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The West Side Story - Essay Example

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“It’s going to be a fair fight!” That’s what Tony believes in when he made the decision to make a deal with the leader of The Sharks. He even believed that after the fight, “everything’s going to be alright.”…
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The West Side Story
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Download file to see previous pages But for everything to be alright, there was a very high price to pay, and that is Tony’s death. The West Side Story was a musical that borrowed the concept of Romeo and Juliet. It had the same plot line. There were lovers who wanted to be together despite their differences. They succeeded only to fail in living together since they died together. Of course the stories wouldn’t be that much similar or else it won’t be successful anymore. The West Side Story was a story of two rival gangs, same as Romeo and Juliet’s two rival families. It was set in Manhattan, New York. During the time the story was finalized, gang violence was rampant. It was very timely and it intrigued the public because it had a relevant social issue. The West Side Story was not just a tragedy because of the dark mood and depressing final act that it had. It was also a story about how triumph can have a very high price. In this case, it was death. With Tony’s death, the rival gangs joined together realizing what hate and anger can do to them. When Maria declared that “all of (them) killed him, not with bullets or guns, but with hate. (And now she) can kill too because now (she) has hate,” it made them realize the alarming situation of how every one of them can die because of their hatred towards each other. And this hatred is not even something that has enough bearing. They were just fighting because they had different racial backgrounds. They have different beliefs and perspectives. The hatred was passed on from one generation to another. When Anita tried to send Tony a message, she was almost raped by the Tony’s group. She was treated with disrespect and because of this, she sent out a distorted message. Instead of warning them that Chino is looking to kill Tony with a gun, she blurted out that Maria was killed by Chino in a fit of jealousy and rage. And this caused Tony to seek out Chino and his death. Anita was touched by hatred because of what was done to her. Something that could have been prevented if only she was treated with respect. But as Tony felt that it will be alright in the end, it did become alright. When the members of both gangs joined together to carry Tony’s body, it symbolizes intersecting of racial differences to repent and have peace with each other. This plot line is still powerful even up to these times. This is a story about racial differences. It tells us what biases and prejudice can do to us. It is still a significant social issue until today. It is still a challenge for some people to accept another race as part of a group or a team. Gangs are street groups. They are created to protect their territories, places where they grew up, places where they are comfortable with. Of course, as any other person, if your personal space is threatened, you fight for you. This is the same for gangs. They fight for their space. They believe that only one group can stay in one place. But because people cannot compromise and because hatred is set so deep in their hearts, people die. The characters in the story signify the different personas that are involved in street gangs. There are the leaders, their successors, the followers and their women. The women are not muses of the gangs. They are not direct members of the gang. They are only associated with the gang members by blood or by relationship. They may be a sister, cousin or girlfriend. But even if they are not members of the gang, they still get involved in whatever conflicts there are between the gangs. Since they are associated with the members by blood or relationship, it is believed that their loyalty will be with their own. As Chino said to Maria when her brother was killed by Tony, she should “stick with (her) own kind.” That was the thought process of someone whose racial belief is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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