Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Radio" and Socialization

The movie "Radio" is about a mentally challenged man, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., who is integrated into society through a high school football coach.

At the beginning of the movie, Radio would not speak or interact with anyone in society. When the football was thrown to him, he kept it instead of listening to a team member and throwing it back over the fence. He did not think that he was doing anything wrong. Shortly after, he was duct taped in a shed which was locked and members of the team threw balls at the wall which traumatized him. He saw Coach Jones with a knife in his hand and Radio did not process that he was going to cut the duct tape and rescue him. Radio did not grasp the severity of situations or actions of people easily. Coach Jones asked Radio to join the football team at practices, which he understood, and showed up to practices. After a practice, he joins the coach in his office and takes an interested in a radio which earns him the title of Radio. He understands the concept of trust and starts to speak to Coach Jones with ease.

In the middle of the movie, Radio was interacting greatly within the team and the community. He was standing on the sidelines and cheering on the team with the cheerleaders. He even joined the team on games. His speech was increasing and his interaction with the community was becoming more fluent and lasting longer. Some of the boys tell Radio that a teacher wants him to go into the girls locker room for something. He understands that he can not do that but he trusts the other boys enough to do it. Radio did not understand that he needs to trust his instinct and that everyone is not trustworthy. He is also gaining confidence because he is speaking more instead of holding it in. The love and respect he has for Coach Jones is tremendous especially when he teaches Radio the basics of writing.

By the end, Radio is acting like a fully functioning member of society. He is writing and learning at South Hanna High School among a community of students and teachers that respect him. Radio also reacts to his mothers death quite well. Before Coach Jones interferes and becomes part of his life, the only person he was getting any type of socialization from was his mother and it was too limited for Radio. Coach Jones comes to the rescue and Radio has gained the confidence and social skills to express his feelings in a healthy way and live as a functioning member of society. He had been fully integrated into society and exceeds by the end of the movie.

Throughout the movie, I felt like Coach Jones and his family were the only people that actually cared about Radio who weren't his family. The community really had to be introduced to him to grow some sort of affection for him. If it weren't for Coach Jones, I don't believe that he would have developed at all or handled any situations correctly. Radios' improvement is incredibly impressive. A mentally challenged man that understands and interacts in society to the best of his ability in such a small amount of time, in my opinion, is a reflection of the care other people have towards him. I thought the movie was incredibly inspirational and proves how humans need socialization to survive. Socialization is the key to surviving in this world.

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