Marion Eady The film October Sky (1999), directed by Joe Johnson is based on a true story of Homer Hickman ( a coal miners son) who is inspired to build a rocket after the Russian launch of the first artificial satellite (Sputnik) into orbit. The film definitely focuses on the course theme of being a social outcast. This is explored in the film through three people, John Hickman (Homers Father), the town of Coalwood and Mr. Turner (Homers principle). Firstly, John Hickman, father of Homer Hickman and a coal miner at the Coalwood mines in West Virginia, socially outcasts his son.
Why? Because John doesn’t agree with his son building a rocket. This is explored through Homers father getting in multiple fights with his son. John called Homer many hurtful words for example a minis and a thief. John never wanted to go watch Homers rocket launch, he never agreed with anything that Homer wanted to do. Homer’s father wanted him to work in a coal mine not build rockets. Homer’s father is thrilled when Homer decides to go work in the coal mine after John gets hurt at work. Homer decides to quit school, quits making rockets and go into the coal mine.
After John is out of the hospital and is able to go back to work, Homers mother want him to go back to school. Homer tells him mom that he’s not going back to school and John agrees with Homer. Although John is thrilled that Homer quit building rockets, the family is finally happy and everything is good, Homer decides to go back to school to build rockets and win what his goal was the entire movie, The Science Fair. Homer and his friends win the Science Fair and get to go onto the National Science Fair but the only problem is, only one person can go. Homer’s friends choose him.
John is not to proud of his son and he tells his son, “if you don’t want to be here, go, just go” Homer replies with “fine I’ll go and I won’t even look back. Everything is dying in this town and I want to leave, maybe I’ll be able to get into school and get a job, instead of watching this town die and burn to pieces. ” I believe that somewhere in between Homer leaving and winning the science fair, John came around to what he is doing because John came to the last rocket launch when Homer came home. Now you may ask why John was a social outcast to his son. John was a social outcast in many ways.
He said horrible words to his son, he never believed in his son and the dreams that Homer had. He didn’t think that Homer would ever make it to the National Science Fair and win it. John didn’t believe in how intelligent his son actually was. John is defiantly a person who socially outcasts son. Secondly, the town of Coalwood socially out casted homer and his friends who where trying to help homer make the rocket to win the science fair. Now, you may ask how would a whole town socially outcast a group of teenagers, who’s dreams where to build a rocket, get a scholarship and get out of their home town.
When they decided to make the rocket, the town of Coalwood underestimates the boys. They think that Homer and his friends wouldn’t be able to make the rocket; they thought that they were only good enough to go into the coal mine and not be able to succeed and go to College especially with a scholarship. Their dreams are huge. Throughout the movie the town starts to accept what the boys want to do. They supported them in the 20th rocket launch, but after the 20th rocket launch the police had Homer and the boys arrested because they thought that the boys started a fire with their rocket.
After the boys were arrested they proved that they didn’t start the fire with the help of one of the boys, Quiten. When Homer wins the school science fair and then gets to go to the National Science Fair the town of Coalwood was so happy for them. The town of Coalwood was never supportive of Homer and the boys and that is why they socially out casted Homer and his friends. Thirdly, Homers principle out casted Homer. Now you may ask, how could a principle socially outcast their own student. Mr. Turner (Homers principle) socially out casted Homer by not allowing him to do what he loved.
Homer wanted to make a rocket to get a scholarship but the principle made it so hard on homer. He had Homer arrested because he thought that Homer started a fire, he didn’t allow the boys to work on their rocket at school or make the stuff for the rocket so that it can fly. It seemed like Mr. Turner didn’t want one of his own students to succeed. But with the help from Mrs. Riley she helped Homer and his friends succeed and she fought against the principle. Mr. Turner never really stopped socially out casting Homer and his friends.
It really shows how a principle can really put a big impact on one of their students In conclusion, the film October Sky touches on Homer Hickman’s determination to successfully build and launch his own rocket despite being isolated by his family, friends, schoolmates, school officials and community. This is shown through John Hickman (Homers father), the town of Coalwood and Mr. Turner (Homers principle. This film truly teaches the audience to fight for your dreams and don’t back down as much people will set you back.