Representation of Women in Sweet Sixteen Ken Loach Essay

Jean (mother) seems to be weak and afraid of Stan and this isn’t very good because she isn’t a good role model for Liam, and Liam needs the mother figure and support because of the atmosphere he is exposed to in Scotland. However Chantelle (sister) seems to come across as a better role model for Liam and more of the mother figure because she is moving on and wants a better life for Liam and her son she’s doing this by studying and getting a job, she also comes across as being the mother figure because she’s regularly cleaning up Liam’s wounds. Chantelle is a complete contrast to her mum.

Chantelle also gives Liam responsibilities which make him feel more wanted and has that little support that he needs in his life. Suzanne seems to come from a better background, the audience picks up on this because when Suzanne is with Chantelle her mum is always ringing and checking up on her and asking her whereabouts ant his shows a kind of bond between them which is quite lovely. The women in this film overall don’t seem to be respected in my opinion because for example Jean is almost terrorised by Stan, and it shows as if the women don’t have any control and have no power and are just used like sheep.

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Setting The film is set in an ‘urban deprivation’ and social housing estates. This conveys that the people living there are mostly the criminal underclasses, who are most likely to be trapped, and have no means or support to get out and live in a better atmosphere and live a happier life. We see that gets driven to the prison with Stan and granddad, they go through the countryside and this just contrasts to where Liam lives, there was sense f freedom in the countryside however Liam was trapped in a car and this shows that he is trapped in that criminal lead life, but passing through the countryside can mean that there is an escape BUT it leads to prison therefore this is a big contradiction. The caravan park which Liam seems to think is ‘paradise’ is set in a dirty place and we as the audience think they are just low expectations but to him it’s the world and he thinks that there is hope for him and his loved to get back together and live happily ever after, only to find out that Jean has something else in mind.

Overall we learn that Liam wants to get out of this criminal world and settle down in a caravan but he doesn’t have the support and where he lives at the moment (criminal area) doesn’t help because he will always be exposed to the criminal way of living. Leading Protagonist • Liam – We as the audience feel sorry for Liam and sympathise with him. The actions that Liam does towards his loved ones contradict to what he does. Liam is portrayed as being the caring type and determined to live a happy life. He is ambitious and just wants the best for his loved ones.

However he struggles to do this because he depends on his own motivation and he doesn’t have the support that he needs to help him. • Pinball – Pinball’s dad is a heroine addict and we understand that his brother may have dealt drugs because he mentions that he used to see his brother cut up the heroine. Pinball is stupid, he’s wild and he’s very unpredictable. Pinball is very childlike we know this when he’s cutting up the heroine he calls Liam some very childlike names. We also learn that he only sells the drugs for Liam.

Pinball has no other help in life and no other close person to him other than Liam the audience learns this when Liam has a chat with the ‘bug guys’ he mentions that ‘I’m the only one he has’. • Stan – Stan is power hungry he is ambitious and wants to be in control of everything and wants everything to run on a straight line without any boundaries, which of course cannot happen. As soon as the audience meets Stan we are encouraged to dislike him. • Granddad – When the audience meets him we are encouraged to laugh with him, he is almost childlike with what he does for example when he gets caught on the fence etc.

We seem to struggle to understand why it is that he is not helping Liam whilst his mum is in prison. Instead he is making life even harder for Liam by working alongside and being controlled by Stan. Links to Bullet Boy (2004) The relationship between Liam and Pinball is almost the same as Ricky and Wisdom, in the ways they act and what they do and the living styles. They come from the same background and setting, all places are dirty and live in an atmosphere that isn’t much worth living for so they all end up in crime. The films show that once you live in a criminal life you are trapped and there is no escape and no entry to freedom.

Both Ricky and Liam are shown weapons but don’t accept them however as the film progresses the weapons are used and cause a lot of damage. Chantelle is the mother figure in Sweet Sixteen and both Chantelle and Mev (Ricky’s mum) want the best for their children. However their children don’t seem to accept this life and want to sort other things that they have in mind before settling down and escaping the criminal life. Liam seems to be more the family guy type than Ricky whereas Ricky just says he wants to but he doesn’t do anything about it, he just wants everything to fall into place but life isn’t as easy as he makes it out to be!