“Taming of the Shrew”, High School Edition

10 Things I Hate About You (Gil Junger, 1999), which has a striking resemblance to the play Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, begins with Cameron a new student being shown around the new school campus by the nerdy Michael Eckman and learning about all the different groups. During this tour Cameron sees and is instantly infatuated with the beautiful and popular Bianca Stratford who so happens to not be able to date unless her older anti-social sister, Kat Stratford or known as the “Shrew”, is dating as well. Unfortunately, Cameron is oblivious to the fact Bianca initially has her eyes on the pretty boy Joey Don and manipulates Cameron to help her out. Cameron and Michael devise a plan to use Joey to pay bad boy Patrick Verona to take out Kat in hopes that Cameron can date Bianca. Among the scheming Patrick ends up falling for Kat and Cameron gets Bianca once she realizes her mistake. In the end Patrick and Kat fall in love as well as Cameron and Bianca.

In 10 Things I Hate About You (Gil Junger, 1999), the film challenges the social norms that exist in teen society where teens search for some sort of social belonging and expresses this challenge through the struggles teens go through to finding their own path.

First: Society treats teen females as ones that need guidance and protection which is shown through the girls overprotective father and the film fights this fallacy by showing that girls can make sound decisions on their own.

  • Dad force Bianca to wear pregnancy suit.
  • no dating rule
  • Bianca in the end choose the right guy
  • Kat decision to go to a college away from home
    • conflict with father who wants to keep her close

Second: The film use Freudian concepts of the id, ego and superego through the conflicts the teens go through in an attempt to fitting into their community as well as fulfilling their own desires. (might split this off between id, and phallic symbols)

  • Michael rides off the hill on his bike to avoid a car and falls off
    • to recover from looking dumb he raise his fists like he did it on purpose
  • Getting ready for the party
  • drinking and smoking
  • Bianca’s dad is the superego, Bianca is the ego and Kat is the id
    • dad is the morals
    • Bianca wants to chase boys and party initially which later is taken control of
    • Kat just doesn’t care and does what she wants

Third: The film also uses Freudian phallic symbols to express power and popularity certain characters have in the high school.

  • Patrick smokes = he is manly
    • to date Kat he stops = she castrates him/ brings him under control
  • Tower of beer cans = Joey’s  ego/how he is the center of attention

Fourth: Social norms plague teen society and make it hard for a person to figure out their place. the film expresses concepts that a teenager should do things for their own reasons and if something is worth fighting for go for it.

  • “You don’t always have to be who they want you to be”
  • fitting in is to become part of a group, lose your identity
  • film says chase after what you want to be happy
    • Kat’s whole character
  • Bianca’s ark to the right guy

Some side notes about the topic sentences. The first one about female teens not being able to protect themselves and the fourth about social norms and finding their identity could possible be put together to form a stronger argument since they are pretty related. The same goes with the two Freudian concepts the one about the human psyche and the phallic symbols.

 

 

 

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