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West Side Story Forum


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Tony Winner
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Post OMG!
http://www.answers.com/topic/adolescent ... ture-gangs


"Popular culture may also encourage gang membership by promoting positive images of gangs - such as the Jets and Sharks of the Broadway musical West Side Story..."


I hate people sometimes.

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Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:39 pm
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Oh yeah, violence is totally hidden, its not like you see an attempted rape and 3 murders live on stage or anything like that... :roll:

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Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:42 am
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agreed w/ Catherine :roll:

some people are just plain dumb.

WSS is a classic musical. Yeesh.

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Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:23 am
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Have you read the WSS novelization? In the film and the play, other than the escalating violence, the gangs are fairly innocent.

But in the book? The first page introduces us to Riff's favorite hobby, which is hanging out in the parks pretending to be a gay prostitute, waiting for a man to solicit him, and then beating him up.

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Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:25 pm
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0.0

I can't say I have. Blimeyyy.

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Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:30 pm
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Tony Winner
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Quote:
Have you read the WSS novelization? In the film and the play, other than the escalating violence, the gangs are fairly innocent.



The gangs are as innocent as the actors make them.


And West Side Story takes place only over the course of a couple of days. Honestly, how much can a gang do in two days? Two murders in 48 hours is plenty. Hardly a "positive representation".

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Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:09 pm
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The play, especially the first part, establishes them as little more than "young toughs." The dancing and random graffiti art in the movie emphasizes this much more than the book's introduction, which also includes the possibility of gangrape as a form of entertainment.

The book is much darker in its own way, and is often considered to be West Side canon. It's remained in print to this day, a rarity among movie novelizations.

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Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:55 pm
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Tony Winner
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They virtually gang-rape Anita...

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Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:35 pm
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Post Re: OMG!
IndigoMedusa wrote:
http://www.answers.com/topic/adolescent-peer-culture-gangs


"Popular culture may also encourage gang membership by promoting positive images of gangs - such as the Jets and Sharks of the Broadway musical West Side Story..."


I hate people sometimes.


Excellent post, IndigoMedusa! I read your post with much interest and enjoyment, and, although I've admittedly never been in any of the helping professions, much less worked with kids and/or young adults who're in gangs, there's lots of truth to what you're saying about the role that gang membership has played here in the United States for youths and young adults alike. However, there are at least a couple of things that I beg to differ on:

A) Part of the reason that gang membership and criminal activity has existed here in the United States is also due to the fact that the USA has a long, long history of immigrants of various nationalities, ethnicities and colors who've arrived here in the United States and brought their criminal cultures with them. Also, growing up in households with criminals and criminal activity has also encouraged gang membership among youths and young adults.

B) I also take issue with the notion that West Side Story glorifies gang membership and violence and puts them in a positive light. On the contrary, if anything, West Side Story drives home the opposite message; that gang membership, violence and prejudice are really not the way to go, and also points out the destructive consequences of prejudice and hatred.


Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:41 pm
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