Take Off That Mask Essay Research Paper

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Take Off That Mask Essay, Research Paper Take Off That Mask As sad as it seem first impressions often dictate the way people feel about one another. In most cases the way a person looks doesn?t at all reflect on their personality. This stigma of the way a person looks goes far beyond being pretty and ugly. All to often people are assumed mentally retarded because of a facial deformity when in fact that person is as able or in many cases more then able to perform and task they are asked to perform. Ironically in this modern society where such stigmas exist, some movies are able change our thinking if not remove the stigmas altogether. The film Mask is a perfect example. This movie shows the stigmas for what they are and at the same time changes our impression of facial

deformity. This movie enables anyone who views it look at a person and see them for who they are and not what they look like. The film Mask we see the story of Rocky Denis, played by Eric Stoltz, is a teenage boy dealing with the effects of craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. Craniodiaphyseal Dysplasia also known as Lionitis, is a life shortening disease that causes calcium to accumulate in the skull. The calcium make the head grow to twice the normal size. Rocky obviously does not look like the average teenager. This is an observation we can see right away. Outside of the way Rocky looks his lifestyle is also slightly different from most teens. His mother Rusty, played by Cher, is affiliated with a gang of bikers. She drinks and uses drugs, and although she seems to try and hide these

things from Rocky he is well aware of what his mother is doing. The movie is quick to bring some of the stigmas about Rocky?s disorder to our attention. In two scenes we see how people outside of Rocky?s immediate family treat his disorder. First we see how the principal of the local public junior high school views Rocky. He tells Rocky and Rusty that, ?There are special schools for children like Rocky,? the principal upon looking at Rocky immediately thinks he is mentally retarded. Rusty shows him this is far from the truth by giving the principal his grades from lower levels of schooling. She then threatens to sue the school if he does not enroll Rocky. Rocky shows the principal a thing or two when he goes on to graduate with awards for excellence in almost every academic

subject. The principal also shows Rocky a little surprise when he offers him a job at a summer camp for blind children. The second scene is particularly disturbing because it takes place in a hospital. In this scene a doctor that is not familiar with Rocky?s case tries to explain to Rocky and Rusty the unfortunate truth of his life expectancy. Rocky and Rusty deal with the situation by pretty much brushing off everything the young doctor says. The reason this scene is disturbing is because the doctor inadvertently makes himself no better then a common person misjudging Rocky. The one place you would think Rocky can be free from these stigmas seems to be worse then the outside world when a doctor gives off the emotions of a person seeing Rocky for the first time. The film again

captures the view of Rocky?s face and the first impression people have when Rocky goes to his first day of school. At the junior high school the students see him and make their impression and Rocky carries on as he always has. The students seem to overlook the fact that a biker from the gang dropped Rocky off at the school. In most junior high schools a student that is dropped off by a biker would get the full attention of bystanders. In this case all they notice is Rocky?s facial deformity. As time passes the students like the principal accept Rocky for who he is. The acceptance of ?who he is? is a very important theme that constantly comes up in the movie. At one point Rocky gets in an argument with his mother in which he asks her ?Don?t you get it, it?s girls?? Rusty?s answer