be
true, as the film goes on, it can be viewed that Lady Bird is struggling with herself. In the movie, Lady Birds
birth name is Christine but she introduces herself as Lady Bird to new people she meets and refuses to be
called Christine. In the medium shot scene where Lady Bird is auditioning for the school musical play, Father
Leviatch asks Lady Bird if Lady Birds her given name and she states that well, I gave it to myself. Its given
to me by me. This demonstrates that she uses this name because she wants to stand out as well as wanting
to seem independent. She may also be using this name because she desires to be a different person, as in
most musicals, all the characters have different names from their actual name. Because actors have many
different roles, Lady Bird is doing the same, trying to find her own identity by hanging out with people she
wouldnt usually hang out with. This is expressed when Lady Bird decides to befriend the popular girl Jenna,
and starts a relationship with Kyle. She believes that by hanging out with them, she can experience what its
like to be part of the in-group. Upon hanging out with them, she changes her opinions around them and acts
the ...

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