I was challenged by the film I am Sam and decided to see it. Sam, a man who has mental disabilities, attempts to raise Lucy alone. Sam was diagnosed as having Autism at age 7. His intellectual capacity is limited at 7 years. We witness Lucy’s love and devotion to Sam as she grows up under his roof. Social workers noticed Lucy was 8 years old, and placed Lucy in a temporary residence while Sam went to court to get Lucy’s back. Rita, Sam’s lawyer decided to take this case “pro-bono” to impress her coworkers. Rita initially doubts Sam can raise Lucy and the social workers want her taken from Sam. Sam helps her to change her relationship with Sam and teaches Rita that love is the most important part of raising children. As her beliefs change, she starts to see Sam as a role model and friend. This story seems to reflect the prejudices and difficulties people with disabilities face every single day.
In this i am sam character analysis essay you can find my opinion on piaget’s cognitive development.
As I watched the movie I am Sam, I saw many forms of prejudice towards Sam. Analyzing this prejudice, it was clear to me the motives of the characters. I believe that the majority of prejudice I saw was caused by people who felt morally superior to Sam. One example was the birthday party Sam organized for Lucy at beginning of movie. Sam’s father, a friend of Lucy, looked down on Sam because he was disabled and accused Sam’s son of hitting him. Lucy’s temporary foster parents attempted to gain custody of Lucy. Although Sam became a great father, the Foster parents initially believed that Sam was too disabled to be a parent. Sam’s Foster mom told him, “I’m going all I can to protect Lucy (Lucy) from being hurt again.” Rita was Rita’s first lawyer. At first, Sam annoyed her and she didn’t know how they should treat her. She said to Sam, “I just don’t think you are retarded. Mentally retarded. Mental handicapped. Intellectually disabled. Developmentally disabled. This is one aspect that makes her proud. I felt a lot of emotions watching this movie. It is hard to comprehend the challenges people with disabilities face, especially when they involve family members. I watched the movie solo. This decision allowed me to portray different perspectives from different characters. The movie made me feel more connected to it than just watching it. This movie has a Sam’s perspective, which I believe brought out many emotions. Because I felt connected to Sam, it gave me feelings of empathy and a new perspective on the struggles people with mental illnesses face. Sam’s disability was well-portrayed by Sam’s actor. He highlighted the frustrations that autistic persons face in different situations. When I looked back on my assumptions about disabled people I noticed that I thought they were helpless and inflexible. I believe that watching Sam, “I am Sam”, helped me shift my beliefs as I watched Sam tackle unexpected challenges. He was clearly motivated to win Lucy back. He did everything he could to accomplish his goal. People with disabilities don’t have to be dependent. Sam was able seven years ago to raise an intelligent, compassionate daughter. Sam also worked for Starbucks. Sam is an example of someone who is severely disabled and can still live a normal lifestyle. Sam says that he believes he is more intelligent than Lucy as they prepare for their trial. Rita hears him tell Rita that he is also smarter than her in some aspects. Sam is showing his confident side. Sam’s behavior seemed to be in line with my belief that disabled people can be fragile even though their disability is not the cause. This is what we see after Sam loses the chance to win his case. He tells Rita that he doesn’t know what it’s really like, but that he tried and failed and he never got there. Because you were perfect, and I was also born like that. People like this don’t understand how it feels to be hurt, as they don’t have feelings. People like you don’t have feelings!” Many people believe that disabled people are unable to feel or express emotion. Sam believes that being sad is part and parcel of Sam’s disability. However, everyone experiences intense emotions. He doesn’t understand that any parent who has to give up their child will feel similar feelings. My mind was blown by his comments and I began to wonder how disabled people view able-bodied people. Sam also confirmed my assumption that “disabled persons are more comfortable around one another than being with abled folks”. Sam’s friends, all of whom are disabled in some manner, are his best friends. This film shows a positive side to these characters as they worked together to win Lucy back. Sam seemed to have a better relationship with them than anyone else in this movie. I was able, as I watched “I am Sam”, to apply many of my ideas and subjects to the various characters and situations. The film gives us a glimpse into the subject of stereotypes and how society treats persons with disabilities. Sam is shown in both positive as negative roles throughout the film. This allows us to see the different assumptions people have about him. Sam is sometimes viewed as a nuisance by society throughout the film. He is also portrayed as a hero at other times. Social workers who believed Sam couldn’t raise Lucy were also making the fundamental error of attribution. The fundamental attribution error is when we overestimate personality traits and underestimate the effect of situational factors. While Sam’s disability was their primary focus, social workers missed the fact that each parent is capable of raising a child with success. Rita examines this topic and brings out the emotions of the opposing counsel. Rita states that “every parent I’ve spoken to has experienced moments when the task is so unbelievably hard…that they feel retarded…disabled” but that it does not necessarily mean that they cannot love someone. This is the most important quality of parenting. In society, the negative notion of people with different abilities is what drives the division between the “normal” class and the “different” category. Although there were many themes to I am Sam, Rita’s change in outlook on her life and Sam are the ones that stand out for me. I found the film to be a well-represented example of the lessons that can be learned from listening and opening up to people different than you. Many stereotypes are a result of lack of interaction with outside groups. Without experience, how can one expect to learn from and interact with people with disabilities without exposure? Although films can be used to show the disability of someone, I think Sam does a good job in helping people gain an understanding of those with disabilities.